Hundreds of feet of pipe circulate water throughout your home. It is inevitable that, in time, something in your plumbing system will fail. It may be a pipe that cracks from the cold, a joint that weakens, an appliance hose that bursts, or an overflowing toilet or tub. No matter the cause, water damage can cause significant, expensive damage to any home or building.
The aftermath of a severe plumbing problem isn’t pretty or cheap to repair. Small things like drips, leaks, or even clogs can start off small but grow to become large sources of water damage. Leaks can occur in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms—basically anywhere your water lines run. It may be difficult to detect a problem when a leak is hidden in a wall or ceiling.
You may not even notice a slow leak for months or even years. Even if you can’t see the leak, the water is slowly causing damage that you will have to deal with sooner or later.
It’s better to be on top of potential plumbing problems. By the time a long-term water problem is noticed, the damage is often extensive. Inspect areas around windows and appliances for signs of water or moisture. Regularly check under your sinks, around your water heater, and throughout your basement. In the living areas, a damp carpet, water stains, or mildew smells may indicate a problem.
Even a small drip can lead to significant damage over time. The moisture will eventually weaken the walls and floors, making them more likely to rot, mold, and decay. Pests like rodents and insects can be drawn to the damp environment, which can cause more damage to your property. If it’s not fixed right away, even a small amount of water can lead to expensive problems. Not to mention the health risks that come with mold and mildew growth.
Water can leak in several places in a home, including:
- Hot water heater: A faulty valve or a rusted tank can cause a hot water heater to leak around the base.
- Furnaces: Leaks can occur water lines or heat exchangers. Water around your furnace is a sure sign of a water leak.
- Pipes: Pipes can leak at joints, connections, or from damage caused by corrosion, freezing, or other factors. Look for water stains on ceilings, walls, or floors.
- Plumbing fixtures: Leaks can also occur in fixtures such as faucets, toilets, and showerheads. Dripping sounds or water stains around these fixtures can indicate a leak.
Fixing your plumbing after you experience water damage is not enough. Affected areas may need to be dried, cleaned, and deodorized to get rid of smells and prevent future mold growth. If there is any structural damage, that will also require repair.
If you discover drips, dampness, or water appearing where it is not supposed to be, don’t wait! Fix the problem yourself if you can, or call a professional plumber.
Your homeowners’ insurance may even cover repairs, depending on the cause and nature of the issue.