Signs of a Hidden Water Leak

A typical plumbing leak is something that can usually be identified and fixed fairly easily. A leaky faucet or loose fixture will warn you with an annoying sound or a pool of water. But what about those hidden leaks that can continue for days, even months, without a clear sign of trouble? Water damage can be very invasive, causing extensive structural damage in addition to ruining your pipes and fixtures. Hidden leaks in plumbing behind walls or other inaccessible areas are difficult to determine, but not impossible. Universal, an authority on plumbing, has helped discover and repair hidden leaks for decades. Our plumbing technicians are masters on the subject and have saved homeowners thousands on potential home repairs.

Based on their experiences we have put together a list of warning signs that might point to a hidden leak:

Mold/Mildew – Mold and mildew are a sure sign of water infiltration. Wherever water accumulates, there is bound to be traces of mold or mildew. The bathtub and shower area will usually have small pockets of mold in the corners of a tiled area. But mold growth on walls, ceilings or any area of your home where water shouldn’t be is cause for alarm. If you notice mold growing anywhere in your home, there is a water source that should be found and eradicated. Call a plumbing professional right away.

Damaged Paint/Wallpaper – Paint and wallpaper will come loose if either has been affected by water. Whenever moisture breaks the seal between paint or wall paper and a wall, it will show obvious signs of wear and damage. Wallpaper will peel away and paint can manifest raised, uneven lines and cracks.

Stain Pools on Walls/Ceilings – Dark stains on walls and ceilings are also signs that there is a leak coming from somewhere. Dark, brown or copper stains are especially common for pipe leaks over a ceiling. If you have a bathroom on the second floor, be mindful of spots underneath it – and sagging ceiling areas.

Damaged Walls – Harder to see are warped walls (without paint or wallpaper). Wood walls especially are difficult to catch because the damage is often subtle – even if extensive. Look for slightly curved planks, uneven surfaces and slightly discolored areas. Drywall becomes soft when exposed to moisture and will bubble and crack, sometimes pieces will collect on the floor.

Musty Smells – Musty, moldy smells are often a sign that water has infiltrated your home. The bathroom will sometimes have a slight musty odor, but when other rooms in the house start to smell you should start investigating. Hidden leaks can sometimes go on for extended periods of time without any evidence. The associated smells can also build slowly and may be undetectable for those living in the house. Be mindful of odors in your home and, if you aren’t sure about a smell, have a neighbor or house guest offer up an opinion.

Warped Door Frame/Door Alignment – Similar to the walls warping, a leak can also cause a wood door frame to warp. If you suddenly start to have problems closing a door, or if it becomes difficult to open, a hidden leak in the wall might be the cause.

Condensation – Walls or ceilings that appear to be “sweating” are usually a tell-tale sign of a leak. Condensation is often the result of excessive moisture behind a wall.

Damaged Flooring – If your bathroom flooring is warping, staining or has a soft area, a hidden leak is most likely the cause. A tiled floor might become loose or the caulking might start to peel and crack. Carpeted areas in the home that become moist or develop a musty smell are also signs of a leak directly underneath.

If you think that you may have a hidden leak, you should act very quickly. The leak could be recent or have been ongoing for weeks or months. The faster that you take action, the less damage the leak will cause. Universal can help with any kind of plumbing issue. Call us 24/7 for at (713) 364-0226 for leak repair or emergency service.