Finding Puddles & Pools Of Water
Water on your floors, and in your basement is an obvious sign of a water leak. Water has a nasty habit of running along rafters and following plumbing fixtures to deposit itself far from where the leak originated. Following these wet areas will go a long way toward helping you find and repair the cause of the water leak.
Warping & Water Stains
Warping in wood, paneling, and drywall as well as noticeable water stains on ceilings should be taken as a clear sign that you have a water leak somewhere in your home. This includes things like water pooling near a bathtub that seeps into the floor and will create stains on the level below in the ceiling tiles.
It can also be water in the attic caused by a roof leak that makes its way along rafters and insulation to inundate the ceilings on the upper floor of your home. A previously undetected leak in the walls might cause your wallpaper to start buckling, it could also cause paint bubbling or flaking.
Noticeable Dampness or Mildew Odors
Strange musty odors or pervasive dampness can also be another sign of a leak. This might also be a sign of a mold or mildew problem developing in the area, which needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Sometimes the mold infestation may be behind walls or floorboards, which is much harder to address.
Tips For Finding A Difficult Water Leak
There are a few things you can do to help dial in the source of a water leak. This starts with investigating the obvious signs as well as looking in a few hard-to-reach places.
Investigate From The Source
If you find water or signs of a water leak in your home, you need to try to trace it back to the source. Water tends to leave a trail. This might mean poking around in your attic or lifting up a ceiling tile to see if you can spot signs of where the water came from.
Check Your Attic & Roof
Check the attic of your house and the shingles of your roof for any signs of water or damage. While you’re at it, give your gutters a good hard look as well. Many times a loose or clogged gutter can let water back up into the eaves or soffits of your home, where it can migrate elsewhere.
It turns out that even the smallest leak can cause a major amount of water damage and eventually mold in your attic. Not only can it mar the appearance of your home, but it can leave your living areas at increased risk for mold problems that can cause serious health problems.
Unfortunately, not all water leaks are saliently obvious. Some can be downright elusive. They might start and stop seemingly at random. Especially if the leak is caused by a roofing problem, which allows water to travel within your attic or sub ceiling.
Knowing more about what water leaks look like and the signs of an undetected water leak can help arm you for making a more thorough investigation.
Common Signs Of A Water Leak
There are a few things to look out for if you suspect a water leak has developed somewhere in your house.
Higher Water Bills
A shockingly high water bill is usually an obvious sign of a water leak. It might be a leaking pipe hiding inside your home’s primary wet wall, or it could be a plumbing fixture in the basement that is dribbling away from your hard-earned money. Sometimes it’s even the fixture connecting your hose to the house that froze in the wintertime.
Whatever it is, an abnormally high water bill is a sure sign that you need to give your home’s plumbing system a solid once-over.
Hearing Sounds Of Dripping
If you start hearing obvious dripping noises or the rushing sound of moving water around your house could also be a sign of a water leak somewhere. This might be a slow or fast dripping sound, but bubbling and even whistling noises are not uncommon.
en the rain stops the water might persist as it travels through your attic or sub-ceiling.
Check All Faucets & Plumbing Fixtures
Failures in a plumbing fixture or faucet often leave tell-tale signs of water in the surrounding environment. This might be a wet spot around a bathtub or a persistent slow drip from a faucet. Take a moment or two to wait for drips and look for signs of a leak. Start by drying the standing water in the sink. Then, turn both faucets on full and look closely around the base. Look for any water dripping through, either from the pipes leading out from the sink or the sink.
Sometimes a leaky faucet or fixture can let water drip down the water line into the subfloor or sub ceiling.
Faucets are always a prime location for a leak. They are frequently used, which increases the chances of valve failures, washer leaks, and other faults.
Trying Using Dye to Locate Toilet Leaks
Toilet tanks can be leaky things and even the plumbing around the flange of a toilet can be a serious source of a hard-to-find water leak. By adding a small amount of dye or food coloring to your toilet tank and the bowl you make it easier to either confirm or rule out the toilet as the source of a suspected water leak.
If you see the colored water showing up elsewhere, or you see the water in the bowl gradually turning clear, it’s a sign that the water from the toilet is causing your water leak. This might be a simple fix, like replacing a flapper, or you might need a professional to remove the toilet and perform a total flange repair.
Call in a Professional Water Cleanup Expert
If you’ve done your absolute best, and you still can’t locate the leak, it’s probably time to call in a professional. Procrastinating just gives the leak more time to get worse, while incrementally increasing the risk of mold or mildew infesting the damp areas.
Calling a professional might cost a little more, but it pays for itself in the peace of mind that your ceiling isn’t about to collapse because of a year-long leak is worth it.