Knowing the signs of a water leak and taking the steps to eliminate the problem…
We've talked about the signs of a water leak in your Raleigh home from common sources like roof leaks and pipe breaks. Most water leaks come from pretty obvious sources - a broken seal around your dishwasher or a drip around your kitchen sink pipe. However, some leaks are not so apparent, and you may only find out there's a problem when you're facing an astronomically high water bill or a flood in your yard when it hasn't rained in days. To help you prevent these expensive catastrophes, our crawl space and basement waterproofing team are sharing how to track down water leaks and their surprising causes.
Surprising Causes of Indoor Water Leaks
If you notice a damp, musty smell in your home, see mold spots or soft areas that may have rotted, most likely the leak is coming from inside the house. Check these following locations for hidden water leaks:
Over time, the water tank may begin to rust and corrode, leading to a slow water leak. Check for a puddle under your water heater's tank or remove the drain pipe and see if you hear a soft hissing noise.
Prevention tip: Inspect your water heater once a month for any signs of corrosion, check the anode rod and flush any sediment from inside the tank.
Dishwasher water lines run behind the appliance, so leaks can go unnoticed for weeks or longer causing mold growth and rotted flooring. If you think you may have a water leak, pull out the appliance to see if there is moisture behind or under the dishwasher.
Prevention tip: Check the lines once a month and look for wear and tear where they are visible.
Nearly all the pipes for your shower are hidden behind the wall, and a tiled surface may hide any signs of moisture like damp or soft drywall. If you see raised tiles or notice low water pressure, this may be a sign you have a water leak in your walls.
Prevention tip: Keep the water pressure in your shower low. While high pressure feels nice, it can put too much strain on the pipes causing leaks and bursts.
Unexpected Causes of Outdoor Water Leaks
Often, water leaks that go unnoticed for longer periods of time happen outside the home. These may be harder to diagnose and expensive to fix, especially if they happen near the home where damage to your foundation can occur. Outdoor leaks may be caused by:
If you have a water hose connected and sitting out in the hot Raleigh sun, the heat can cause the air and water in the hose to expand. As it expands in the hose, weak spots will form, leading to leaks. Additionally, when the temperature is below freezing, water can freeze in the pipes causing a pipe going outside to burst.
Prevention tip: Make sure you disconnect water hoses from exterior faucets and shut off water completely unless it's well below freezing, when you'll want to leave small trickle flowing to prevent the pipes from freezing.
If you have trees in your yard, especially older ones, the roots can break through your water lines. If you notice wet areas or sunken areas in your yard or you notice a sudden drop in your water pressure, it may be due to tree root intrusion. Tree roots can also grow into your sewer lines.
Prevention tip: You can use a tree root killer in your toilets to prevent them from breaking your sewer pipes. The problem is much more prevalent during drought conditions as roots will "travel" in search of water. If you are concerned about them growing into your other pipes, contact a plumber for a maintenance check.
HVAC Drainage Pipes
If you have central air conditioning, the pans that collect condensation will overflow if the drain line gets clogged by mold, algae, or mildew. Look for moisture on the drywall, excessive draining, or damage to the exterior of your home around the drain pipe.
Prevention Tip: Run one-fourth of a cup of vinegar into your ACs drain line to kill any bacteria from growing and preventing a clog from forming.
Contact CBT of NC for Basement and Crawlspace Waterproofing in Raleigh
If you experience a leak or a flood in your home, we're here to help. At Crawl Space & Basement Technologies, we offer mold removal services, vapor barrier installation, as well as provide basement and crawl space waterproofing so if there ever is another leak, the structure of your home will stay safe and secure. Call us or complete our online contact form to learn more about our services!