American families rely on indoor plumbing on a near-constant basis. That’s very clear from the 140 to 170 gallons of water the average U.S. resident uses on a daily basis. But when you’ve got plumbing issues, you may end up using even more than that — and your home won’t be able to function the way it should. You might assume that identifying a leak in your water pipes would be easy, but the truth is that these leaks can be pretty sneaky. You may have to look for more subtle signs — like the ones we’ve outlined below.
- Mold or Mildew: Mold thrives in damp environments, which means it’s a common sight in many bathrooms and basements. But when mold shows up elsewhere, it’s because there’s another source of water for it to grow. In many cases, that can be attributed to a leak. Mildew will also grow in similar conditions and you can often recognize its presence by its characteristically musty smell. If you notice either, you’ll want to contact a plumber to identify the source of the leak and fix the problem before your family’s health is affected.
- Stained or Bubbling Ceilings and Walls: Have you ever noticed a dark stain on the ceiling of your living room? What about bubbling paint on the walls of your bedroom? It might not seem like much, but it’s bound to grow over time. Usually, this will indicate the presence of water — and it’s not good. Essentially, it means that the water is starting to saturate what’s behind the wall or ceiling, which can leave your home susceptible to damage. You’ll need to get a better idea of what’s causing that damage and take steps to rectify the situation to ensure the value of your home and the safety of your family.
- Pest Problems: Many homeowners have pest problems. While dealing with the occasional mouse or bug doesn’t mean your home has a leak, it’s important to note that leaks can actually support pest infestations. When pests are able to enter a home and find a leaking pipe, they’ll typically move in — especially when the leak is so substantial that it rots the wood in your home. If you already suspect you might have a leak in one of your pipes and you’re seeing evidence of pest activity, you’ll want to take care of the problem as soon as possible to restore order to your property and keep unwelcome guests out.
- Strange Sounds: Sometimes, you’ll actually be able to hear evidence of a leak. Even if you can’t see where it’s coming from, you may observe the sound of running water originating from somewhere. After a while, you might be used to the sound — but if others point it out to you, it’s probably time to take action. If the running water cannot be linked to using the shower or flushing a toilet, you’ll want to contact an expert to investigate the source and stop the leak.
- Foundation Issues: If a leak goes unaddressed for long enough, it can actually impact the foundation of your home. A sudden crack in your foundation could be attributed to a leaking pipe. And that, in turn, can cause your foundation to sink and result in major home damage. Since foundation issues can be difficult and expensive to deal with, you shouldn’t put it off. To protect the value of your home, you’ll want to have a professional assess the problem sooner rather than later.
- Sky-High Bills: Utility bills can be a drag as is, but if you have leaky plumbing, your expenditures will be even higher. Should you receive an extraordinarily high bill without an increase in water use or your bills have increased steadily over the past year with no obvious cause, call a plumber to get to the bottom of your financial concerns.
If you’ve identified any of the aforementioned signs in your own home, you’re a good candidate for water pipe repair. Fortunately, we’re here to help. To learn more about all the plumbing services we offer or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.