For homeowners and renters alike, care and upkeep in and around the home often comprises a regular maintenance routine whose steps include the seasonal check for water leaks. Some leaks are obvious (pooling water on a floor, a drippy ceiling) while others happen almost silently. Hidden leaks may cost you money now (like leaky toilets raising your water bill) or cost you a lot more money later (such as a leaking water heater damaging your floors). Worse off, some leaks aren’t obvious until they’ve reached critical mass, so heading them off is your best bet.
In our recent Twitter polls, 74 percent of those who responded said they never checked their homes for leaks, 45 percent fear bathroom leaks the most, 71 percent have never suffered water damage. Homeowners believe they’d have to spend $15,000 to repair water damage.
Protect your home by being proactive. Look beyond the kitchen and bathroom for sources of potential leaks. Here are some common items in and around the home that can be a source of leaks:
- Exterior doors
- Basement foundations
- Temperature and pressure relief valves on water heaters
- Sewage pumps and sump pumps
- Kitchen appliances and fixtures
- Gutters and downspouts
- Air conditioners
- Toilet tanks
- Pipes and water supply lines
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So how do you head off a leak? Here are some easy steps to take.
Pay attention to micro deviations.
Does a wall or ceiling in your home appear to have a slight color change? Has the warp of the floor changed? Does a wall feel damp that once felt dry? Water could be causing those tiny buckles and fluctuations. Head them off before they become major damage.
Investigate weird sounds.
Every home has its inherent noises, but there is a difference between a step that creaks and a random rushing or trickle sound (which could be water). Check out anything that seems suspicious immediately.
Don't ignore the little bothers.
It’s equally important to pay attention to smaller leaks that may otherwise be classified as mere annoyances: toilet tanks that leak into bowls, older faucets that may be in need of new seats and springs or dribbling pipes which may indicate a loose connection or crack which could worsen over time. These small issues are often easy to resolve. Best not to let them develop into pricey regrets.
Look outside the home.
Water leaks in basements are often caused by outside forces. In the absence of finding actual cracks in your basement, make sure that downspouts are facing and emptying away from your home. Make sure your foundation is crack free and that your home has footing drains (which carry water away from the foundation).
Early action is your best defense against any leak, so if you see something, do something. For additional information on leaks, here’s why you should always fix a leak, stat.
DeltaFaucet.com polls, December 18, 2017 via Twitter:
“When was the last time you checked your home for potential leaks?”
“Where do you fear water damage occurring the most?”
“Have you suffered water damage in your home?”
”How much do you think water damage costs homeowners on average?”