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How to Know If Your Home Has a Hidden Leak

July 17, 2019

While some plumbing leaks cause an immediate mess that’s hard to miss, others can go undetected for quite a while. A hidden leak can increase your water bill and cause a lot of costly damage before it finally makes itself known. That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs of a hidden leak in your home early on.

Here are five of the top indicators that your home has a hidden leak.

1. Water Meter Reveals Inexplicable Water Usage

If you’d like to test whether or not there’s a leak somewhere in your home, you can do this using your water meter. Here is how to conduct the test:

  1. Don’t use any water in your home for at least 30 minutes; this also means not turning on faucets or water-using appliances.

  2. Go outside, and check your water meter for activity.

  3. If your water meter shows that there was activity, even though no one was using any water, this proves that there is a leak in your home.

2. Visible Mold or Mildew Growth

Leaks behind walls create moist, dark environments that allow mold and mildew to grow and thrive. Eventually, you might see mold growth forming on the wall closest to a hidden leak.

If mold is growing in an area that receives a high amount of moisture, such as a bathroom, it may simply be an indication that better ventilation is needed. However, if you see mold growth on a wall or the ceiling in an area where you would not expect, you probably have a hidden leak.

3. Musty, Mildew Odor

Sometimes you might not be able to see the mold or mildew that is growing as a result of a leak. However, the smell can give the problem away just as easily. If you catch a whiff of something musty, there’s a good chance that old water is collecting somewhere in your home that you can’t see.

4. Stained/Warped Walls, Ceilings, or Floors

When your home soaks up water, a variety of red flags can become visible, including ceiling stains, bubbling drywall, warped walls, and sagging floors. While these issues can be caused by excess humidity, they can also be signs that a pipe or plumbing connection has started leaking behind your walls.

5. Inexplicably High Water Bill

After a while, you get a general sense for what your water bill should be. If you own a pool or sprinkler system, your bill will tend to be higher during summer. However, if you receive a water bill that seems especially high, and you can’t figure out what caused it, then you may have a hidden leak somewhere that’s increasing your bill.

Non-Invasive Leak Detection

If you notice one or more signs of a hidden leak, it’s important to enlist the help of a professional plumber quickly in order to prevent extensive water damage to your home. At The Plumbing Joint, we provide non-invasive leak detection services in King County as well as Pierce and Snohomish Counties.

What Makes Our Leak Detection Services Non-Invasive?

Our state-of-the-art locator equipment allows us to find the source of a leak without having to damage your walls unnecessarily. This technology is so advanced that it’s even able to detect leaks that have formed under concrete or asphalt.

  • First, we pump air or helium into your pipes in order to isolate the leak.

  • Afterward, our listening devices pinpoint the source of the leak by picking up on the sound of the air leaking out of your pipes.

  • From there, we are able to address the source of the leak directly with minimal digging or cutting.

If you are in need of leak detection services, contact The Plumbing Joint to be taken care of by our licensed, bonded, and insured plumbers.