Water leaks are sneaky little problems; but left unnoticed, the results can be monstrous. Mold, structural damage, and electrical risks are just a few problems you might encounter from water leaks not tended to swiftly – and repairs could be quite costly.
While skyrocketing water bills, musty odors, and changes in water flow are fairly obvious warning signs of a water leak, it can still be hard to know how to track down a trouble spot, since so much of the plumbing in your home is hidden. Here are some of the most common causes of water leaks, so you can keep a closer watch and protect your residence:
1. Clogged Drains
At their best, clogged drains are annoying and inconvenient. At their worst, they can end up causing an overflow and burst pipes. Avoid putting materials down your drains that could clog them, and don’t neglect your gutters!
2. Weak Pipe Joints
The points where your pipes connect are particularly weak and prone to damage. In time, deterioration can lead to leaks. Listen for excessive noise coming from your pipes – like ticking or banging – especially when you use the hot water. These are good indicators these joints may need replacement.
3. Extreme Temperature Fluctuations
Rapid changes from cold to hot or vice versa can mean that your pipes are expanding or contracting faster and more aggressively than they’re meant to. This can cause pipes to crack, particularly when the change is from hot to cold. Once you notice this drastic change in temperature, getting the problem solved immediately is of the utmost importance.
4. Overly High Water Pressure
Excessive or improperly balanced pressure can stress your pipes out. Pipes are built to withstand a certain amount of pressure; too much could be bad news causing unwanted damage.
5. Broken Water Connectors
Hoses are what supply water to your appliances, and sometimes they can come loose. For instance, think of your washing machine, which shifts and rocks when it’s running. This is enough movement to spring a leak in the water connector. In this case, you’ll see water coming out of the line or collecting on the floor around the machine.
As pipes age, corrosion (like rust) can pick away at them. Look for pipes turning strange colors or warped in some way. They might need to be replaced.
7. Your Yard
Believe it or not, tree roots right outside your home could be causing a leak, if they interfere with water lines. Keep an eye out for wet spots or holes in your yard, as well as noticeable drops in water pressure.