Signs Your Home Has a Plumbing Leak

Your home has numerous plumbing systems, from clean water inlets to wastewater outlets and the connections in between. These plumbing systems deteriorate over time, leading to plumbing issues like pipe leaks and dripping faucets. While you can easily spot leaks at the visible parts of your plumbing system, leaks that occur beneath floors, inside appliances, and behind walls can go unnoticed for a long time.

Unfortunately, if unaddressed, such leaks can increase your water bills and cause serious damage to your home. Don’t wait until simple leaks lead to expensive home repairs and high water bills. Read on to discover some signs to look out for.

Higher Water Bills

If you notice an increase in your water bill, you probably have a leaking pipe somewhere in your home. The increase can be gradual or it can happen suddenly. To confirm that the real culprit is a leak, you can record the numbers on your meter and check again after an hour or two. If the numbers have changed, you have a leak. However, you should ensure that no one has opened any water outlet in that period.

Stains on Walls or Ceiling

Does a spot on your wall or ceiling appear discolored or stained? If so, that could be a sign of a leak behind the surface. Hidden leaks are the most dangerous because they can cause significant home damage. For example, if your house has plastic paint, a leak can cause bubbles on walls or ceiling, meaning you will have to repaint all the affected areas.

Mold and Mildew Growth

If a water leak goes unnoticed for a long time, it can lead to mold and mildew growth on walls, thanks to the moisture. If unaddressed, the leak can lead to the development of dangerous black mold. This mold can cause allergic reactions like vomiting, nausea, and nose bleeding. While you may think that cleaning the mold is a quicker, easier option, the best solution is to fix the leaking pipe.

Unpleasant Smells

The water from the leaking pipes can stagnate and produce a lingering odor that quickly spreads in the house. The smell can also come from the mold growing in the areas around the leak. You should also be aware that the pipes in your home do not only carry clean water. So, the odor can also result from a leaking sewerage pipe in your bathroom or outside.

Low Water Pressure

Though lower-than-normal water pressure can be caused by a variety of things, you cannot rule out leaks in the system. A sudden drop in water pressure can signify that water is leaving the system before reaching the delivery fixtures.

Uneven Lawn Growth

The best way to spot outdoor pipe leakages is to examine the vegetation on your lawn. If you notice a spot where the grass has outgrown the rest, a pipe may be leaking underneath. You can also dip your hands into the ground beneath the vegetation to check if the area is wetter.

Cracks on the Foundation or Floor

A leaking pipe underneath your house’s foundation can cause sudden cracks on the foundation. A large leak can also soak the soil below, causing the slab to shift or drop. Similarly, if a pipe under your floor leaks, tiles can become loose, or the floor may turn soft or spongy.

Now that you are aware of the signs to look for when inspecting your home for water leaks, you should not wait until the situation worsens. Call a professional plumber immediately after noticing any of the signs above. At First Class Plumbing, we have professional and certified plumbers available 24/7. Contact us today and enjoy a timely response.

Washington DC, Water Leak, Annapolis, Plumber

Water Leaks 101

Finding and fixing a water leak while it is still small can save you time and money. Some leaks are obvious – you see a puddle of water or hear the dripping. Other leaks can be hidden in the walls or underground and may take a little detective work. If you suspect a leak but aren’t sure, there are several things you can do to determine if you have a leak before you call in a plumber.

  1. Check the water meter. Turn off all of the faucets, and make sure the dishwasher and washing machine are not running. Next, go outside and watch the water meter. If the meter is changing, you may have a fast running leak. If it doesn’t change, wait two hours (with the water still off) and check again. If the meter has changed, you may have a slow leak. The leak could be anywhere after the meter, even underground. If you hear water moving through the pipes with everything turned off, call the plumber.
  2. Pay attention to your bill. If your water bill is rising, but your usage has stayed the same or declined, you may have a leak. Your water bill should stay within a certain range month to month. Consider whether you’ve had company or have been watering the lawn. If there is a huge leap in the bill, call the plumber.
  3. Play with food coloring. Toilets account for as much as 30% of your water use, so you should check to make sure they’re working properly. To test for leaks, put a few drops of food coloring in the tank and wait ten minutes. If the color shows up in the bowl, you have a leak.
  4. Check outside. Make sure your outside spigots are turned off when not in use. If you have an irrigation system or septic system, consider hiring a professional to conduct a yearly inspection. If you have a constant wet spot in your yard, call the plumber right away.
  5. Be aware. Make it a habit to regularly check in the back of cabinets and under sinks for any signs of mold, mildew or foul smells that might indicate a leak. Prompt attention could save you thousands in repairs. Consider having a professional plumber make an annual inspection of your home to check for leaks or potential problems. Be especially vigilant if your home is more than 25 years old.  Your plumbing system may be over the hill regarding its life expectancy. Check all accessible connections at the water heater, pumps, washing machine hoses and valves for oxidation or discoloration – clear signs of a slow leak.

If you suspect a leak anywhere in your plumbing system, call in a plumber to make repairs as soon as possible. Don’t wait until it gets worse and you end up with water damage.

First Class Plumbing offers plumbing service 24/7, 365 days a year. Our trucks are fully stocked with all of the necessary tools, parts and piping needed to complete any plumbing repairs, drain clearing and more.

Call us today at 866-989-2837 or contact us through our website to work with licensed plumbers you can trust to get the job done right the first time!