Water is life, and without it, we cannot live. But water can also be a potential danger to your home’s structure or furnishings when it leaks. For this reason, every homeowner should know how to identify and locate a water leak.
It does not matter whether the leak is from a pipe or appliance. The sooner you do so, the sooner a repair can start. But ensure anyone who works on your pipelines has a licence for plumbing work.
The following are some ways of finding water leaks:
Check for damp concrete
If your concrete or bricks have cracks or uneven surfaces, you should suspect water leakage. As water escapes from leaking pipes, it pushes the concrete out, resulting in uneven surfaces. The best way to confirm that the rough surface is from water leakage is to nudge your finger on the concrete or brick. If a dent remains, there is a leak, and all you need is a professional plumber.
Dye test Toilets
Toilet water leaks are common in Australia. You can detect such leaks by adding some food colouring to the toilet water tank and watching for any colour changes in the toilet water. Do not flush the toilet during the observation period. In bathrooms, check for peeling paint on the inside and outside neighbouring walls.
Watch out for leaking clues
Leaking clues include:
- Discoloured water. The most common form of water discolouration is yellowish or brownish stains on ceilings and walls. This sign indicates leakage from behind a wall.
- Bubbling paint and bulging wallpapers. Paint bubbles and wallpapers swell when the wall is wet. If your wallboard is also bulging, the leak might be more extensive.
- Dripping sounds. Some leaks have dripping sounds, which can tell you where to find them.
- Musty smell. A musty smell indicates mould growth. Water leaks create a humid environment that supports mould growth. If your room has a musty smell, take quick action to repair the leak.
Monitor your water metre
Some leaks are hard to detect. But monitoring your water metre can enable you to identify whether you have an unseen leak. You can do so in four simple steps:
- Turn off all your faucets and water-using appliances.
- Check your metre reading after step one. Do not turn on the faucets and appliances. Instead, leave them off for about an hour.
- Recheck your metre reading after this period. If there is a change, a leak is present.
Determine the source of the leak by looking out for leakage signs both inside and outside your house. If you still cannot detect the source, seek help from a plumber. Or try using a leak detector.
Water leaks are common and can also occur in new houses. As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to identify the signs of leaks. Doing so will save your home from possible damage. If you find a leak, address it promptly, either by yourself or through a plumber. What matters is that the leak does not worsen.