Pipe leaks in walls may sound like “no big deal,” but we assure you, you don’t want to ignore this common plumbing problem. Unfortunately, homeowners don’t usually become aware of water leaks until they’ve been leaking, causing damage to building materials and flooring, and growing mold for a long time.
Often, the water leak will start out small but as it continues to drip 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the damage escalates. The drywall will only get a little wet at first, but as time goes by, it will slowly become saturated. The wallpaper and paint may start to peel and before you know it, you have to replace a large section of your wall – all because of a pin-sized pipe leak that you weren’t aware of.
Look at Your Water Bill
Has your water bill gone up lately for no apparent reason? Well, a higher water bill could be an indicator that you have a water leak somewhere behind one of your walls. But aside from the higher utility bills, perhaps a bigger concern is mold growth, which can cause nose, eye, throat, and lung irritation, especially in young children, seniors, and people with weakened immune systems.
If part of your home smells musty, you should be concerned that there is mold growing in your home, even if it’s under the carpet or behind a wall where you can’t see it. That said, how do you find a water leak?
One simple way is to check your water meter. Next, wait two hours, but make sure that no one runs the water or flushes any toilets in your home. Check the meter again and if the water meter moves in that timeframe, then you probably have a water leak somewhere in the house.
Dealing with a Water Leak in the Wall
Not all water leaks in walls are obvious to the naked eye. And even if you do know where the leak is, it’s not a DIY project. You’ll need a professional plumber to come in and repair the leak and then a general contractor may need to repair the drywall.
If there is mold, it’s absolutely critical that it’s completely removed before the new drywall is put up. Even if a tiny piece of mold is left behind, it can grow and spread until you have a serious mold problem, which can lead to adverse health effects.
At Winters® Home Services, our Boston plumbers are skilled at leak detection and can fully assist you if you suspect you have a water leak behind a wall. Contact us today for all of your plumbing needs.