Water leaks inside walls are among the most insidious threats to your home or business. You can’t see or hear them directly, but they can cause many thousands of dollars in damages if left untreated. But how do water leaks inside walls happen? How do you perform commercial leak detection? What do you do if you have a leak? Let Certified Plumbing of Brevard guide you on leaks and what to do about them.
What Causes Water Leaks?
- Outdated Plumbing. One of the most common causes of commercial leaks is old, outdated plumbing. Pipes and fittings that are decades old can begin to rust, especially if they’re made of metal. For example, if you have polybutylene piping, these pipes can react to chlorine and similar oxidants to cause cracking. This corrosion can cause small holes or cracks, allowing water to seep through.
- Poor Installation. Another common cause of leaks is poor installation. If pipes are not installed correctly, it can cause them to rub against each other, eventually wearing holes in the pipes. This problem is why hiring a certified, professional plumber for your commercial plumbing needs is essential.
- Poor Or Damaged Construction. Leaks can also be caused by rainwater draining through the roof and from water seeping in through a cracked building foundation. Clogged downspouts or gutters can overflow and causes leaks in roofs. Poor or old plumbing, construction, or shifting soil can cause cracks in a building’s foundation.
How To Find A Water Leak
The first step in commercial leak detection is to check all visible plumbing for any signs of leaks. This step includes checking under all sinks, toilets, and near water heaters. Look for any signs of moisture or mildew. If you see any suspicious areas, it’s time to call a professional commercial leak detection company.
Common signs of a water leak include:
- Wet spots. Water that leaks from concrete or stone will pool on the surface it is leaking from. If any of your walls appear to be “sweating,” this is probably a sign of a leak. This sign can be more evident on wood or tile floors than on carpet. The most likely areas are near major water-using appliances and fixtures like washing machines, dishwashers, sinks, toilets, and showers.
- Mold or mildew. Budding patches of mold or mildew look like tiny brown or black spots. It tends to grow in corners and on walls. Mold is more likely in moist rooms like laundry rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens, so if it starts appearing in dryer areas of the house, that may indicate the presence of a leak. Mold breeds quickly in dark, damp areas, so its presence is a reliable indicator of a leak. If you have allergy-like symptoms (runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, etc.), mold is growing unseen inside your building’s walls due to a leak.
- Peeling or bubbled paint. If the paint on a wall is peeling or has a bubbled look, it probably means that the wall leaks. Many buildings use water-based paint, which causes this peeling and bubbling when exposed to water. Drywall that has absorbed water will seem to sag, while walls with advanced leaks will appear to bulge outwards.
- A warped or stained wall or ceiling. Discolored sections of a wall are likely indicators of a leak. They will probably be irregular and have a washed-out or light color. Sheetrock, in particular, develops bends and curves if there is a leak. Wet walls that bend like this are buckling and could collapse.
- A musty smell. A musty smell from a water leak can be intense and may be your first warning sign of a leak. This scent tends to smell like wet cardboard. This smell will usually accompany discoloration and stains on the wall. However, some walls, like thick drywall, absorb water more effectively and may not show any signs of a leak.
- Dripping noises. A shower or faucet that is dripping while turned off may be an early sign of a leak. After you flush a toilet or turn off a sink or shower, take a few seconds to listen. If you hear dripping, it likely means a nearby wall leaks it. Plastic PVC pipes have louder drips than old metal pipes.
- An unusually high water bill. A leak will increase your water bill. If you haven’t increased your water consumption, but your bill is still high, this may indicate an undetected leak. For reference, the EPA estimates that the average family of four uses about 300 gallons of water per day (about 80 for a single individual), so pay attention to water use beyond that.
- Hot or warm spots. If hot water is leaking, you may be able to feel it beneath the surface of a floor or wall. Certain tiles or patches of a wall might always feel warm or hot due to such a leak.
- Damp window sills. If your window sills and frames are damp, this may be due to a water leak. Water will leak downwards from the wall, collecting on frame edges and sill surfaces.
What Do I Do About Leaks in My Walls?
Plumbing leaking inside a wall is not something an untrained person can deal with safely. For leaks like this, you need a plumbing company that is certified in commercial leak detection and repair. That’s why you need to hire the professionals at Certified Plumbing of Brevard. We are a fully licensed and insured company with decades of trust and experience built up over years of expert work. Don’t let your leak go on longer than you have to -call Certified Plumbing of Brevard today!