Are there Leaks in your Home?
Leaks are one of the least detected damages that can happen to your home. Left untouched, they can rack up quite the price tag in repairs and wasted water. It often takes months or even years for leaks to cause visual damage, but by that point it's too late to take preventative measures. Leaks can weaken structures, waste water, dissolve building materials, create dangerous compounds and foster mold growth. Here is a list of common residential leaks you should check for in your home.
Crawl Space and Attic Concerns
Sections of your home, such as crawl spaces and attics, are more prone to water damage. Crawl spaces are what builders add under homes to let them put in electrical wires and pipe. A damp, dark crawl space lets mold flourish, causing damage to the structure. Moisture that drips through the concrete foundation of your home will cause leaks in the basement. Leakage of air into the section between the home and the attic can make moisture on the under part of your roof, leading to rotting and mold. Periodically check your home for any of these problems or you may just find it raining indoors during the next storm.
Household Appliances that are Malfunctioning
As they get older, the pipes of household appliances can crack and rust, and their hoses weaken. Washing machines, refrigerators and dishwashers are all susceptible to this deterioration, so keep an eye on your machines when they are older. Washing Machines are the most common culprits for water leakage. Refrigerators are known for causing hidden mold from their exhaust.
Pipe leaks, in cabinets, behind walls, or anywhere else, are one of the most common sources of water damage Pipes are often deliberately placed out of view of occupants, so when one develops a leak, it can be a very long time before anyone notices. These leaks often occur close to normally dry wood and fabric and once these are consistently soaked by leaking water, they can lose structural integrity or even develop patches of mold growth. In extreme cases, residents sometimes only learn of these leaks when part of their ceiling crashes down into the living room.
Sink and Toilet Leaks
These leaks are often much more violent and much more noticeable than a pipe leak because they are usually caused by a resident in some way. As such, they have less potential for long-term water damage, but can be a big problem and cause a bigger mess. Be sure to look at the piping for signs of rusting underneath the sink and toilet from time to time.
Water Tanks and Heaters
When water heaters or tanks leak, the damage is fortunately usually contained mostly to the container itself rather than immediate surroundings. However, large volumes of water are contained in them regardless and if the entire contents leak out in an area they may cause severe damage to surrounding objects and materials. Remember, your water heater does require annual maintenance. Drain your water tank once a year to clean out the gunk and greatly prolong its lifespan.