water leak detection how to spot and stop water leak damage

10 Jun. 2019

Water Leak Detection: How to Spot & Stop Water Leak Damage

Let’s face it: water leaks are annoying. Not only can they cause damage to your property, but they can also cost a lot of money, especially if not detected early. Unfortunately, most water leaks are hidden, and it’s often too late for homeowners to detect them; once they do, they’d already suffered from thousands of liters of wasted water and skyrocketing water bills.

Detecting Water Leaks

With early water leak detection, you can save yourself from hefty water bills and even prevent water damage inside your property. Here’s how:

1. Check Your Water Bill

If you noticed a significant increase in your water bill but can confirm that your water use habits remain unchanged, then there’s a possibility of a water leak. For this, it’s ideal to gather your previous water bills and compare them to check for any major difference. Your current bill should be within the same range as that of the previous months.

However, you have to keep in mind that some of your pipes are located underground. As such, you might not be able to detect them, unless you hire the services of an expert plumber. If you’re from Miami, FL, it’s a lot better to hire a professional plumber in the area to deal with the problem. It’s because he’ll have the right tools to execute the job and has the right amount of knowledge when it comes to technicalities and local plumbing codes.

2. Take A Look At Various Areas In Your House

You can perform basic leak detection by checking for various areas in your house such as the toilet and faucet. For the toilet, you need to use food coloring and apply a few drops on the back of its tank. Wait for around 30 minutes – don’t flush it yet. Afterward, check if the food coloring is there. If the water is clear, there’s no leak; however, if you see the color, then a leak is present.

You can easily detect a leaking faucet if water is still dripping after shutting it off. With the help of the right tools, you can easily do a DIY fix.

3. Monitor Your Water Meter

One of the best ways to detect water leaks is by checking your water meter. Before you do so, make sure you turned off all water inside your house. Make sure to shut off all of your faucets and check if your washing machine and dishwasher aren’t running.

After that, take a look at your water meter and check if it’s running. If it does, it could indicate the presence of a fast-moving leak. However, if you don’t notice any change, try to wait for around two hours to check it once more. Don’t turn on the water just yet. Once you notice a change despite turning off all water, a small and slow leak could be present.

Preventing Water Leak Damage

Now that you’ve known how to spot possible water leaks, it’s time to learn how you can possibly prevent water leak damage. You have to keep in mind that water leak damage can be costly. In fact, it’s the second most filed claim in the US alone. There’s an average of over $10,000 insurance claims for broken residential pipes in the country, although this could increase depending on the extent of water damage in an area.

Also, within 24 hours after the leakage, mold will begin to develop in still water which will eventually damage furniture and other areas inside your house.

Fortunately, you can prevent these from happening by following these tips:

1. Conduct Routine Maintenance

Routine maintenance is your best option to prevent and stop water leak damage. If you consistently check your hardware or perform some basic leak detection procedures, you might be able to prevent water leak from even happening. Here are some basic maintenance tips you want to keep in mind:

Perform regular pipe inspection – in this case, you’ll have to call for the services of a professional plumber to do a visual inspection of your pipes, toilet fixtures, faucets, and plumbing systems. It’s best to do it at least quarterly to prevent possible problems before they become serious and possibly fix minor ones.

Check your filtration systems regularly – filtration systems, as well as water heaters, can cause major issues if not maintained regularly. They will require regular maintenance in order to prevent water leak damage and even catastrophic explosions.

Replace faulty faucets, pipes, and fittings – if you notice either of the three already at a deteriorated state, the best thing you can do is to replace them as much as possible. Doing so will help you save money in the long run and prevent any major issues from occurring.

2. Leakproof Your Foundations

Always keep in mind that even the tiniest cracks found in your foundation walls can allow water entry. If left unattended, it can possibly lead to water damage and flooding in your property. Fortunately, you can just leakproof your foundations to prevent them. Here’s how:

Don’t direct water towards the foundations – this involves adding a few inches of topsoil around the foundation to direct water away from your foundation walls. With this, you can effectively prevent water damage by preventing water from entering your house in the first place.

Repair any cracks – your best option is to look for any cracks in your foundation walls and deal with them right away. You can use caulk for sealing any small cracks. For larger cracks, however, you can use a hydraulic cement instead.

3. Install A Leak Detection System

This one might be costly, but it’s a lot better than having to deal with the costs brought on by water damage. A leak detection system will automatically shut off the water if it has been running continuously for a certain period of time.

For example, if it detected water that’s continuously running in a leaky toilet, the system will automatically shut it off. The best thing about this system is that it will work on both big and small leaks and can potentially save you hundreds to even thousands of dollars on costly repairs and water bills.

What To Do If There’s A Plumbing Leak

The best thing you can do if you notice a leak in your plumbing system is to call for the services of an expert plumber. Routine maintenance is not a 100% guarantee that leaks won’t occur, and there can be instances where water damage could be inevitable. When any of these happen, make sure to call a plumber right away.