Water damage in a home is one of our worst nightmares. It can wreak utter havoc, after all. Especially if we don’t know where the damage is coming from. Obviously, places, where water lines are, will be more susceptible to a leak. That means the bathroom is unfortunately a prime candidate for a problem like this.
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What Can Cause a Water Leak?
There are plenty of things that can cause a leak in a pipe or otherwise in your bathroom. I’ll be happy to list these and explain them all for you. Please note this isn’t an exhaustive list, but rather a guideline.
First, high water pressure can damage your pipes. Most home plumbing systems have a limit on the pressure they can handle. Typically it’s about 80 psi. However, you probably don’t want to have it that high. You should aim for 60 psi maximum. Unfortunately, high water pressure isn’t always something you can fix. You can try talking to your plumber if this turns out to be the problem.
Another source of leaks is toilets. Many residential homes have a leak in theirs. This is usually due to a leak in the flush valve seal, or even a broken flapper. Unfortunately, an issue with your toilet can cause water to seep into the ceiling, like this firsthand account you can find here: https://www.moneypit.com/repair-bathroom-ceiling-leaks-when-it-rains/.
Another possibility is corroded pipes. Unfortunately, this is bound to happen as houses and infrastructure ages. It tends to happen because of the pH levels of the water in your house. Be it lower or higher than average, either way, it can cause holes to form in your pipes. No matter how small, this tends to cause a lot of problems.
The final cause I’ll discuss here are clogged drains. This can happen in your sink, your shower, or your bathtub. Clogs can grow in intensity if they’re left alone. Usually they’re caused by dirt, debris, and strands of hair that get tangled together. Many people with long hair know this struggle.
How to Know if You Have a Hidden Leak?
Sometimes this sort of thing isn’t obvious. After all, they’re pretty sneaky. If you’re wondering about some signs of one existing in your bathroom you could try reading this blog! Of course, I have some tips to offer here as well.
One of the tell tale signs of a water leak is a loose faucet. If you find it’s wiggling in your hand when you turn it on, that might be a problem. Water could potentially get through the gaps in the sink and damage the surrounding counter.
If you see the cabinets in your bathroom are damp or moist, this is another hidden sign. It might be hard to notice at first. However, if you’re consistently finding that you open the cabinet door and see water droplets…well, it might be time to call your plumber.
If you have wallpaper in your bathroom, it might start to peel or be damaged otherwise. Paint can chip and fade. If this is happening a lot faster than the normal wear and tear of a home, you might want to look for something else going on.
Another common signal that you might have some water damage occurring in your bathroom is a musty smell. This is usually caused by a hidden issue. Especially if it persists even after you’ve recently cleaned.
Along with a musty smell might come the final thing I’m talking about, which is probably the worst. Mold and mildew might not seem too serious, but several strains of them are in fact quite sinister. If you notice that you’re having what seems like seasonal allergies, especially during a time of year you usually don’t, this might be the underlying problem.
Finding a Leak in Your Home
When considering this issue, there are a few common spots to start with. You might check your toilet, your bathtub, or your drains. You could also check the sink and the taps. If you’ve got a more stubborn problem, a professional could always be called. In order to find a leak, there are a few ways to go about it.
The first step is probably to go check your water valve or meter. This probably seems obvious, but I know I’ve forgotten it before. After all, sometimes the clearest answer is right in front of us!
Your meter can help tell you if you actually have a water leak. If you turn off the main water valve, watch the indicator. If it keeps moving the problem is coming from inside your home. If it stops, the issue is likely an external one.
If you see any cracked or damaged grout or tiles, that’s another important clue. It’s a good thing to keep in mind that a lot of the repairs to these sorts of things can’t really be done at home.
When to Call a Professional
The answer to this question for a lot of us is “right away.” I know I have very little confidence in my own ability to fix a plumbing problem. Some of us are more handy than others, though. That being said, there are plenty of situations when you should probably contact a plumber.
Most toilet leaks will probably require one. Even if you could replace a damaged flapper yourself, there might be more than meets the eye. It’s usually a good idea to get some sort of consultation at least to help you find the leak.
Professional plumbers have a lot of tools that are available to them. They can use things like thermal imaging to take pictures of the water pipes in your home. This can usually give them a clear answer about where it’s coming from.
There are plenty of other options, though. Tracer gas or a moisture meter are other techniques and tools that a professional might use to help you. Obviously, water damage can devastate a home. It’s always a good idea to solve these problems before they get too serious.
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