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Signs that Indicate a Hidden Leak

Plumbing problems are never fun to deal with, but noticing them when it’s too late is even more frustrating. Unlike a recognizable problem like a backed-up drain, there is one plumbing problem that many homeowners often aren’t aware of until it’s too late – a leaking pipe. Homeowners should always be on the look-out for signs of leaking pipes because the damage can leave negative impacts on the home and the homeowner’s finances.

Part of taking action to fix this problem is knowing what to look for and how to address it. Typically, a leaking pipe is located within the unseen spaces of a home – inside walls, under floors, on the ceiling, and underground. Here are a few signs to look for that generally suggest a leaky pipe.

Damp or Overgrown Patch of Lawn

While the weather is beginning to get warmer and drier, this is one of the easiest signs to recognize. If there’s no reason a single patch of the lawn should be more wet or growing faster than the rest, it’s a clear indication there’s an underground leak. Start by turning off the water in the home, shut off all faucets and watch to see if the water meter continues to move. If it does, there’s likely a leak underground or on the meter.

Increase in Water Bill

An unexpected increase in a water bill is a clear indication of a leaking pipe. Homeowners should be able to compare their bill to previous months and if there’s an obvious spike that’s unrelated to weather or season changes, then it’s most likely a leak.

Foul Odor

Foul odors are often misinterpreted, and depending on the condition of the home – they can go unnoticed for months. According to our local professional plumber, some of the common smells to expect include “rotten food, sewer stench, or rotten eggs.” If any of these odors appear in excess, we recommend having a professional come out to diagnose the cause.

Mold or Mildew

Every homeowner fears the day they spot a patch of mold or mildew in their home. Not only does it look gross, but it’s potentially unhealthy to have around. Unfortunately leaks create damp spots, which then lead to the growth of mold. As the mold increases, foul odors will begin to develop as well, and this unpleasant combination is one you do not want to deal with in your home.

Warped, Discolored, or Damaged Wall

There are clear signs of a plumbing leak when walls begin to show warped color and damaged paint. There is a chemical reaction that causes drywall to bubble as it comes into contact with the moisture. Moisture can also discolor paint and may cause it to separate and begin cracking apart. If any of these signs are evident with no clear explanation, it’s likely a leak and will require a professional plumber to cut open the area and repair the pipe.

For all of these signs, it’s always important to take care of it sooner rather than later to minimize repair costs. We recommended calling an experienced plumbing specialist to help keep your home healthy for the long-term.

Mr. Rooter iconAbout the Author: Steve Ferree, Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Portland

Steve has been a trusted Mr. Rooter owner of Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Portland since 1999. With over 20 years to back him, Steve has experience with a wide range of plumbing related solutions and systems. He and his team specialize in drain cleaning, sewer repair, re-piping, and more.