Checking for leaks in your home is a great way to protect your property and health. Leaks are a common cause of water damage and can also contribute to mold growth.
You can use a few simple techniques to find leaks in your home before they turn into big problems. By detecting them early, you can avoid significant repairs and save thousands of dollars.
Check Your Water Meter
A water meter is a great tool for finding leaks in your home. It tracks how much water your house uses and charges you for that amount on your utility bill.
The meter can be found in your meter box which is generally near the street or curb in front of your house. It usually has a metal lid that is covered with a round meter dial.
Most residential meters have a leak detector dial that is sensitive to water flowing through the meter. This can detect leaks in your plumbing system and appliances that use water like the toilet, shower, dishwasher, evaporative cooler and irrigation systems.
If you see that the leak detector is moving, you have a leak. Turn off all taps inside and outside your house and wait for a few minutes.
Look for Water Stains
Water stains in the home can be a warning sign of a larger issue. They can indicate a leaky roof, plumbing or heating system.
They can also indicate mold growth or rotted wood. Check the corners where the wall meets the floor or ceiling for any discoloration or rotten wood.
If you see yellow or brown water stains, it may be the result of a slow water leak. These stains usually show up on walls, carpeting and inside cabinets.
Another possible cause of water stains is hard water. It has high levels of dissolved calcium and magnesium that can leave a cloudy or foggy stain on dishes, glass shower doors and faucets.
Look for Cracks in the Concrete
Whether you’re a homeowner, renter, or property manager, noticing cracks in the concrete is an important part of any home inspection. They can be a sign of deeper issues and costly repairs.
In the case of concrete, cracks are a result of stresses in the concrete that exceed its strength. They can be caused by tensile, compressive or shear forces, or by normal shrinkage, thermal movement or hydraulic shrinkage.
They can also be caused by a lack of control joints or improperly placed ones. Fortunately, concrete is usually quite strong.
The best way to find out if you have cracks is to see if they appear during the curing process, which normally takes about a month. Once they do, you’ll be able to see if they are large enough to cause any problems.
Generally, hairline cracks that are 1/8 of an inch or smaller in size are considered safe and can be easily filled. If they are larger than this, however, they should be checked by a professional.
Look for Discoloration in the Walls or Ceilings
Discoloration in the walls or ceilings is often a sign of water damage. Look for sections of wallpaper, drywall or even wood that have become slightly washed out or have a lighter color than the rest of the wall.
Eventually, this will become more obvious as the water seeps deeper into the wall. You might also notice a bubble-like texture or rips in the paint or wallpaper.
These stains are caused by excess moisture that dries and forms a residue of minerals. They are typically created by a leak from your roof, heating appliance or plumbing system.If you need to, you can hire a professional plumber in Canberra to help you out. Leaks can cause a lot of damage to your home, but identifying them early will save you on time and money.