From unexplained condensation to a sudden appearance of water stains on your ceiling, most homeowners will come across water leaks in their lifetime. To help you identify the signs of water leaks, here are the top things you should be looking out for.
There’s an increase in your water bill
Have you noticed that your water bill has suddenly spiked? Even moderate changes in water usage shouldn’t cause a drastic jump in your bill. Of course, water bills have their seasonal cycles and will fluctuate, which is why we always advise you to compare your bill with a bill from the same month last year. If you’re noticing a big difference, it’s time to call a leak detector.
You’re filling up your pool more frequently than usual
When you find yourself reaching for the garden hose more often than the pool noodle, it’s a sign you should investigate for a potential pool leak. Many homeowners are unsure how much water loss to expect due to evaporation. One approach you can use is the bucket test, which will help you identify whether the water loss is abnormal.
Your water meter is fluctuating
Just like your water bill, you may notice small fluctuations in your water meter based on changing usage. If you notice that your water meter is moving when no one in your family is using water, it’s likely a sign of a leak. In fact, some water meters even have a specific “leak detection” symbol. This symbol is usually a star, an arrow, or a triangle. This leak detection symbol is designed to recognize continuous, low-volume usage that you would expect from a leak.
Water pressure suddenly decreases
A shift in water pressure never happens randomly! Water pressure loss may be due to clogged pipes, problems with your water heater or water shut off valves. When water pressure changes in one location only, the source of the problem is likely the aerator or a clogged pipe.
You can see or smell mold and mildew
Where there’s mold, there’s moisture. Mold grows very quickly in damp, dark areas. If mold is visible, there has been a buildup of moisture. Unfortunately, leaks are a tricky business and the leak may not be located directly beneath or above your mold growth. Moisture travels along the path of least resistance, which means it can originate from ceilings, roofs or upper levels of your home. An expert leak detector can help you identify the source of the moisture quickly and non-invasively.
You notice areas are wet when they should be dry
Typically, when homeowners spot this issue, they notice damp floors or carpeting. If you’ve recently stepped on your floors and found yourself with soggy socks, you may have a leak. In this case, it’s a good idea to rule out other causes of water build-up, such as a spill by a family member or an overflowing sink. If there is no discernible source of the water, call a leak detector!
You find hot spots on your flooring
The sudden appearance of hot flooring isn’t something to take lightly! Hot floors are a big sign that you’re dealing with a slab leak. How much do you know about the foundation of your home? Chances are, if your home was built on a concrete slab, you’ll have a layer of pressurized piping beneath the foundation. When those pipes leak, they can change the temperature of your flooring.
Paint is peeling or bubbling
Wondering how a water leak could possibly cause problems with your paint? You’re not alone! Water is very destructive for paint because its chemical makeup separates the layers, causing them to detach from the surface of the wall. Visually, you’ll see this happening in the form of bulges, peeling and even large cracks.
You notice the sound of running water, even when your water is turned off
The sound of running water can be an indicator of leaks. Once you have confirmed that no one in your family is using water that could account for the noise, try to listen for the source of the sound. If you hear running water more strongly near a particular wall, the problem may be nearby.
Wood floors begin cupping
Many homeowners with wood flooring may not even know the definition of cupping until it appears in their homes. Cupping is what happens to wood flooring when the sides are more elevated than the center of the board. This is often described as warped flooring, and it can happen to both natural and manufactured wood. Cupping happens when wood responds to moisture changes. Wood expands as it takes in moisture, which causes swelling and elevated sides of the flooring. If you spot sudden cupping in your floors, they are probably taking in water!
Your water contains sediment or rust particles
Rust and sediment deposits often serve as a herald for more water problems to come. Water only changes color because of a shift in mineral makeup. Generally, this means that there is a problem with your pipes or water tank. As plumbing ages and deteriorates, it rusts and becomes more prone to leaks.