A slow leak in your pipes, plumbing fixtures and appliances, especially water leaks behind walls, are all some of the biggest causes of water damages in your home. These water leaks are usually silent, allowing them to often go undetected.
Don’t delay. If any of these issues are left untreated, they can lead to serious water damage and hundreds to thousands of dollars in repairs. Be on the lookout for these somewhat subtle signs to determine whether you may be at risk.
Mold & Mildew
Mold growth thrives in damp, dark areas, to include pipes that are hidden behind your walls or beneath the flooring. If a pipe springs a leak, lookout for mold or mildew accumulation to provide a heads up that you may have a problem on your hands.
Having the mold removed with the help of a remediation team is one step to alleviate this issue. You will also require the handiwork of a plumber in order to locate and fix the cause of the leak.
A telltale sign that there may be a hidden water leak in your bathroom is if the walls are warped or stained, void of a clear reason. Upon exposure to moisture, drywall will warp and crumble into pieces. Should the leak reach the ceiling, it may also show signs of warping, begin to sag, and potentially leak some of the water.
In order to fix this, a plumber will often deem it necessary to tear out the drywall. This will then require someone to patch and paint the area once the plumber’s job is complete.
If your bathroom floor begins to buckle, crack, or starts to show stain without obvious cause, there is a good chance a hidden water leak is to blame. Tile will often loosen, allowing you to remove a piece, possibly exposing the moisture beneath.
You can remove most of the affected tiles by hand. To remove stuck on tiling, use a putty knife or chisel. Try not to damage any of the tiles as matching up tiles is extremely difficult and can result in full tile replacement.
Generally, the occasional wet floor of your upstairs bathroom should not cause enough seepage to put you on high alert. Though, any copper, brown, or dark color stain appearing on your ceiling is a sure sign of a pernicious water leak.
Water has the ability to travel a long distance so the location of the stains may not necessarily be where you’ll find the leak. It would be best to contact a water damage restorations service to determine the cause and location.
Splash Water Leaks
Water escaping past a shower curtain or door is the most common type of bathroom leak. This kind of leak can cause serious water damages if allowed to seep into the subfloor. This is where your tub or shower meets the flooring. Try splashing water around the shower door frame to see if water leaks show up. Make sure to check all rubber gaskets, door sweeps, and the caulk where your flooring and shower meet, for gaps.
If you happen to find a leak, run a bead of caulk around the inside of the frame to seal. If you have a shower curtain, close it completely while showering to avoid any spill-over. Any worn gaskets or door sweeps will need to be replaced.
Water Damages from Frozen Pipes
When a pipe freezes, the water inside may slow to a trickle or simply no longer flow at all. Expanding ice, from pressure within the pipe, may eventually cause the pipe to burst. If your faucets stop flowing or your toilet refuses to refill after a flush, you may be suffering a frozen pipe.
The real damage is dealt after the thaw so it is important to shut off water supply to the section of frozen plumbing. You can use a space heater, heat lamp, or even a hair dryer to thaw out the frozen length of the pipe. It may even be beneficial to wrap the pipes with thermostatically controlled heat tape. Under any circumstances, do not use a fire source to thaw your pipes. This will more than likely present a fire risk, thereby compounding your issues.
DIY: Plan for a Larger Project
Estimating the size of water remediation projects is not always easy. The water damages may extend beyond the obvious signs. If your efforts fail to eradicate the deterioration that the water caused in its entirety, it can result in additional demolition. Always plan for a larger project regardless of how minimal the damage appears.
If you do plan on a self fix, here is a list of steps to prevent causing further damages and grief:
Fixing a Water Damaged Wall
Expose the wall by cutting the molding, using a utility knife.
Remove all damaged drywall and any existing moldy insulation.
Prepare a water-sealed, plywood board replacement. Make sure the board is completely dry.
Once dried, place the plywood board into the gap.
Replace all insulation and outlets you may have had to remove during this process.
You can now replace the drywall. Nail the fresh drywall in place and apply drywall mud to the seams. Allow to dry before sanding.
Fixing a Water Damaged Sub-floor
Remove all damaged floor materials and clear the area of debris.
Measure and cut some exterior grade plywood to replace the original sub-flooring.
Using nails or screws, fasten the new plywood to the floor framing.
Fixing a Water Damaged Ceiling
Make sure the area is dry and the source of the leak has been fixed.
Remove all water damaged material from the area and clear debris. It may be wise to cover all personal property in a tarp to prevent any further damages.
Depending on the size of the damages you may need to replace the missing portions with new sheets of drywall or plaster (for big holes). Small holes can be filled with joint compound.
If stains are still visible, add a coat of primer. It is important to do this prior to painting or else the stains will show through.
Plumbing failures that lead to water damage are the second largest cause of property damage and homeowner loss. Water damage is also the second most frequently filed insurance claim in the U.S.
Virtually all homeowners insurance policies cover damages caused by sudden or accidental water leaks. If the damages are the result of slow, continuous leaks of more than 14 days, homeowners insurance does not typically cover this.
Leave Hidden Water Leaks to the Professionals
Even when taking precaution, you can never predict the will nor wrath of mother nature. Storms can also be the cause of detrimental water damages. Should you happen to be living in an apartment, the top floor tenant could have a burst pipe which then leaks through your ceiling and down your walls. You will need to stay ahead of the game.
Be vigilant when it comes to potential damages caused by invisible sources. Though you may not see them, hidden water leaks have the capacity to cause serious damage to your home and your wallet. For all your water damage restoration services, choose a company you can trust. The team at Mission Restorations is certified and highly qualified for all of your water damage needs.