Your home is probably the biggest investment you will make in your lifetime. This, combined with the fact that the safety of your family is your number one priority, means that you need to pay attention to all signals that there might be some danger lurking in your home. From electrical wiring that was improperly installed to potential termite problems, there are many issues you might encounter in your home that could result in property damage, huge bills, and a threat to your family’s health and safety.
One big aspect of maintaining a fully functioning home is making sure you are not wasting water and causing damage to your property. A seemingly small leak can turn into a much bigger problem in no time, which is why you have to act in a timely manner. Keep on reading to learn more about the warning signs and what you can do to fix the issues you might be facing.
Your water bill is skyrocketing
First of all, even if you’re not noticing any visible damage to your property, you could still be dealing with a leak. Take a look at your water bill. Is it higher than usual? Pay attention to even the smallest of increases, as sometimes the bill might be only slightly higher while in some cases, you might get an extremely high bill. Keep in mind that your water bill might be higher in summer when you have to water your lawn or fill the pool. However, if there is no logical explanation as to why your bill is unusually high, it typically means that you have a leak somewhere in your home.
What is more, not only will you be paying large amounts of money, you will also be putting your home at risk of water damage if you don’t act on time. If the bill is constant but high, you probably have a small leak somewhere. On the other hand, if you get a large bill, you might have a burst pipe. In both cases, you need to do something.
If you’re handy and know what you are doing, you can fix a small pipe leak or a damaged pipe joint on your own if you can find it. However, a burst pipe should be handled by professional plumbers, especially as it might be hard to find and it probably needs to be replaced altogether.
The rooms smell musty
In certain cases, you might smell an issue before you see it. So, if you start noticing a musty smell in the bathroom or any other room where there are pipes, you should consider investigating the odor. Some people believe that the bathroom smells in such a way because they take a lot of showers during the day; however, this should simply not happen in any scenario. The smell is usually there because the water that accumulates from the leak stands in a puddle and produces a terrible odor.
In addition to dealing with a leaky pipe, this issue can also lead to damp floors and water pooling under the house. So, once you’ve fixed the pipe, you should look for a way to properly ventilate the affected area. Unblock any vents, clear the subfloor, and make sure the water isn’t pooling beneath the house. You can also use a dehumidifier to get rid of the damp and ensure the floors and walls are in good shape.
There is visible mold and mildew
While a little bit of mold and mildew in the shower is not usual in even the cleanest of homes, bigger spots outside of the shower area are typically signs that there is a pipe issue. Mold on the walls, ceiling, or floors in the kitchen, bathroom, or any other room is not normal. Therefore, if you start noticing these, it’s time to act as you probably have a leak.
A leaky pipe is one of the causes why mold and mildew are developing but it’s important to keep in mind that there are other issues that can lead to this as well. For instance, a leaky roof can result in water stains, mold, and puddles on the floor as well. In time, a damaged roof can lead to structural issues that put your entire property and your family’s safety at risk.
If you think the issue is with the roof and not the pipes, you should get in touch with plumbing and roofing professionals that will be able to handle the problem in a timely fashion and prevent bigger damage. Maybe you will just need to patch things up or get a new roof. While the latter might seem expensive, it is also a once-in-a-lifetime project.
Walls, floors, and ceilings are stained or damaged
Other signs that you are dealing with water damage can be a bit more obvious. For instance, you might notice a suspicious spot on your ceiling or an outline of a water mark. While small, these stains suggest that there is an underlying issue. Furthermore, they can easily become much bigger and cause significant damage, such as a sagging ceiling that can collapse at any moment or creaky floorboards that sink when you step on them.
There are several reasons why something like this might happen. For starters, a leaky pipe could be behind this potentially expensive problem. On the other hand, a leaky roof or clogged gutters can also lead to such an outcome. In order to establish the source of the issue, it would be best to contact experts in leak detection. For example, if you live in Australia’s capital, you can turn to professionals specializing in plumbing in Canberra. Plus, if it’s an emergency, there are even companies that offer same-day service, so don’t wait and call a plumber as soon as you notice the signs.
There are wet spots
Noticing stains is definitely a concern but noticing wet spots requires immediate action. Whether you see mud and puddles near the outer walls or on the lawn when the weather is dry or you start seeing them inside the house, you need to act as soon as possible. If there is standing water, an unpleasant smell as well as mold and mildew will follow soon after. After that, you can even be faced with structural damage.
Like most signs that were previously mentioned, this could mean a problematic pipe or damaged roof. However, water in the front yard can also mean that tree roots are intruding on the water lines and causing the water to seep onto the lawn or creating sinkholes. Try to follow the trail the water left and discover the source. If you find yourself out of your depth, don’t hesitate to look for professional help as that can save you from huge repairs down the line.
There are cracks in the foundation
Over the course of time, your home will be settling. This is normal and can result in hairline cracks in the drywall or ceiling. However, noticing a sudden crack or widening of a smaller one could mean you are dealing with a foundation problem. If this is the case, your foundation will keep sinking and your home will literally be torn apart.
Foundation issues can be very expensive if not dealt with in a timely fashion. With that in mind, you should act as soon as you see something out of the ordinary. Get a professional to check out the crack and advise you on how you should proceed. Perhaps it will not be a big project but it’s for the best to have it inspected.
Your meter is running
Finally, a sign that you might be dealing with faulty plumbing is a meter that is running even when no appliances are on. If you suspect something is wrong, this is the best way to check. First of all, you should shut off all the water in your home and ensure no toilets or appliances are running. If everything is working properly, the meter should stop completely. In case it keeps ticking, you probably have a leaky pipe in someone’s house.
If you don’t want or know how to handle this issue on your own, call a professional who will be able to find the leak in no time and fix the issue before it causes serious damage.
As you can see, there are many reasons why you might have water damage in your home. Seeing as how it can manifest in different ways, it’s important that you know how to notice it and take action on time, regardless of whether you hire a professional or tackle it on your own.
About the Author
Nina is a digital nomad, yoga aficionado and a travel enthusiast with a distinctive taste for home decor and fashion design. She’s passionate about learning new things and sharing meaningful ideas. If you wanna see what she’s up to you can find her on Twitter.