Water Damage Prevention & Detecting Water Leaks

Water Damage Prevention and Detecting Water Leaks

hidden signs of water damage after removing drywall you can see the full damage and remove mold or moisture.

When you buy a home, you don’t always suspect that there may be hidden signs of water damage and water leaks throughout the house, but you should be cautious and consider this possibility. A flood is one thing to fear in your home, but a slow leak from a cracked or broken pipe under the kitchen sink can be just as damaging. You may immediately notice a flood, but you may not ever notice that you have a burst pipe within your walls.

Water Damage Prevention and Detecting Water Leaks

Detecting water leaks and knowing basic tools for water damage prevention become a need-to-know skill for homeowners. The investment of buying a home can easily go flop without properly protecting your home. Detecting water leaks not only reduces costs on utilities, the costs associated with fixing a big water leak problem can add up!

For example, if the foundation of your home gets water damaged, you will need to take rapid and costly action. Water damage prevention on the main structural elements of your home is essential to preserving its value and integrity. A small leak or smaller sign or water damage may not be alarming, but this could merely be the tip of the iceberg of your water damage problem. True water damage prevention is about finding the source of the problem and fixing it.

How Do Slow Kitchen Pipe Leaks Start?

Slow water leaks can happen in a myriad of ways besides a cracked pipe somewhere, water can leak from anything: a broken seal or a leaking spigot. With those slow leaks can come long-term effects that eventually reveal themselves, and by that time, further damage can occur. We suggest looking over common leak sources, inspecting them to help with detecting water leaks, and general water damage prevention.

Kitchen Leak Sources and Hidden Signs of Water Damage:

Cracked or Worn Pipes: Over time, kitchen pipes can develop cracks or wear due to aging, corrosion, or external factors. These small defects may initially allow only a slow seepage of water, making them difficult to detect. Hidden signs of water damage or the leak detection clues can be rusty color water stains, water trickling sound without water running at the tap, or may reveal itself with recent lowered water pressure. Constantly keeping an eye on leaks due to cracked pipes or otherwise is essential for water damage prevention.

Broken Seals: The seals around pipe connections and joints can degrade, leading to small leaks. This is common in areas where pipes connect under the sink, around faucets, or at the joints of the plumbing system. Hidden signs of water damage occurring due to broken seals may be the floor wet after washing dishes, water dripping from pipe at fixture, or discoloration of seals due to age. Planning to regularly check and replace broken seals can become a part of your annual water damage prevention inspection.

Leaking Faucets: A leaking faucet may seem minor, but if left unattended, it can contribute to water damage. The constant drip can create an environment conducive to mold growth, one of the top hidden signs of water damage.

Faulty Dishwasher, Refrigerator, Water Filter System Connections: Appliances like dishwashers, refrigerators, water purifiers or water filter systems often have water supply lines. If the connections are loose or the lines are damaged, they can contribute to slow leaks, with water seeping into the surrounding areas. This is a common problem for families with many users of the kitchen.

Clogged Drains: Persistent clogs in kitchen drains can lead to slow leaks as water accumulates behind the blockage. This is not only a drainage issue but can also be a symptom of the many hidden signs of water damage issues. Drain clogs should be addressed promptly and always considered in your annual water damage prevention inspections.

Faulty Garbage Disposal Unit: A malfunctioning garbage disposal can lead to water leaks under the sink. If the unit is not properly sealed or if there are cracks in the housing, water may escape and cause damage over time. A common issue of the many hidden signs of water damage issues from the garbage disposal is pooling of water underneath the unit, puddles of water near floor or cabinet under sink, and black rubber discoloration in water under sink dripping from a deteriorated rubber seal.

Water Pressure Issues: Excessive water pressure can put stress on pipes, leading to gradual leaks. This is especially true in older homes with outdated plumbing systems that may not be equipped to handle modern water pressure levels. Hidden signs of water damage caused by water pressure could be found in your water bill, if you see increases in water bill. You may have more water pressure than normal, but with significant changes of negative water pressure combined with normal use and increased bills, this might mean there is a slow leak that needs to be found.

Freezing and Thawing: In colder climates, pipes can freeze during winter, causing them to crack. When the ice thaws, slow leaks may develop. This is a common issue in uninsulated or poorly insulated areas of the home, but not common for San Diego homeowners.

Leak Detection Alert

A minor leak, undetected over time, can often lead to huge repair bills, so it’s important to locate any such water encroachment as quickly as possible. The signs are not always obvious, and by the time you find the leak, the issue can be pretty serious. Early leak detection is a huge part of water damage prevention as a large portion of floods are attributed to leaks that could have been detected.

Sometimes you have to pretend that there is indeed a water problem somewhere and check all the possibilities. A sagging ceiling dotted with mold spots immediately tells you that there is water damage in that area, but what about more subtle indications of water damage?

How Can You Early Detect Water Leaks?

One clue to start your water damage prevention is knowing if there has been a past incident with detecting water leaks in the home. Often, the leak itself has been taken care of, but the dampness remains, having seeped into walls and floors. If a floor seems unusually springy and softer than normal it’s likely moist underneath. You might detect the unpleasant odor of mildew, an indication that mold is lurking.

Water from leaks is cumulative, causing building material to absorb a large amount of liquid in the beginning, which in turn allows the moisture to spread to a deeper level, weakening your home’s structure and foundation. This is why detecting water leaks is so imperative to water damage prevention.

What Happens If Water Leaks are Ignored?

With leaks and water damage prevention, you gotta know the risks, because sometimes this helps to motivate the work, but also detect the feared outcome of worsened damages. One result of further damage is if the home has poor air flow. Poor air flow becomes a major problem when water is trapped somewhere. Mold and mildew can grow, creating a dangerous environment for the occupants of the home.

Wood, carpet, wallpaper, paint and furnishings can sustain permanent damage, requiring extensive repairs. Ductwork and other systems, like air conditioning, can become contaminated. Drywall and insulation affected by water damage will need to be removed and replaced. Water damage prevention tactics are essential in the fight against mold.

Long-Term Effects of Mold on Your Home

These effects manifest themselves in mold, wood rot, blistered paint, and damaged flooring. Often homeowners complain of bubbling paint in their ceilings, or the ceiling sagging due to water weight from above.

Health implications Of Water Damaged Buildings

There is a whole category of health issues dedicated to water damaged buildings. Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS-WDB) is a particular CIRS with the cause identified as Water Damaged Building (WDB). Read more about CIRS on our other blog about indoor air quality issues and also, our blog on understanding microbial growths and air quality.

So, if you want to avoid a water damage situation going from bad to worse, always perform a thorough inspection periodically, and especially before you move into a new home. If you need water damage repair in San Diego, give us a call or contact us online. We are available 24/7! (619) 376-6838