If you’ve noticed a sudden increase in your water consumption that isn’t related to any changes in your household routine, chances are you’re dealing with a leak.
Water leaks in your home can be sudden and dramatic – like a burst pipe or a failed fitting – but they can also be slower and less obvious. Here are a few ways you can spot a leak in your home, and what you should do about them.
Water Where It Shouldn’t Be
The most obvious sign of a leak is that you have water where you shouldn’t. This could be under appliances, below your sink, or on the floor in your bathroom or kitchen (even when you haven’t used water recently.)
Any unexplained puddles in your home are a clear sign that you might have a leak.
If you happen to have a water leak in your ceiling – usually from a hot water cylinder or similar – eventually you will see it in your ceiling. Rusty discoloration, sagging or soft areas on your ceiling or dripping water are all signs that there’s a leak in your plumbing.
Peeling Paint and Disintegrating Wood
When walls, cupboards, and other parts of your home are exposed to water, they will start to show signs of damage. Look for peeling or bubbling paint, countertops that are swelling or lifting, or visible damage to wood and boards.
Water On Pipes
Not every leak in your home will involve large amounts of water. Even small amounts can do a lot of damage over time. So it’s a good idea to check all the pipes you can access from time to time. Running a cloth along a pipe you suspect might be leaking will quickly confirm whether you have a problem that needs attention.
Corrosion and Rust
These days, many plumbing fittings are made from materials that don’t rust like PVC or brass. However, especially in older homes, you might still have plumbing fittings and pipes that are made from materials that can corrode or rust. If you notice any build-up of rust on your pipes or plumbing, there’s a good chance you either have a leak, or you will have one soon!
What Should You Do?
Sometimes, fixing a leak is a simple matter. Maybe you just need to tighten a fitting or reseal something. However, many leaks and plumbing problems are a lot more complex. If you’re not a trained plumber and you have a worrying leak, the best thing you can do is call a plumber to fix your plumbing leaks.
Trying to fix plumbing leaks without the right knowledge, tools and equipment can result in much bigger, much more expensive problems. Leaks also tend to cause more damage over time. So the sooner you can get them fixed, the better!