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How To Detect A Leak In Your Home
Sunday, July 24, 2016

Undetected plumbing leaks are a homeowner’s worst nightmare. They are, quite literally, money down the drain. If a leak infiltrates the infrastructure of your home, unchecked structural damage can cause water damage, leading to astronomical repair bills – adding up to thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.

Watch Out For These Red Flags

The good news is most leaks “advertise” themselves via red flags. If you know what to look for, plumbing leaks will be caught before getting out of hand. Use YouTube and online searches for instructions regarding DIY plumbing leak repairs. Most are simple and affordable to repair on your own.

If the leak is beyond your scope of repair-ability, or structural damage is present, contact a professional ASAP to prevent further damage.

  1. Drip, Drip, Drop. That occasional drip in the sink or shower may not seem very dramatic. However, those drips add up. The EPA states that a single faucet, leaking one drop per second, wastes more than 3,000 gallons of water annually. Even a minor drip can increase water usage – and your bill – significantly. Plus, a minor drip now will escalate quickly, so the sooner it’s repaired the better. Always replace old faucets with efficient water-wise counterparts.
  2. Moisture in under-sink cabinets. Have you noticed moisture, mold or warped wood in the cabinets underneath kitchen or bathroom sinks? This is a sign the pipes are leaking and the longer you wait, the more long-term damage will be done.
  3. Water bill hikes. Does your water bill seem higher than normal? Don’t brush that off. Even a modest increase can be a sign that’s something is leaking, and it’s time to do a little investigating. Before you go to sleep, turn off the water on all the taps, washing machine water lines, and so on. Turn off your irrigation system and shut the water off to your pool or hot tub. Write down the current meter reading. When you wake up in the morning, check the meter reading again. Is there a change? If so, you probably have a leak.
  4. Swampy landscape. It’s easy to spot an irrigation leak when the water is spurting like a geyser, but not so easy if it’s slowly seeping from a sprinkler head or drip system connection. Take periodic walks along your irrigation lines, especially areas that are further away than you can see from your home or walkways. Any signs of pooled water or swampy, slushy landscape should be noted and addressed.
  5. Water supply pipe leaks. Sometimes a leak occurs at the junction where the water supply pipe enters the house. To check for a leak, turn off the water supply tap. This is typically located under the kitchen sink, in the garage or in a laundry room. Then check the water meter. If it’s running, you may have a leak in your water supply pipe.
  6. Running toilet. Running toilets waste water. Often, a repair is as simple as replacing the guts inside the tank. This is one of the simplest DIY fixes so be sure to watch a YouTube tutorial before calling a plumber.
  7. Mold or mildew patches. Have you noticed damp, moldy or mildewed patches on the sheetrock in your home? This can be a sign of a leak in the interior wall spaces. Call a plumber immediately to prevent further structural damage and to address mold/mildew damage before it negatively impacts indoor air quality.
Beware Non-Plumbing Leaks

Some of the most difficult leaks to detect are those that occur in the interior structures of your home, often the result of Mother Nature. Examples of these include:

  • Sump pump failure. Sump pumps are an integral part of moisture control for homes with basements and/or with foundations that sit below the water table. Signs of a problem include visible water or moisture accumulation in the basement, around the foundation, and/or flooding. All of these can also be signs of errant plumbing issues.
  • Roof leaks. The average roof lasts between 15- to 25-years, depending on material- installation- and maintenance quality. However, leaks can still happen, and the longer they go without attention, the more damage they cause. Inspect the attic bi-annually and after any severe storms. Address missing shingles or obvious signs of roof damage immediately. Also, contact a contractor if you see signs of mold, moist drywall, or other evidence of a roof leak to schedule an inspection.

Suspect your home has a leak issue? Call Midwest Property Pros today. We can help you fix the leak quickly and effectively, as well as complete any structural repairs that may be necessary once the leak is resolved. We will also guide you through any insurance-related needs, such as an assessment or claims.



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