Water leaks can cause considerable headaches to a homeowner. And with good reason: The average household can lose about 2,000 to 3,000 gallons of precious water yearly due to this problem. That’s a significant amount of water and money literally down the drain. Dripping showerheads and faucets are easy enough to discover, but there are a few leaks that can go undetected for a long time.
These are the ones you should watch out for, as they’re more insidious and can cause damage to your house over time. So, it would be best if you have your pipes checked regularly for leaks. There is, however, a simple trick to check for water leaks using your water meter.
First, make sure all fixtures are turned off outside as well as inside your house. Then, check your water meter; if it’s still recording, then you may have leaky pipes. Keep in mind, though, that this method only detects large leaks. Besides, this method doesn’t pinpoint the exact location of the leak or leaks. But it’s a start.
You don’t want to let water leaks go undetected for any amount of time. Water leaks, if undetected, can cause structural damage to your house and drive down your property’s value. Water damage can also cause the growth of molds and fungi and affect your family’s health, which, of course, is a much bigger concern.
There are many causes of water leaks; it could be that your plumbing is showing wear and tear. Be that as it may, check also for these three most common causes of water leaks. Hopefully, you can prevent them from doing any further damage.
Clogs aren’t usually the first thing that comes to mind as the cause of water leaks. Clogs, if not fixed immediately, can make pipe joints weaken due to pressure build-up. Over time, this can lead to leaky pipes, or even pipe bursts or overflows.
Clogs are caused by solid objects, such as toilet paper or hard food remnants like bones or fish scales. On roofs, leaves and other objects can block up the gutters. Water can build up inside the drainpipes, which could cause water to leak into ceilings and walls. Regular checking of both pipes and gutters should be done to prevent this.
Clogs in drains can be cleared using plumbing tools. For roofs, it’s best to check using a step-ladder and manually remove gunk in gutters.
2. Water Pressure
Water pressure is another common cause of water leaks. Most pipes and faucets can only handle certain levels of water pressure. Even a small increase in pressure could cause damage to your pipes and cause leaks. Damages done to pipes and faucets will require costly repairs, so it’s best to try and detect these as soon as possible.
One way you’ll notice this is through an increase in your water bill. Check your water meter regularly to see if there’s an abnormal rise in your water usage. Have your pipes and faucet checked if there are any odd increases to your bills and consumption.
Rapid temperature increases can also cause your pipes to weaken, thus making them more susceptible to damage due to high water pressure. This may also cause pipe breakage, especially when your pipes get frozen.
3. Construction Error
If you’re living in a newly built building, your pipes and faucet should still be in good condition. But in some cases, there can be oversights with construction, such as poor-quality roofs that don’t last long or faucet issues. This usually happens when the person in charge of a construction underbudgets materials and ends up buying shoddy pipes, low-grade roof shingles, or tacky galvanized metal sheets for roofing.
Water leakage may also be because of the incorrect installation of pipes and faucets. Though this can also be caused by shifting, such as by earthquakes or tremors, or in cases of appliances, the vibrations of machines and constant use of the appliances.
If you feel like your house, apartment, or office space has any shoddy materials in its plumbing systems, these should be checked at the soonest possible time—replace or fortify immediately if you can.
Leaks are a common annoyance. Clogging, bad construction decisions, and strong water pressure are the most common factors that cause leaks.
Doing frequent checks on your pumps, gutters, and any sort of water source or lines and doing quality control helps prevent leaks from happening. Pipes do get damaged over time, so it won’t be a stretch to say that it can just be because of time wearing down your pipes.
When you have leaks, it’ll be best to tackle the problem as soon as possible to avoid any further damage. Besides molds and fungi growth, leaks can also weaken your building’s basic structure and may cause damage inside your house, including appliances and furniture.