What to Look for When Identifying a Leak.
Does your home or business show signs of a leak?
1. Musty Smell
Have you noticed an earthy or musty smell in your bathroom lately, even after giving it a good cleaning? Don’t ignore this crucial sign of a potential water leak. Keep looking for the hidden water leak, from inside your cabinets to behind your faucet, until you find the source.
- Mildew or Mold
Mold thrives in moist, dark areas. Pipes, which are typically hidden in a wall or under flooring, provide the perfect breeding ground.
- Damaged Paint or Wallpaper
If you see blistering paint or water stains on your walls, you could have a leak in the bathroom. Pay attention to the floorboards as well, when wet they tend to suck up the moisture and swell.
- Damaged Walls
Another sign of a hidden bathroom leak is wall damage. When drywall is exposed to moisture, it becomes soft and begins to bubble. Eventually, it will warp and break into pieces.
- Wetness in the Cabinet
Finding water or moisture in your cabinets is a sign of a hidden leak. It might be an easy fix, like tightening a nut, but it could also be a sign a valve needs replacing.
- Damaged Flooring
If your bathroom floor is buckling, cracking, or beginning to stain—and you didn’t let the bathtub overflow—odds are you have a leak. The water could be from a pipe directly underneath the floor, or it could have traveled there from another area.
- Rocking Toilet
A toilet shouldn’t wobble. If it starts to move when you sit down its likely the wax ring that keeps a water-tight seal between the base and the pipe below is worn. This will eventually lead to wastewater coming out under the toilet and an obviously foul smell.
If the bathroom faucet is loose in your hand, it can allow water to seep into the gaps. To fix the issue, it might be as easy as applying new caulking to make it water-tight again.
- Stains on Ceilings
If you have a bathroom on a second floor, check the patch of ceiling in the room directly beneath it for stains and signs of water damage. However, because water can travel a long distance, it's possible to find water stains on the ceiling further away.