If you've noticed an increase in your home's water bill yet have no explanation for it, consider looking for signs of a hidden water leak in your home. While many people know that a water spot on the ceiling immediately below plumbing or a fixture is a red flag that there is a leak, there are other signs that you may not be aware of as being red flags of a potential hidden water leak.
Here are some warning signs that you may have a water leak hiding behind the walls and what your plumber can do to prevent ongoing hidden water damage in the future.
Signs of a Hidden Water Leak
When it comes to water leaks and the significant damage that a hidden water leak can cause in a home, you don't want to wait until the leak and the damage is entirely obvious. At that point, you'll likely be paying far more to repair the damage than if you had noticed these types of signs earlier.
- A faucet is loose. Faucets should be very rigid. Even a slight movement of the faucet can be a sign of a leak in the plumbing connections behind the wall.
- There is bubbling under the paint on a wall. Moisture in the drywall can cause the drywall facing to bubble. Drywall facing is the outer layer of the drywall that the paint is applied to.
- The drywall is soft and crumbling. When drywall is saturated, it will disintegrate and may collapse, such as can be seen when a bathtub faucet is leaking inside the wall and the water saturates and disintegrates the drywall.
- There is mildew or mold growth. This is a sign that there is too much moisture present, which can be a sign of a plumbing leak hidden in the nearby walls or flooring.
- The caulking near a faucet or plumbing fixture is discolored. This discoloration is a sign of mildew or mold growth underneath the caulking, which is likely caused by excessive water from a leak in the wall behind the plumbing fixtures.
- The floor is discolored, creaks, and feels mushy. If this describes your bathroom flooring, shut off your water at the water valve and call an emergency plumber. This is a sign of a significant water leak in your bathroom, such as from your bathtub drain.
Hire a Plumber to Repair the Leak & Install a Water Leak Detector
Obviously, you'll need to hire a plumber if you notice the signs listed above. You may also need to hire a water damage restoration service, but wait until your plumber gives you the go-ahead for that, if necessary. An experienced plumber should be able to determine the possible causes of the leak by assessing the conditions and signs present. However, if they cannot readily locate the source of the leak, the plumber can use a device called a thermal imaging sensor to determine the location of the leak and the extent of water damage in your home.
After the plumber has found the source of the leak and has made the necessary repairs, it may be in your best interest to ask the plumber to install a water leak detector to prevent similar problems in the future, which is a great idea for various reasons, such as if you travel extensively for work and nobody is in your home to recognize signs of water leaks or you simply would rather be alerted to a leak when it occurs rather than after the fact. Some detectors are designed to automatically shut off the water valve when a leak is detected.
For more information about signs of leaks, contact a local plumber.