Water leaks can have adverse effects on your home, especially when they go unnoticed for a long time. Damage to your plumbing systems puts the structural integrity of your home at risk. It exposes your household to health hazards such as moss and mold growth. Most leaks can easily be identified and corrected in time; however, hidden leaks can go for weeks or even months undetected. A hidden water leak is more dangerous since it can cause extensive damage before they are discovered. This article is focused on tips you can use to identify hidden leaks in your home.
Monitor your Water Bills
To identify a hidden leak effectively, you need to go over your water bills. If your water bill has suddenly increased, it could be an indication of a hidden leak, especially if your water usage remains constant. This leak could result from damaged pipes or valves since part of the plumbing system is underground. These underground leaks can go for weeks or months undetected, forcing you to shoulder high water bills. You should contact a plumber to check for any leaks. The professional conducts a series of tests to identify where the leak occurs.
Check Your Water Meter
Regularly checking your water meter is one of the best ways to identify a potential leak in a part of your plumbing system. Start by turning off your water at the mains. You should also ensure all the faucets, washing machines, and dishwashers are not running. Next, turn on the water at the mains and check for any changes in the water meter. If the meter starts to move, then you have a fast-moving leak that requires immediate plumbing repair. If the water doesn’t change immediately, give it some time – an hour or two before checking again. If the meter moves, even after turning off all the water, then you may be experiencing a slow leak. This leak could be anywhere after the meter. It is best to remember that the piping system after the meter is your responsibility.
Review your Water Usage
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, homeowners are advised to check their winter water usage to check if there is a leak occurring in their home. Every home has its average level of water usage based on the number of occupants. However, if a family of four consumes more than 12,000 gallons of water every month, then they could be dealing with a hidden leak. Reviewing your water usage can take time and may involve going over your previous water usages to come up with an average. A huge water bill is equivalent to increased water usage, which could signal alarm.
Look for Mold Signs
Mold thrives best in a moist environment. Signs of mold growth could indicate a hidden leak, especially when the growth site is close to the plumbing system. Some of the key indicators include a change in color in the ceiling, walls, or flooring. Physical sighting of mold can take a while; however, the discomforting smell of mold can work well to alert you of a leak. This is the best time to check under sinks, kitchen cabinets, bathroom, and basement for any signs of mold growth. Don’t forget to inspect your attic for any signs of roof leaks.
Check Exterior Water Usage
Water leaks can either be inside or outside your home. To identify leaks, you need to look at the garden hose and other equipment for signs of damage. You also check if all connections are tight since a loose connection can cause a fast- leak. You should also consider bringing in a plumber at least once a year to inspect your irrigation system. Remember that even a small leak can lead to expensive water bills every month.
Use Food Coloring
Toilets take up at least 30% of your water use, meaning you should regularly check on them to ensure they run properly. To test for a water leak, add some food coloring to the toilet tank and give it 10minutes. If the color shows up in the bowl, then you have a leak that lets water drain from the tank to the bowl without flushing.
Water leaks not only lead to expensive water bills but can also cause damage to your home. Inspect your home regularly for signs of leakages.