Winter weather is on its way, and it can bring some nasty damage to your home. From roof damage to frozen pipes and more, the weather can cause water leaks to spring up – literally – in various spots around the house.
Water leaks cause damage to your home and may increase your water bill. Water seepage can bring mold, cracks in walls, and rot in floorboards. It is critically important to identify a leak and where it is coming from as soon as possible.
Have you seen signs of water leaks in your house? Here’s a guide on how to identify a leak and check some common sources in the home.
Signs of Water Leaks in Your Home
Water can come in from the roof, in through the walls, or from plumbing problems. Left untreated, a leak can cause catastrophic damage to your home, so act quickly if you notice any of these signs. Here are a few common signs that you might have a water leak:
Mold or Mildew
These spores will grow in sitting water or dampness in your house. They often appear in a bathtub, but can also grow on the ceiling or within your walls.
If you noticed black, brown, yellow, green, or red spots on any of the surfaces of your home. We advise having someone look into possible sources of water leaks.
Increased Water Bill
A burst pipe or leaky appliance will draw extra water, which may spike your water charges. If you see an unusually high bill one month, check your home for the common sources of leaks.
Damp Floors or Walls
Sometimes a puddle of water on the floor could be from a spilled glass or spray from the shower. If it’s a recurring thing, though, it might be a sign of a leaky pipe or appliance.
Sound of Running Water
Do you hear a drip – or worse, running water – but can’t locate it? Leaky plumbing behind walls may be silent, but a tell-tale sign of a leak is the sound of water flowing or dripping.
Common Sources of Water Leaks
If you’re witnessing any of the signs of a water leak, take time to inspect the places that most often have problems. This list of common water leak sources will help you check for leaks around the house.
One of the most common sources of a leak is from your roof. The cause might be minor, like flashings that need to be cleared out. Or it could be something more serious that needs to be fixed immediately.
A roof leak can cause extremely serious damage if left untreated. You may see water spots on the ceilings or walls, but this sign doesn’t always appear. A roof leak can affect even the structural integrity of your home, so don’t wait to get this problem checked out. Periodically inspecting your roof, whether it be when you are putting up christmas lights or cleaning out the gutters, will ensure any issues are caught and fixed quickly.
2. Gutter or Downspout
Another problem that can wreak havoc on your roof and cause indoor leaking is a clogged gutter or downspout. Leaves and other debris will build up in these systems that are meant to drain water away, causing strain and damage on your roof. Keep your gutters clear of debris by cleaning them out a few times a year, especially in the fall and spring.
If you find a lot of debris in your gutter, chances are your downspout is clogged too. Check the downspout by tapping on it with a screwdriver to listen for a hollow sound. You can usually clear out a downspout clog with water from your garden hose.
Appliances that are hooked up to your water supply can also be sources of water leaks. Water pooling around your washing machine or refrigerator is a clear sign of a problem.
The issue may be as simple as an imperfect seal around your washing machine or freezer door, and these are easy to fix. More serious problems come from leaking water lines behind the appliances. Check these appliances carefully and get professional help if it’s not an easily accessible or identifiable leak.
4. Indoor Plumbing
Indoor plumbing is one of the wonders of the modern world – and one of the most common sources of water leaks. The toilet, bathtub, bathroom or kitchen sink can all experience faulty seals or pipes. One particularly common kitchen problem is a broken garbage disposal, which will cause leaking under the sink.
Some indoor plumbing leaks can be easily fixed by homeowners, but make sure you do your research! What looks like an easy job can often become a full-blown plumbing problem if you don’t have the right tools or know-how.
5. Outdoor Hose or Plumbing
One of the most common – and least thought of – sources of water leaks is your outdoor plumbing. Cold temperatures freeze pipes and hoses outside, causing structural damage that turns into a leak once the water thaws. Always remember to prep for winter by turning off the water supply to outdoor plumbing during the winter, and check for leaks when the weather turns warm!
6. HVAC Equipment
Your central air conditioning unit has a pan that catches condensation. This pan can overflow if your system isn’t working correctly. The system will usually have a shut-off feature that kicks in if this happens, but the pan can still cause dripping or leaking.
7. Sewer or Water Main
One of the very worst leaks is from the sewer system, which may back up after a large rainstorm. If this happens, you will know by the smell. Contact your municipal waste department immediately if you notice this leak.
Another very serious problem is a burst in the water main or pipe that connects your home to the main. This problem will not let you ignore it, and needs to be fixed as soon as you see it.
Don’t Wait – Get it Fixed Now
Water leaks generally don’t go away on their own. With our free inspection and quote, there’s no reason to hold off on getting a leak checked out. Contact us today to set up an appointment, and put your mind at ease!