Dangers of Leaking Pipes: How to Detect a Leak, Steps to Fix It

News & Information > Dangers of Leaking Pipes: How to Detect a Leak, Steps to Fix It
1/11/2018

Leaking pipes can wreak havoc on your home.

Whether in the wall, under the sink or in the floor, pipes that are leaking water should be addressed immediately. If left unnoticed, the problem can only be compounded leading to more extensive and expensive damage that can potentially impact your health.

The least worrisome effect of a leaky pipe is the cosmetic damage, such as water stains and discoloration on the drywall. (This may even be the first sign that you have a leaky pipe.) Given time, leaking water can eventually cause structural damage. As the water continuously leaks onto structural beams, the wood can become compromised and fail to provide support to the rest of the structure.

The scariest impact of a leaky pipe is the health issues it can cause by promoting mold growth. A dangerous fungus, mold only needs three things to grow: water, food and optimal temperatures.The materials used to build your home (wood, drywall) provide the food. Habitable temperatures provide a prime environment. Leaking water is the final ingredient.

Mold in the home can cause numerous health problems.It is best to have a professional assess the damage and clean up the mess to prevent mold from growing.

How to Detect a Leaking Pipe

Typically, a leaky pipe will give indicators like decreased water pressure, discoloration in walls or ceilings, or audible dripping. However, if there are no indicators and you want to rule out the possibility of a leak, check your water meter. First, turn off all faucets inside and outside of your home.Then locate your water meter; if the dial is moving, you most likely have a leak. You can also take a meter reading, wait 1-2 hours (without using any water), then take another reading. If the reading changed, you have a leak.

What Should You Do?

First – identify the source of the leak. Then turn off the water and allow the pipe to empty. If accessible, wipe the pipe dry and put some epoxy on the leaking area. Then cover the leak with rubber and contact a professional. Also, if the leak has caused other damage, you will want to contact a professional to determine if there is structural damage and/or mold remediation is needed.

One last thing – most home insurance policies will cover sudden and accidental plumbing leaks, including the subsequent damage they can cause. Be sure to contact your insurance agent should you encounter this problem. And remember, if you hear that drip, drip, drip – don’t ignore it.Take action immediately!


Cleantec aims to offer helpful information to our clients and friends. Learn more about how we can help should your residence suffer from water damage. Sign-up for our newsletter to receive helpful information and tips on how to protect your property from fire, water and mold damage.

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