There are few home plumbing problems as inconvenient and potentially detrimental as a leaky pipe. If left untreated, water leaks can lead to costly damage to floors, walls, and household belongings, as well as hefty water bills. Here is some information to help in your leak detection efforts so you can get it repaired promptly.
Why Do Pipes Leak?
One reason pipes may leak is pipe deterioration or shifting, particularly as your home ages. Pipes can begin to rust and leak, sometimes from tiny crevices spread over the length of the pipe. The natural shifting of your home’s foundation can further stress pipes, which can cause plumbing joints to loosen or even separate.
Leaks can also be caused by changes in water and air temperature. Temperature changes in hot and cold water flowing through the pipes can cause them to burst or crack. Also during extremely cold weather, pipes may freeze and contract with the cold temperatures, then expand when water runs through them, causing crevices that lead to water leaks.
Excessive, unregulated water pressure can also cause pipes to burst or crack. Even regular household clogs that are left untreated can lead to joints overflowing, causing water damage.
How Do You Know You Have a Leak?
Low water pressure and water discoloration are both signs that you may have a leaky pipe. You may also find mildew or mold, particularly in places outside of wet areas of the bathroom. You may find damaged paint or walls, damaged flooring, or stains on ceilings. You could also smell a musty or earthy odor from old, accumulated water. If you detect any signs of water leaks, it’s important to call a professional who specializes in leak detection right away to avoid costly damage.
How Do You Detect Leaks You Can’t See?
If you think you may have a water leak, try to locate the source. Turn off all sources of water, then examine potential areas of water leakage, listening carefully for any hissing noises that may indicate water coming through a fissure in the pipes. Also, check the water meter while all the water is turned off in the house to see if the dial is moving. If it is, chances are you have a leak. Keep in mind that some leaks may start at one location, but flow along a ledge or channel to another location before the damage becomes visible. The closer you can come to finding the general location of the leak source, the easier it will be to direct a professional to it when he comes to repair the leak, which can save you money.
Water leaks can result in costly damage to both your home and your belongings. It’s important to use a professional for leak detection to assess and repair leaky pipes, especially for leaks you can’t see. Pipe replacement may be the best way to repair and prevent future problems. If you suspect you have a leak and can’t figure out the origin, give us a call.
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