Ninety-nine percent of the time the plumbing system at your home will function as it should; transporting clean water around your property and efficiently removing waste products, directing them to the public sewer line. However, even if you carry out all the suggested maintenance tasks and really take care of your plumbing, sometimes something could just suddenly go wrong; a pipe could burst, your toilet might get clogged or your water heater may stop working. These are all considered to be emergency plumbing issues and need immediate professional assistance. In some cases, the consequences of not dealing with a plumbing emergency quickly can be devastating (and very expensive). Leaking and burst pipes in particular can be a serious threat to the condition of your home, so it’s important to carry out regular checks as they won’t always be easy to spot.
Tips on How to Spot Plumbing Leaks Before They are Able to Do Serious Damage
While a burst pipe in many cases provides obvious signs of its existence, with large pools of water on the floor and flooding, leaks can be much harder to track down and in some instances can go unnoticed for several months before they are eventually found. Not only does this bump up your water bill, but it could severely damage any furnishings located close to the leak as well as structural elements of your home. Here’s a few tips from the team at New Canadian Drain & Plumbing to help you check your system for leaks.
- Check Your Water Meter – You can often utilize the data provided by your water meter to discover whether you have a plumbing leak in your home. On some meters there will be a small indicator that will rotate when water is flowing through the system, while on others you may have to use the actual meter reading as a way to determine if there’s a leak or not. Stop using the water in your property for a couple of hours and see what your meter tells you.
- Inside or Outside? – If your meter does indicate there is a water leak at your property, the first step is to figure out whether the leak is inside or outside your home. It’s relatively simple to do this; turn your home’s water supply off at the mains. Then, head back over to your water meter and check to see whether there’s any change. If the small indicator we mentioned in the last point stops moving, or the meter reading stops rising, then it’s a sure sign that water is leaking somewhere inside your home, potentially causing an untold amount of damage. If there’s not change, however, and the indicator continues to rotate and the reading continues to increase, your system is leaking water somewhere between the water meter and your home.
- Check the Obvious Places – Now that you know the leak is somewhere inside, check all visible piping in addition to plumbing fixtures such as faucets, toilets and washing machines. If you see no sign of a leak, call an emergency plumbing expert in to carry out a more comprehensive check.
Potential Damage Caused By an Emergency Plumbing Issue
Plumbing leaks, both slow leaks and burst pipes, can do more than cost you a little bit more on your water bill; they can cause damage that runs into thousands of dollars. We cannot stress enough the importance of a call to an emergency plumbing service in these situations, as a professional is less likely to miss something that could prove critical and will minimize the damage that is caused. Here are a couple of examples of the damage a leak could do if not dealt with properly:
- Damaged Walls – Forget little pools of water on the floor; emergency plumbing issues such as leaks and burst pipes can cause water to soak right through the drywall, providing the perfect conditions for mould to thrive. If this water damage is minimized, you will probably get away with replacing a small section of the drywall (it may even be possible to simply dry it out using industrial grade dryers), but in severe cases, entire sections of drywall may have to be removed and replaced, costing you several hundred dollars in the process.
- Damaged Flooring – Apart from the surrounding walls, the other aspect of your home that a plumbing contractor would be most concerned about if you have a plumbing leak, would be the flooring. Gravity will always pull the water downwards, so it will eventually end up at floor level. If the floor is made from wood that is not properly sealed, this water could cause the floorboards to warp and discolour. Depending on the quality of the wood and the size of the affected area, replacing this flooring could easily run into hundreds of dollars. If you have carpet and considerable amounts of water soak right through into the underlay, this can be very hard to dry without ripping the carpet up and can create a nasty smell.
To avoid falling victim to an emergency plumbing issue, make sure to routinely check your system for any abnormalities, and if you notice any, get straight on the phone to a reputable plumbing contractor. New Canadian Drain &Plumbing serves all areas of Toronto and provides a 24 hour emergency service. To contact us, simply call (416) 651-2990 if you are in the west of Toronto, or (416) 462-3212 if you are located in the east.