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Identifying Concealed Water Leaks

No one looks forward to bills coming in the mail, but when we open them, there is nothing worse than seeing the amount we regularly pay has doubled, tripled or even quadrupled. Our water bills are no exception, and one of the most common causes for a higher than normal usage bill can be narrowed down to the presence of concealed leaks.

A concealed leak can not only lead to a higher usage charge but also has the potential to damage the building if left unchecked. A simple method of determining whether your home has a leak somewhere within its plumbing system is to monitor the meter. Take an initial reading of the meter, and then keep from running any taps or fixtures (the toilet too) for at least an hour. If the meter has changed at all during this time, there is a good chance that there is a concealed leak on your property. As the name implies, a concealed leak is rarely obvious and can turn up in different parts of our home’s plumbing system.

Identifying Concealed Water Leaks

Finding the Concealed Leaks

While a concealed leak may not be easy to see, the effects of water leaking throughout the home can often be detected by a keen eye. The following are signs of water damage within our homes, and without repair they can lead to costly repair bills as well as higher water bills:

  • Peeling wall finishes. Walls should be smooth and have a consistent finish. A clear indication of water damage within our walls can be seen in walls where the plaster and paint is flaking or crumbling off. If the issue is not rectified, it will lead to mould within the wall which will require the entire surface to be refinished or replaced.
  • Buckled floorboards. Untreated wood readily absorbs water, causing it to warp and buckle. If you find that your floorboards are warping it is a sure-fire indication that there is water present. The longer it remains unrepaired, the more damage is done, potentially leading to an entire floor needing to be replaced rather than a few small sections.
  • Damp and sagging ceilings. Normally linked to a leak in the roof cover, finding these symptoms in the middle of a dry period is a clear indication that there is a leak in your plumbing. Initially presenting as a damp patch on the ceiling, it will worsen over time. Mould on the ceiling is often easily noticeable and should be investigated immediately. An excessively damp and mouldy ceiling may be structurally compromised and could collapse without notice leading to harm to those inside.
  • Puddles and thicker vegetation. Invasive tree roots and any recent excavation near the water main could lead to damage to either the main itself or the water run from the main to your home. On top of reduced water pressure within the home, some signs can include puddles of water in your garden beds regardless of the season, or the less obvious sign of having sections of grass which are thicker and greener than the rest.
  • Wet and mouldy carpet. Another element in our homes that is fond of water is our carpets. Depending on the colour, a damp carpet may not be immediately noticeable by sight alone. If the water damage continues, the carpet will become mouldy which will bring with it the smell associated with wet or damp fabric.

While not immediately noticeable, these signs and symptoms need to be investigated as soon as possible to not only minimise the damage to your home but also to rectify the main cause. Keep in mind that any plumbing repairs must be carried out by a licensed plumber.

Do you suspect a concealed leak in your home on Sydney’s Northern Beaches or North Shore? We invite you to give our friendly team at JEDI Plumbing a call today on 0411 774 381.