“What you don’t know won’t hurt you.” That’s a less than stellar idiom to begin with, but when applied to plumbing pipes, it’s downright dangerous. If a hidden water leak is unattended, you could be in a world of pain when you discover the damage it can do.
Signs of a Leak
If mold or mildew accumulates in the corner of your shower, that’s normal. But if you smell or see mold/mildew in any area of your home where it shouldn’t be, there might be moisture under a floor or behind a wall. When you walk on any floor in your house, if it feels soft or “spongy,” there may be a hidden leak underneath.
If any floor in your home is buckling, cracking, or has unexplained staining, your plumbing pipes directly under the floor may leak or leaked water may have traveled there from another site.
The most critical issue in plumbing leaks is a “slab leak” that occurs under your foundation. Unfortunately, we see a lot of that in Southeast Texas, and the faster you notice the leak and seek resolution, the better chance you’ll have of avoiding expensive repairs.
How to Look for Leaks
Here’s a (do-it-yourself) process to check your property for leaks. Kids like to help, so make this a family activity:
- Turn off all water in the house. Shut off sources of sound: cellphones, computers, televisions, and appliances. Shut the windows and doors in each room, then stand quietly, listening. If you hear the sound of a drip or water running, you may have a leak in the plumbing pipes under your floors.
- Run your hands slowly along each floor’s surface. Look for cracks. If one corner has a “hot spot,” you may have a hot water leak underneath. Lift carpets and feel underneath. There should be no moisture between your carpets and the flooring.
- Examine your water bill. If there’s an inconsistent spike in water use, you may have a hidden leak.