Leaks can occur anywhere including in the ceiling, behind walls, under the floors, and in pipes installed along visible areas. Leaks may also occur on fixtures such as toilets, showers, bathtubs, drains, and sinks.
Most homeowners are unaware that every leaking drop along a pipe is an indicator of an existing or future damage that may damage your property due to decay, rot, and flooding.
Most homeowners have a tendency of putting off repairs. However, they end up having a bigger mess to deal with. However, the biggest issue is that the majority of homeowners don’t know how they can detect leaks around their homes. Here’re some easy methods of detecting water leakage in your home.
Detecting Leaks in the Kitchen
Leakage in the kitchen often occurs around the sink and in the water supply pipes below the sink. Faucets are also prone to leaks. Here’s what to do to detect leaking sinks:
Check whether the lower section of the sink countertop has any kind of changes in its particleboard. You’ll easily notice any changes especially if the countertop is laminated with plastic. A countertop that’s affected by leakage will appear swollen, spongy, and dark.
You can as well pour water along the sink edges and faucet base. This is the section where the countertop and sink meet. Once you pour some water, check whether it’s dripping around the bottom section. If some water is dripping, then it’s an indicator of water seepage between the countertop and the base of the faucet or the sink.
Examine the base of the faucet to check whether it’s loose. The joint section area where the faucet is joined to the countertop is constantly exposed to water splash, and this may loosen it gradually and allow water to seep through the joint over time.
Also, examine the section below the sink cabinet for water puddles, rotting boards, and dampness. Such damage is usually due to constant leaks that occur from the water pipes installed within the cabinet. Such leakage is often unnoticeable until it causes noticeable damage.
A bench-top with loose laminate also indicates water leakage. A loose laminate is usually caused by failing caulk, and this is yet another major sign of leakage.
You can also spot water leakage in a storey house by checking the ceiling area below your kitchen for dry or wet stains.
When dripping occurs for a prolonged period of time, the leaking water may seep through the joists and find its way into the ceiling. It’ll create a mark on the board of the ceiling. The mark may become a larger puddle over time.
Also, test the water supply or drain pipes for leakage by passing a dry piece of cloth along the edges of the pipes. The areas around the shutoff valve and slip joint are highly prone to leaks as water flows from the kitchen sink. Areas that have leakage will leave tiny marks of wetness on the piece of cloth.
Detecting Leaks in the Toilet
The toilet is highly prone to leaks. Most toilets are constructed on the higher floors. Leaking toilets or leaking water pipes and drain pipes connected to the toilets often lead to damage around the toilet. Here’re simple ways of detecting leaking pipes in the toilet:
Add some drops of any food color into your toilet water tank. Don’t flush the toilet after adding the food color. Watch for any food color that may be flowing into the bowl. In case the food color starts flowing into the bowl, then it’s an indicator of water leak between the toilet bowl and the tank.
Check the base section of your toilet seat and find out whether it feels loose. Basically, the base area where your toilet is joined to the floor is prone to leaks. Try to sit on your toilet and move from side to side and take note of any movement of the toilet. If it’s moving, then it’s a sign that it’s loose. Pressurized water that passes through the toilet after flushing may seep around the base of your toilet, leading to constant leakage and puddles.
Examine the ceiling area below your toilet for dry or wet stains. You can confirm the source of the stains by measuring the distance between the toilet and the stain. Puddles resulting from water leakage usually form close to the source of the leak, and this is a good way of pointing out the leaking pipe.
Detecting Leaks in the Bathroom
You can check for leaks in your bathroom by taking note of these signs:
Check for any peeling wallpaper and paint on the exterior and interior wall surfaces around the bathroom. Any peeling wallpaper or pain would be an indicator of constant water seepage through the tile caulk, especially where a bathtub is attached to a bathroom wall. As water seeps into the wall, it’ll loosen the bonds that attach wallpapers and paint onto the wall and lead to peeling.
Check for any falling or loose wall tiling on your bathroom walls. Although loose tiles may develop due to many other reasons, they commonly loosen due to water seepage. Constant leaks may lead to water seepage through the caulk and grout, thereby loosening the tiles over time.
Check for any mold that may be growing around the bathroom, mostly around the bathtub or shower pan. Mildew and molds tend to grow well in moist and dark areas. Bathrooms with leaking supply pipes would be a good spot for them to grow. In case they’re growing constantly, then it’s an indication of possible leakage.
Also, check whether the ceiling area below your bathroom has stains. As water leaks through supply pipes, it will flow through the joists and tiles and end up forming dark stains on your ceiling.
In case you happen to notice loose and curled flooring right next to your shower or bathtub, then it might be an indicator of water leakage, especially from the wall next to the shower or bathtub. Water may seep through the tiles and loosen them with time.
Check the area between the floor and the tub for any eroded caulk. When caulking between the floor and the bathtub is continuously exposed to water, it may get eroded. The end result will be gaps that allow water to seep into the flooring area beneath the tub.
Detecting Leaks in Hidden and Underground Pipes
Sometimes, water leaks may be hidden within walls or under the ground. Hidden pipes within concrete slabs, ceilings, asphalt streets, and basement may be difficult to detect. Determining a leaking pipe within hidden areas can be quite challenging. Here’re some signs of leakage in hidden and underground pipes:
Check the water meter in your home and note how it’s moving as water runs. Once done, turn off all the faucets and fixtures connected to the water supply within your home. Next, check whether the meter is still moving. In case it’s still moving, then you might be having an underground leak. Otherwise, the water meter shouldn’t show any movement upon turning the water supply for all fixtures.
Rotting wood, mildew, and molds are signs of leakage in hidden or underground pipes. It’s common to notice mildew and mold growing on the floors and walls. If you notice them, then there might be a leaking pipe within that area.
Try checking whether there’s heat coming from within a wall or floor surface. Such heat may be as a result of pressurized water that’s hitting the wall or floor surface at extremely high speed for quite some time.
Another sign of hidden water leaks is a leakage sound coming from within a surface. You can detect sound sounds using modern techniques.
Detecting Leaks in Exterior Pipes
While most water leaks occur within a home, some occur on exterior pipes, especially on the main water supply line leading to the home.
Here’re some signs of leaking exterior pipes:
- Corroded pipes.
- Increased rate of grass growing around the exterior pipes.
- A leaking hose pipe.
In case you’re still noticing more water loss than what you normally use from your tank, then contact a professional plumber to check for any leakage. A professional plumber will be able to find and repair hidden leaks in your plumbing system. Consequently, you’ll save water and reduce your water bills.
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