Are you interested in learning more about water leak detection for your home? Being knowledgeable about water leak detection is a smart move for any home owner. Water leak detection can save you a huge some of money, as well as a hassle, and potentially losing valuable possessions to water damage. If you have an undetected leak in your home, you might not realize it until you get a water bill for thousands of dollars. Not to mention, having water flowing into the cracks and crevices of your home can cause interior water damage to the structure of your home, mold and mildew growth that can be hazardous to your health, and cost you huge dollar signs for water leak repair and mold cleanup, and damage you possessions. In fact, home water damage is the most common home insurance claim that homeowner’s insurance adjusters process.
Being on top of water leak detection is an important skill to have to prevent this nightmare. If you are a new homeowner and don’t know quite how to go about this, please check out our quick how-to guide, below.
Everything Homeowners Should Know About Water Leak Detection
The first step in preventing significant damage due to a water leak is to know what to look for when checking for water leaks. A few signs that you might have a water leak include:
- You hear water running in your home, when no faucets or toilets are being used.
- You see discoloration in the walls, floors, or ceilings, that could indicate water damage. This might also look like a somewhat soggy or spongy spot in the walls, floors, or ceilings. If you see water dripping of condensation forming in areas where you haven’t spilled water, it’s a good sign of a leak.
- You smell a musty odor, the way a wet towel smells if it sits in a pile on the floor for too long. The same bacteria that causes your sour towel to smell could be festering inside the walls of your home if water is pooling up.
- A crack in the foundation of your home (especially if you concrete floors) or distinct change in temperature in specific spots on the floor (indicating a leak underneath).
- Your water bill escalates, without any increased water use on your part.
How to check for water leaks
If you have a leak anywhere in the pipes that delivers water to your toilets and faucets, you will be able to identify it by checking your water meter. If you do not know where your water meter is, you can quickly identify this by reaching out to your water company. Now follow these simple steps to check for a leak:
- Once you’ve found the meter, make sure that anything that uses water in your home is shut off: the faucets, toilets, the ice maker, and so on. Shut it all off.
- Next, make note of what the meter reading has your usage listed at.
- Continue with not using any water in your home for at least one hour (if you have to go run an errand or something, this is even better. Waiting even longer than an hour will ensure that even a tiny leak will be detected).
- When you take a look at your water meter again, you want to see the exact same reading on the meter that you had prior to conducting this little test. If the meter has changed even a little bit, well my friend, this is a sign that you have a leak.
Locating a leak once you know you have one..
Now that you know you have a water leak, it’s time to narrow it down to an exterior or interior leak:
- Shut the main water valve to your home off. If you have a basement or garage, you might find it there. Otherwise, check out the spouts outside for a red lever that you can twist 90 degrees.
- Perform the leak test with the meter we outlined above. If the meter moves after an hour, the leak is in the exterior pipes that lead to your home. If the meter does not move at all while the main valve is shut off, the leak is indoors.
- If this information does not lead you to the pipe in need of repair, you should call a plumber.