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HOW TO FIND A WATER LEAK INSIDE A WALL?

Leaky pipes don’t always show physical signs, sometimes the indicators are not visual. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t doing damage to your home though. Any leaking pipe can be damaging to home integrity and structure decreasing the value. Luckily there are a few tell tale signs that you need to get your pipes looked at by a professional.

HOW TO FIND A WATER LEAK INSIDE A WALL?

  • Water meter
    • To find out if there is a leak anywhere in your plumbing, first locate your water meter.
    • Record what the meter is registering at
    • Turn off all the water in your house (sinks, showers, kitchen appliances, hoses etc)
    • Wait three hours without using water 
    • Check your water meter
      • If the water meter number has moved at all, there is almost guaranteed a leak somewhere in your home
      • If the meter hasn’t moved but you are seeing signs of water damage, there could be a structural issues
        • I will address this later in the “What do I do if I Have a Leak” section
  • Discoloured walls
    • Any areas where there is discolouration indicate that a pipe is leaking in and behind that area of the wall, or somewhere on that pipe
  • Mold
    • Mold in your walls can emit a smell, moldy bathrooms aren’t that surprising because that is a damp area.  But finding mold in other home areas like family and living rooms or bedrooms is an indication of a leak
  • Wet areas
    • Perhaps the most obvious but wet areas of flooring or walls indicate that your home pipes are leaking
  • Peeling paint and wallpaper
    • Peeling wallpaper and paint can occur when there is moisture behind it, where does this moisture come from? Leaks
  • Warped/discoloured floor/ceiling
    • The warping and discolouration may be from leaky pipes and build up water in that area.
      • One example may be under a bathtub or shower
  • Musty smell
    • Built up water tends to have a specific odor.  Should you begin to smell something unusual it could be an indicator of a leak
  • Pools of water
    • The most obvious sign is that there is water in your home, either coming from the walls or the ceiling, there is 100% a problem if you are having water pools inside your house
  • Dripping noises
    • That drip drip noise is not normal to hear coming from your walls ceilings or floors.  It indicates that in your house something, somewhere is leaking through your house.
      • Be sure that all your taps are securely off before you begin to panic, unfastened taps can make this dripping noise too.

What do I Do if I Have a Leak?

First, don’t panic.  If you are nearly certain that there is a leak in your house for any of the previous warning signs mentioned above, at least you know and now, it is time to get some help.  The easiest way to determine if there is an interior or exterior leak is with the water meter.  As previously mentioned, if all the steps are followed exactly, the number on the meter should not move.  If it does, that means that somewhere inside the house the water is leaking.  You will need to call a plumber to have them address the issue carefully and professionally.  If you believe that you have an issue with plumbing, call or fill out a Rooter Team form for a free quote.

If the number on the water meter does not change after the test.  That means that you are dealing with something on the exterior of the home.  This could be from the eaves troughs, the foundation, or the windows.  Clear out the eaves troughs as soon as possible, including the downspout. That could be the root of all your problems.  If you are still seeing damages increase or continue, Call a plumber.  Plumbers are trained to identify, address, and fix leaks on the inside and outside of your house.  Waterproofing is something that can be done to home foundations to address the external seepage.  Our team of licensed and experienced plumbers offer a variety of internal and external waterproofing services.  Don’t hesitate to ask the Rooter Team for a free estimate today!

Even after a leak is fixed you may need to replace parts of the wall or floor, but do make sure that the initial leak is addressed before replacing the wall and running into the same issue over and over again.

Now that you have the tools to determine if you have a leak or not, go ahead and make sure your home’s integrity is as safe as possible!  If you do have any other questions, please call or email us and we will do our very best to answer the lingering questions.

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