Water leak damage is a major threat to your home. It can cause structural changes, mould growth, mildew, and other serious issues. When water leaks are left unattended for too long, they can even cause irreparable damage to your home’s foundation. This article will teach you how to spot water leaks early to avoid some of these issues.
The Risks of Water Damage From Home Leaks
Water damage can be costly to repair. Structural damage, such as rotting wood or weakened foundations, may also result in expensive repairs. Water damage can cause mould growth, leading to potential health hazards.
Additionally, harmful bacteria can grow in your home and lead to illness. If not addressed promptly, water damage leads to a loss of personal property and possessions that you have accumulated over time.
Water damage also increases your insurance costs because you will be required by law in most states to purchase supplemental coverage for certain types of losses related to water-related situations. Some of these are fire sprinkler system malfunctions, flooding caused by burst pipes, or other plumbing issues around the house or yard area covered under standard homeowners’ policies.
Common Causes of Water Home Leaks
You must be aware of the warning signs of water leaks in your home because there are several frequent sources of these problems. Here are a few of the most typical reasons for water leaks in homes:
Worn Out or Corroded Pipes
Worn-out or corroded pipes are another common cause of water leaks. Over time, pipes may corrode or deteriorate. The presence of minerals in water and other environmental substances can cause corrosion.
As pipes age, they may become worn down and develop leaks, which can result in water damage. This is especially true for older homes with out-of-date plumbing systems, as they have undergone many years of wear and tear. Additionally, old pipes may be more likely to break and leak, resulting in significant damage.
Faulty Water Heaters
A faulty water heater can cause leaks and damage to your home. Water heaters are susceptible to internal corrosion, resulting in pinhole leaks or even a crack that requires immediate attention. A broken pressure relief valve can also be responsible for leaks or other damage, as it’s intended to prevent the tank from bursting.
Many homeowners need to pay more attention to the importance of regular maintenance on their water heaters. At least once a year or more often if you notice any signs of trouble, have an experienced technician inspect and maintain your water heater, so you don’t have problems later on down the line. It’s also wise to replace an old water heater if it has reached its expected lifespan.
Broken Plumbing Fixtures
Over time, leaks can appear in toilets, faucets, and other plumbing appliances. A faucet leak brought on by a worn-out washer can result in water damage; a faulty flapper in a toilet can result in water running continuously, raising water costs and possibly causing water damage. These fixtures frequently experience wear and tear, which may cause leaks and other problems.
They should be serviced at least twice per year—more often if used regularly or if they are particularly prone to breakage. It’s crucial to inspect these fittings for leaks or wear and tear frequently and to take care of any problems as soon as they arise.
How To Detect Water Leaks in Your Home
Water leaks are more than just a hassle. We’ll show you how to determine if you have a water leak in your home. If you notice any signs of water damage, it’s crucial to act quickly to avoid a bigger problem down the road.
Install Smart Leak Detectors
Smart leak detectors are devices that can detect water leaks in your home. These water leak detectors can be positioned close to suspected leak sources, like pipes, water heaters, and other appliances. Smart leak detectors can identify water leaks by monitoring flow, temperature, or moisture content changes.
Smart leak detectors can be integrated with other smart home devices, such as a smart water shut-off valve and a connected storage tank. They automatically shut off the water supply in case of a leak and send notifications about it directly to your phone or smartwatch device when you’re away from home.
Insulate Pipes To Prevent Freezing Leaks
Insulating pipes can prevent freezing leaks if you live in a colder climate. Pipes can burst and leak when the water inside them expands when it freezes. By keeping pipes warm and preventing them from freezing, insulation can keep them from breaking and leaking.
Insulation sleeves or wrapping, readily available at most home improvement stores, can insulate pipes. You can perform this on your own or with a plumber’s assistance.
Regularly Inspect Your Roof
A routine roof inspection can assist in finding any cracks or leaks before they seriously harm the roof. Any cracked or leaking roof can be found with a routine inspection for missing or damaged shingles. A thorough inspection can also reveal any places vulnerable to leaks because of deterioration, such as the vicinity of vents, skylights, and chimneys.
Fixing any leaks as soon as you find them, such as water spots on the ceiling or missing shingles, is critical to stop future damage. A roof check can be done by a professional or by you on your own, but most homeowners prefer hiring a contractor who understands when it’s time for repairs versus waiting until it becomes an emergency.
Drain and Store Outdoor Hoses
If you have an outdoor hose, it’s essential to drain and store it properly. Drain the hose and let the water run out entirely before storing it. It is crucial to check for wear or damage indications, such as cracks, kinks, or leaks. If you detect anything unusual with your hose’s appearance or performance after draining it for storage purposes, replace it as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
If you have enough space in your home garage or shed, try storing your outside hose there instead of just laying them across other surfaces around your property, like lawns where sunlight can quickly become damaged.
Use Smart Water Shut-off Valves
Smart water shut-off valves are a simple way to detect water leaks. These devices can automatically shut off the water supply in case of a leak, which can help prevent significant damage. They are also controlled remotely through an app, allowing you to turn off the water supply from anywhere.
Smart shut-off valves are easy to install and can be used on any water line, making them an ideal choice for DIYers or homeowners with limited knowledge of plumbing systems.
Inspect Washing Machine Hoses
Inspecting hoses for washing machines is an essential step in detecting leaks in your home. Hoses can deteriorate or wear out over time, which can cause leaks and even severe damage to your washing machine. The hoses should be inspected frequently for wear or damage indications, such as leaks, cracks, or kinks.
You can check the hoses by physically scrutinizing them or by feeling for soft patches or bulges with your hands. The connections between the hoses and the washing machine should also be examined to ensure they are tight and reliable. Hoses for washing machines should be replaced every five years or sooner if wear is evident.
Keep an Eye on Your Toilet for Leaks
Leaks can occur in your toilet for several causes, including a worn-out flapper or a broken fill valve. You can test for leaks by putting a drop of food colouring in the tank and waiting to see whether it shows up in the bowl without flushing to check leaks.
Another option is to listen for sounds of flowing water or check your meter to see if it moves when no water is being used. Regularly checking your toilet for leaks will help you find and stop them before they cause severe damage and help save money on water costs.
Dangers of Mould Growth From Water Leaks
Mould has rapid growth potential, particularly in warm, humid climates. Numerous health difficulties, including allergic reactions, respiratory problems, and headaches, can be brought on by mould. In addition to these issues, mould can harm your property by discolouring it and decreasing its structural integrity. Not only is this unsightly, but it also means that you need more protection from the elements when you have a leaky roof or cracked foundation!
Mould is challenging to get rid of and could require expert assistance if done incorrectly; regular home maintenance and inspections may prevent mould growth in your house before repairs are needed. Mould can grow in any area of your home, including the basement or attic.
In most cases, it is caused by water damage or excessive moisture in the air, such as from a leaky roof or a clogged gutter. If you have seen signs of mould in your home, it is vital to address them immediately before they spread and create more severe problems for you and your family.
Importance of Regular Inspection and Maintenance
Water leaks are a major cause of property damage and lost income. They can also cause significant health issues if they go undetected for too long. With careful inspection and regular maintenance, however, you can help prevent these problems from occurring in your home.
You can help prevent the damage and health problems associated with water leaks by performing a monthly visual inspection of your home. If you notice any signs of damage, such as missing shingles, worn-out pipes, or broken plumbing fixtures, it is recommended to call a professional immediately.