Not only can leaks be a major inconvenience--they can end up costing significant amounts of money in wasted water and restoration services. The biggest problem is that many homeowners don't figure out they have a leak until a large amount of water damage has taken place. That's why it pays to know what red flags to watch out for ahead of time so that you can catch a leak early on.
Below, we'll discuss common clues that there is a hidden leak behind your walls or ceiling, underneath your floor, or in your yard.
1. High Water Bill
You can generally expect to see a small hike in your water bill during the warmer months of the year, particularly if you have a lawn and landscaping to water. However, if you notice that your water bills seem unusually high and you can’t think of an explanation for it, then there’s a good chance that there’s a leak somewhere in your home. It might be a toilet that won't stop running, but if all of your toilets are in perfect working order, you'll need to call a leak detection expert.
2. Low Water Pressure
Do you notice low water pressure in your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, or anywhere water is used? Often when water sources are being used simultaneously, water pressure can drop. However, when they are not being used together and the pressure is still low, this is when you should become concerned. There could be a leak somewhere in your water main line or one of its branching water supply lines.
3. Dark Spots or Bubbling
If you start to see dark spots or places where the paint is bubbling on your walls or ceilings, that may mean there is a leak present. If this occurs on a rainy day, you might have a roof leak to contend with. In any case, don’t wait to contact a professional to assess the problem. Neglecting a leak can lead to wood rot and mold growth. Speaking of which…
4. Mold or Mildew Growth
Sometimes you can see the splotches forming. Sometimes you can smell them. Your home’s warmth and the damp conditions caused by a leak can provide the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew.
5. Wet Grass
If you ever notice that the grass tends to stay wet longer, well after rain is gone and the lawn has been watered, this is a red flag. Sometimes there will be areas of the lawn that stay wet longer or places that seem to grow faster than others; that likely means there is a leak somewhere in your main water line or your main sewer line.
6. Unexplained Water Usage
Reading your water meter is a smart way to check for a leak. First, turn off all the water in and outside your home. That would include toilets, washing machines, dishwashers, faucets, icemakers, sprinkler systems, etc. Water usage from any of these areas will throw off your meter reading. Next, go outside to your water meter. It might be close to your house or near the street.
Follow these steps:
You might be able to tell that you have a leak right away by observing the sweep hand or the low-flow indicator. If either one is moving, there’s a leak somewhere.
For leaks that are harder to detect, write down the numbers from your water meter. The last digit should be the number indicated by the sweep hand.
Wait half an hour, then record the numbers from your meter again.
Subtract your first water meter reading from your second reading.
If “gallons used” is greater than 0, then you know there’s a leak.
Have a Leak?
If you suspect your home has a leak, the best thing to do is contact a plumber who offers electronic leak detection services. Electronic leak detection involves machines that pick up sounds from leaks in a plumbing system and register them at a higher frequency. A plumber can then take that information to detect the leak’s exact location.
For reliable, state-of-the-art water leak repair throughout the greater LA area, contact Moe Plumbing Services online or by phone: (818) 396-8002.