Some water leaks are pretty obvious such as wet spots on the floor or visible signs of water dripping from the ceiling. However, some leaks can go undetected until a plumbing emergency occurs. A leaking pipe behind a wall can cause a range of problems from damp areas that create a pungent and harmful odour to structural damage that will require extensive repairs and cost thousands of dollars. Early detection is critical to identify any hidden water leaks before they can cause costly damage. So how do you know if there is a water leak inside the walls of your home?
4 Signs that Indicate a Hidden Leak Behind a Wall
1. Mould or Mildew
Wet spots between walls caused by a slow water leak are an ideal environment for mould to start growing. Once established, mould grows rapidly and can cause extensive damage to the internal walls and even the studs of your home. Apart from structural damage, mould can also have a negative effect on the health of people and pets. Black mould in particular is extremely toxic and can cause dangerous respiratory problems.
If you spot large black or white patches of mould appearing it is usually a strong indication that there is a water leak behind the wall.
When an area inside a wall is constantly exposed to moisture there will be a noticeably rust coloured stain. Inspect the edges and corners of the walls as moisture is most likely to accumulate and puddle in these areas.
3. Peeling Paint or Wallpaper
Excess moisture behind a wall will cause the paintwork to start flaking or wallpaper to peel away from the surface of the wall. Patches of peeling paint are a clear indication that there is a leaking pipe behind the wall.
4. Warping of Walls or Ceilings
Warped ceilings and walls are a definite sign that water leakage has caused the area to become waterlogged and unstable. If you notice a bulge on the ceiling or bowed walls you need to call a water leakage repair company immediately as this type of problem can become dangerous very quickly. The leaking pipe needs to be fixed first before the extent of the damage can be assessed and repaired.
Because pipes are hidden inside walls to protect them and for aesthetic reasons, it can be difficult to detect a leak but knowing what to look for allows you to easily spot the cause and have it attended to before it can cause extensive and costly damage to your property.