They may seem like an inconvenience, but plumbing maintenance is important, though easy to put off. While that slow leak behind the bathroom wall might not seem like a big deal, but when that constant dripping is left unattended, the damage can quickly escalate. What was once an inexpensive repair, is now costing you thousands of dollars and a lot of frustration!
But how do you even know there was a leak in the wall behind the bathroom sink?
Monitor your Water Bill
Typically, your water bill is predictable, about the same every month. If you receive one that is higher than normal, you may have a water leak.
The Environmental Protection Agency suggests every home and property manager to check for water leaks.
You first need to determine whether you're wasting water and then identify the source of the leak. Here are some tips for finding leaks:
Take a look at your water usage during a colder month. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, there are serious leaks.
Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.
Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak. (Be sure to flush immediately after the experiment to avoid staining the tank.)
Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks.
Part of home maintenance includes staying alert and looking for clues, according to Bob Villa
Wall discoloration. This could indicate water leaking from behind the drywall and soaking through to the front side. Water stains on ceilings and walls are usually yellowish or brownish in color.
Bubbling paint or bulging wallpaper. Both are signs that the wallboard is wet and the paint or wallpaper is no longer adhering tightly. In some cases, you may also notice a bulge in the wallboard, which indicates the water damage is more extensive and the wallboard will have to be replaced.
A dripping sound. While some leaks are totally silent—for instance, if water is traveling along a wall stud—other leaks can sometimes be heard, giving you a clue as to the leak’s location.
A musty smell. Over time, a persistent leak provides the perfect humid environment for mold to grow. In some cases, you may notice black splotches on the outside of the wall, but often, mold will grow inside the wall where you can’t see it, so a musty smell is a red flag.
The first step in reducing repair costs, is to locate the water leak. Which isn’t easy if it is behind a wall or under a concrete slab. Instead of aimlessly digging to try and locate the leak, save money by using the Leak Doctors special equipment and skilled technicians.