With summer approaching, you’ll likely be using more water which means there’s more opportunity for leaks. This makes summer the perfect opportunity to double check on your water fixtures and stop a leak before it gets out of control.
Water leaks can be costly. From an increased bill to damage to your home, what follows water leaks usually comes at a high cost.
Here are a few signs that you might have a water leak:
- Stains or bubbles on your ceilings.
Have brown, rust-colored spots on your ceiling or is your ceiling sagging? That may be caused by a water leak. This discoloration or sagging can be caused by trapped water. Even if the area isn’t directly below your upstairs bathroom, a leak can still be the culprit.
- Wall damage.
Water warps drywall and gives wall paint some bubbles. 3-dimension decoration might be an interesting design choice, but these aren’t the decor options that you want. If you have warped walls or bubbles in your wall paint or wallpaper, it might be a water leak.
- Bad smells.
No, it’s not the dog (most of the time). Standing water is a great place for mold and mildew to thrive, and it usually brings a bad smell. If you can’t seem to get rid of that bad smell, give your dog a bath – just because you love them – and look for other signs that you have a water leak.
Mold doesn’t always have the strongest odor, but it can be easily identified if it’s in a visible area. Mold will appear in green, brown, or black spots. You might have some mold in areas where there’s a lot of water. If you see mold in non-shower areas, then you’ll probably see a water leak nearby. Bleach solutions or more costly mold remediation and repairs can help get rid of mold.
- Increased water bill.
Did an expensive water bill sneak up on you? If you haven’t had a significant change in your water usage and your water bill quickly rises, then you might have a water leak. If you suspect you have a water leak, stop using the water inside your home and go check your water meter. If your meter is still running, then you might have a leak in your landscaping system.
After identifying the signs of a possible water leak, check for leaks everywhere around your home. Dripping faucets, old pipes, or broken seals as common sources for leaks. To find leaks, check your house thoroughly including your kitchen, laundry room, bathroom, outdoor sprinklers, hoses, and pools.
Fix any leaks immediately. Extensive damage could happen even from a small leak. It is important to act urgently when you identify a leak to prevent further damage from occurring. If you think you have a leak, call a plumber right away before it causes more damage.
Adopting habits to conserve water is also important. In addition to stopping leaks, there are plenty of simple ways to save water at home and reduce your bill. These small changes can have a dramatic impact to conserve water:
- Don’t let water run as you wash dishes or brush your teeth
- Match water level to the size of your laundry load
- Shorten your shower by a minute or two
- Choose low water use plants for your garden
Those small drops of water add up quickly to wasted gallons, expensive bills, and extensive damage. As a homeowner, you can prepare yourself with resources and information to save water and money. We can all do small actions to make a big difference for our environment and bills.
Audrey Monell is the President of Forrest Anderson Plumbing and Air Conditioning. The team of experts at Forrest Anderson Heating & Plumbing can help you track down any leak, show you photos of the problem, and provide practical solutions. You can see more plumbing tips, including how to check if your toilet is leaking at www.forrestanderson.net.