How To Locate A Water Leak In Your House

Posted on: 9 February 2015

The only thing worse than having a leak in your house is not knowing where the leak is coming from, especially when it doesn't seem like the water is showing up in a place where a leak could exist. But sometimes finding a leak can be easier than you might first expect. Once you find the leak, it's only a matter of stopping the leak and then taking care of any damages as necessary, such as mold remediation and removal. Use these tips to find and remedy any leaks you face.

House Leaks vs Plumbing Leak

Not all leaks necessarily come from plumbing problems. There could be a leak in your roof or walls that is bringing water in from the outside. There are a few ways to test this. First, try to see if you can pinpoint whether you only notice water during rain and storms. Second, turn off your house water from the outside valve to see if the leak stops. If the leak is there persistently when the house water is on or only appears when you use appliances, sinks or showers, it's likely a plumbing problem. If not, you'll need to start checking the roof.

To check your roof, go into your attic and make sure all the lights are off. Look for any patches of light coming through the roof; if there are any there, look for any evidence of water damage around the area. If roof damage is the source of the leak, contact a roofing contractor or try a DIY fix. 

Narrow Down Leak Location

It isn't always easy to tell where a leak is coming from because water follows gravity and the leak can appear far from the source. However, there are often signs you can follow to figure it out. Search for any stains in the wall. If you have drywall, it may be slightly darker or stained near the floor. Likewise, if you have wooden floors, the wood may be warped and buckling.

Many plumbing leaks come from bathrooms due to draining issues or overflowing. Check behind your toilet to see if any of the tubes have moisture around the connections. Check the dry wall nearby for sagging and dampness. Also check around the base of the tub to see if there is any moisture. If your overflow drain isn't fastened tightly, water could be flowing under the tub and under the floors and into the walls nearby. If the tub is on a second floor, the water could cause stains and dripping in the ceiling.

Check Gutters and Downspouts

If your gutters are clogged with debris, the water could back up and get under your roof's flashing, which then drips down into your house. Make sure your gutters run clean and don't drip where they aren't supposed to.

Taking Care of Damage

When you have fixed or located your leak, you need to consider possible damages. Damaged floors, walls and ceilings are one thing, but you should also call for a mold remediation service to examine your house for mold, which can have negative effects on your health and cause foul odors. Mold is much more likely if the leak has been happening for a long time and the moisture was steady. If there is any mold in your house, have it removed as soon as possible with a mold remediation service like MoldStoppers.

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