Water leaks are one of the homeowners’ most-feared problems. The damage which can arise from water-related problems can be widespread and very costly to repair. Even when a leak does not pose an immediate danger to the structures of a home, it can escalate water usage and drive up the water bill. To make matters worse, water leaks are not the easiest of problems to spot; they can go on for long periods without being detected. You could possibly receive a letter from the water district as well if the problem is not resolved.

In order to keep a house properly protected against water damage, it is important to know the signs of water leaks in a home and the likely causes of the leaks, says Onsite Property Services. This is because the best way to deal with a water problem is to prevent it. The next best method is early leak detection. If the problem is discovered before it has a chance to advance and cause serious harm, the property, and the owner’s wallet will be better off for it.

Detecting a water leak

1.    High water bills

In most homes, there is a pattern of water usage that changes with the seasons of the year. If there is a surge in the quantity of water used, there may be a leak in the home. The easiest way to check for a leak is to turn off all the water in the home and watch the water meter. If there is movement on the flow indicator, there is a leak.

2.    The presence of mold

Where there is a leak there will often be mold; leaks create the right conditions for mold. One sign of the presence of mold is when people in the home suffer persistent respiratory issues, allergies, and asthma attacks. If the symptoms improve when they go outside, mold may be the cause. A musty odor hanging in the air is another sign.

3.    Moisture damage

Moisture damage is one of the most overlooked signs that a home might have water leaks. This problem commonly occurs in hidden areas like under sinks and inside closets. Signs of moisture damage include warped wood, damp wallboards/cabinet backings, and bubbling wall paint.


Likely causes of water leaks

Discovering the evidence of a leak is only half of the process. The second part is finding the source. Because water travels, the evidence of a leak can occur far away from the source of the leak. But knowing the likely locations and causes of the leak can help. What are the most common causes and locations of leaks?


1.    Broken seals

Since seals are found in many parts of the plumbing systems and inside appliances. Seals break because of age, wrong installation, or high water pressure.


2.    Corrosion

Corrosion is another common reason why water pipes leak. It can be caused by age, bacteria, destabilizing movements, and the presence of corrosive materials in the water.


3.    Clogged lines

A clog often reveals itself as a leak, such as, when it happens in a drain line or the HVAC system.


4.    Damaged pipe joints

The weakest point in the water pipe is the joint and leaks often occur there. Excessive water pressure and movements can lead pipe-joints to deteriorate faster.


5.    Loose water connectors

Water connectors connect the water supply to the appliances in the home. These often come loose as the appliances are shifted or due to vibrations during use.


6.    Washing machine

Washing machines use a lot of water and are likely to leak, due to hot water causing pipes to expand and open.

7.    Toilets

The main point of leaks in the toilets is the toilet tank. This can be due to a malfunctioned pump or it can come from the water supply to the tank.

8.    Refrigerators/dishwasher

Refrigerators with automatic ice maker or water dispenser functions are very prone to leak. Dishwasher supply lines are also very susceptible to leaks.

9.    Air conditioners

A/Cs produce water as a normal part of their function, but if the A/C is dripping water on the wall or the condensate pans of central A/Cs is overflowing, that could be a problem.

10. Sinks and showers

Sinks and showers are a major cause of leaks but these leaks are often hard to find because they are often hidden behind the sink or buried inside the walls.

11. Water heaters

Common issues that cause a water heater to leak are age, rust, corrosion, broken pipes, and build-up of sediments inside the tank.

12. High water pressure

Pipes, pipe joints, and appliances are designed to withstand a certain amount of water pressure. When that limit is exceeded, they may rupture.

13. Other places

Leaks are more likely to occur inside the home than outside it. But if the source of the leak cannot be found indoors, outside areas that are likely to leak include:

  • Downspouts
  • Gutters
  • Roofs
  • Sewer pumps
  • And underground pipes which have been ruptured by intruding tree roots

If all these have been checked and no leak has been detected, then it may be time to call in the plumbing experts.