It’s no secret that we rely on water in numerous ways. From basic needs to home appliances, we use water for all sorts of things. However, if the water isn’t in the sink or the pipes, it won’t be anywhere near friendly. Water can soon become a dangerous enemy, causing serious structural damage just like fire.
Unfortunately, leaks plague even the newest homes. They’re not only common in older buildings with inferior plumbing and drainage systems. What’s worse is the fact that sometimes it can be pretty hard to detect that you have a water-related problem. They’re everything but obvious and every homeowner will need to be on the lookout for warning signs.
In this post, we’ll discuss how you can detect water leakage. Hopefully, this will help you better understand the dangers and the importance of acting in a timely fashion.
What You Need to Look Out For
As we’ve said, if you don’t act in time, water leakage can lead to numerous problems. From structural damage to mold infestation, it’s key to prevent them from happening. Here are some of the most obvious signs you’ll need to keep an eye out for.
Is Your Water Bill Suddenly Higher Than Before?
The first way to find out if there’s something wrong with the water around your home is to check the monthly bill. In most cases, the amount will be predictable as most homeowners use water fairly similarly from one month to another. This can, of course, change during the summer if you use the hose to water the garden and lawn.
Nevertheless, the Environmental Protection Agency suggests that a family of four people will use around 12,000 gallons monthly. But if you have leaky faucets around the home, they can almost double that amount. Hence, you should monitor your water bills to find out whether there’s leakage that contributes to excess water use.
Keep an Eye on the Water Meter
If the bills keep increasing from month to month, you might suspect there’s something wrong. The best way to make sure of that is to inspect your water meter. It will give you a definite answer whether there’s excess water use. In most cases, the meter will be in front of your home (on the street) or on its side where temperatures don’t drop low.
To inspect the water meter, you’ll need to do the following:
- Make sure you close all faucets in your home. Also, stop the use of the washing machine or the dishwasher if they’re running. The same goes if anyone in your home is taking a bath or using water in any other way.
- Go out to your water meter and inspect the numbers it shows. You can make a note so you don’t forget it later. After an hour or so, go out again and check whether the meter has gone up. If it did, you’ve got a problem.
- Next up, you’ll need to find out whether the leak is indoors or outside. To do so, you’ll need to close the valve of the main water supply. In most homes, the valve to this pipe is in the basement or the utility room if you don’t have a lower-grade level. If the numbers stay the same after an hour or so, this means the leak is inside. On the other hand, the meter change will indicate outside buried pipes are leaking.
Inspect Your Lawn
Although it’s logical to have lovely green grass in your yard, such vibrant colors might indicate a leak. If one side of your lawn is greener than the rest, it might suggest there’s a leaking pipe beneath. The excess water allows the grass to grow faster, hence the color. In more severe scenarios, the water can begin to pool in the area above the pipe.
Indoor Warning Signs
If the meter shows there’s an indoor leak, you should check your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry. Since those are the areas we use water most, you’ll probably find it under the counters, in pools on the floors, and so on. If you do find any signs, it’s key to act immediately. The best way to do so is to contact professional plumbers to assess the situation.
Test Your Toilet
It’s no secret that toilets are most susceptible to water leaks. As such, you’ll usually find problems with the tank above your bowl. With time, the rubber that prevents the water from coming into the tank before you flush the toilet can wear out. To see if this is the case, add some food coloring to the tank. Watch whether it will start to appear in the bowl in the next couple of minutes. The best way to deal with toilet problems is to contact a certified plumber.
Other Warning Signs
Besides the previous five major signs that tell you something’s wrong with your pipes, you should also keep an eye out for the following clues:
- Watch out for discolored spots on your walls. If there’s a leak behind the drywall, the paint on the inside will begin to change. You can also spot this effect on the ceiling, as you’ll see yellowish and brownish spots that indicate a leak from above.
- If the paint on your walls seems to bubble or the wallpaper is bulging, you can be certain there’s a leak behind them. Unfortunately, you’ll need to repair the leak and change/repaint your damaged walls too.
- Water leakage can cause mold to grow. If this happens, you’ll easily smell something unpleasant in the mold-infested area.
- Although a long shot, you can actually hear some leaks. The dripping water will be loud enough for you to notice something’s not right.
You should keep in mind that not all leaks come from the pipes. Some can indicate you have a leaking roof. Nevertheless, you should act immediately and contact professional help. Your best bet is to schedule an appointment at A1 Sewer & Drain. Our team in Virginia Beach, VA, will be more than happy to assess your problems and offer effective solutions. With their help, you’ll no longer need to fear water-related damage.