Your plumbing system runs through your entire house and provides an efficient method of distributing water throughout the home. In most cases, we take it for granted that a steady stream of water will always be there for us. When something goes wrong with the plumbing, it can bring the entire household to a stop.
Some of the bigger plumbing problems include a broken water main, a water heater on the fritz, or wastewater not draining fast enough (or not at all). These issues usually manifest themselves almost immediately so they can be addressed quickly. This can keep water damage to a minimum.
However, if your water pipes have a slow leak, or if the leaks occur underground before reaching the home, it could be months before you know. Depending on where in the water supply line the leak is, the damage could be very costly as well as endanger the health of you and your family.
Signs of a Plumbing Leak
In some cases, you may not even know there is a leak until it’s too late. Water stains on a ceiling or wall are a good indicator that you have water coming in from somewhere. It could be you have leaking pipes in the attic or maybe a leak in your roof. Either way, the sooner you get it inspected the better.
These stains may not always appear overhead. Small leaks in the bathroom or kitchen sinks can lead to dry rot in the cabinet or even the subfloor if it gets that far. It doesn’t hurt to occasionally check under the sink to make sure everything is nice and dry.
Increased Water Bills
If you notice a persistent loss of pressure, over the period of a few months, take a look at your water bill. If it’s a slow type of leak along buried lines, that may be the only way to know about it. While month to month differences may occur, year-to-year readings should remain consistent.
A huge uptick in usage without any changes to the household could mean water is leaking out underground. After many months of leakage, small sinkholes may start appearing in the yard where the leak is located, too. But if the leak is under concrete or other such hardscapes, you may be in the dark for a very long time.
Damage to Floors
Water leaks in bathrooms and kitchens can damage floors and cause weak spots. The most common problem areas are near showers, sinks, dishwashers, and refrigerators with water lines. If you notice tiles or flooring that pucker, peeling paint, and pooling water on the floor in a bathroom or kitchen after using the sink, shower, or appliance, it’s time to investigate.
While dry rot in the subfloor can weaken joists, mold can lead to serious health issues. The mixture of leaking water and warm temperatures of the home make for ideal black mold conditions. Even when it grows inside the walls, airborne pollutants can still affect the body.
Once the mold has made its way through to the interior walls, you have a serious problem on your hands. In many cases, the mold must be removed from the home before returning to that area, or even the home itself. Drywall, insulation, framing, and even exterior sheathing must be removed by remediation experts.
Then you’ll have to replace all of that material, too. Plumbing issues like this are so very difficult to catch early on, so even if there’s slight leak detection, it’s important to act fast. A professional plumber like Meticulous Plumbing can spot these problem areas and fix them before they become a real issue.
Work with Experienced Local Plumbers
Plumbing leaks are common, and no one likes dealing with issues. But the quicker you respond, fixing a leak becomes much easier – and cheaper. Meg and Leo Borton are a husband and wife team who own and operate Meticulous Plumbing. The two have decades of experience in the plumbing and construction industries.
In addition to repair services, Meticulous Plumbing also offers water heater removal and installation, new plumbing for bathroom or kitchen remodels, and whole-home repiping. From unclogging interior drains to replacing water mains, let us be your local Portland plumber.