When property owners think about threats to a property it’s usually the significant, dramatic risks that initially come to mind. For example, hurricanes, fires, and floods all rank high on the potential threats that can harm a building and lower its property value.
However, there’s another considerable risk that can be the “death of a thousand cuts.” It happens slowly and requires a lot of expense over a long period. Leaks can be very damaging to a building as water damage slowly accrues everywhere, necessitating frequent, costly repairs. But here are some leak detection signs to warn you that you should be addressing this.
Your Water Meter Keeps Ticking
Try turning off anything that uses water in the home, whether it’s the laundry machine or the faucets. Go out and look at your water meter and take note of the usage. Now, wait a few minutes and consult the meter again. If no water is running anywhere in the home, there should be no change in the water meter usage. If there is, a leak is occurring somewhere in the structure, and even though you haven’t used it, you’re still being billed for it.
Check Your Water Bill
Unless you are highly wasteful under normal circumstances, a leak will show up on your water bill if you haven’t paid attention. For example, the typical family of four in this area doesn’t usually use over 12000 gallons of water per month. If your bills are regularly exceeding this, that’s probably due to a leak. If your water bill usage hasn’t changed, but your bill is going up, this is always a big sign.
Your Hose Storage Area Is Wet
Leaks can be internal, but they can also be external. You may notice that the area that connects to your garden hose is always wet. Or that the garden hose itself, while connected, continues to drip water long after it’s been used and stored away. Depending on the time of year, an external leak to an area like the hose can go undetected for months. This may, in time, damage the foundation, which is even more costly repair.
Check Your Toilet With Food Coloring
Try dropping some food coloring in your toilet cistern tank, then check back a few minutes later. With a properly working toilet, the water in the toilet bowl itself should remain clear. However, if there’s a leak in the toilet tank, the bowl water will show the food coloring, meaning that water has been draining from the toilet into the bowl, and you’ve been paying for it this whole time, even without flushing.
Look For Water Stains On Walls, Floors, and Ceilings
A final indicator that you need to find and deal with leaks is water staining. Water pipes are throughout a home, behind walls, and in ceilings. If you notice staining on a particular portion of a wall or a ceiling, that’s a big hint that there’s a leak somewhere in that area.
If you need help detecting a leak in your building, Capital Property Restoration has many years of experience serving the entire area between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., including: