A leak can appear anywhere in your plumbing system. Some leaks are quite obvious and easy to identify. But the more dangerous ones are hidden, silently wreaking havoc in your home. To identify hidden leaks, you’d have to keep an eye out for signs such as dampness and patches of warped paint.
However, some homeowners may not be quick to act once they notice such signs. Even so, most leaks are considered plumbing emergencies due to the extensive damage they can cause.
Learn more about the potential risks of a plumbing leak and what you can do to avoid them.
1. Structural Damage Risks
Ceilings and floorboards house most of the pipes in your home. Other pipes may run behind the walls and connect to the rest of your plumbing system. Unfortunately, any leaks inside these pipes can cause tremendous water damage. You may not even be aware of the extent of the damage until it’s too late.
For example, a leak under your wooden flooring can cause warping on the wood structure. Over time, noticeable bumps and lumps on the bare flooring or under your carpet may start to develop. If you don’t take action, your wooden floor may start to rot and could eventually become a liability.
The problem is even worse if you have a two-story home. With an already deteriorating wooden floor and no action taken, the upstairs furniture and other home appliances may have the potential of accidentally falling through. Besides causing further damage to your home, you may also be at risk of injury if such an accident happens while you’re downstairs.
A leak behind the walls can also cause paint and wallpaper to peel off. Furthermore, wooden frames attached to the walls can soak with water and become unstable. In doing so, your home may no longer be structurally sound as it once was.
2. Electrical System Risks
Water can conduct electricity when it comes into contact with exposed outlets and wiring in your house. For instance, if you have a massive foundation leak, your basement is likely to flood. Rising water can easily reach live wall outlets and any electrical appliances inside your basement.
Electrical current from these fixtures can travel a long way and become a deadly threat to your household. If you try to access the flooded basement without any protective gear, you could get electrocuted by the current inside the water.
Still, water contact with electricity can also expose your home to electrical fires. Leaking water could enter parts of your electrical system and cause unintended short circuits. While the effect could sometimes be minimal, the resulting sparks can also trigger a deadly blaze in your home.
If a large plumbing leak floods your basement, first cut off the power to that part of your house. Afterward, you should contact a licensed professional for further assessment and solutions.
3. Wastage Risks
Water leaks waste a lot of water that you still have to pay for. Unfortunately, the leaks you ignore are the most damaging, even the minor ones.
To put things into context, consider a dripping faucet. If the faucet drip is at one drop per second, 3,000 gallons of water will go to waste in a year. This wastage translates to higher utility bills which can quickly become a nightmare if you’re strapped for cash. The same goes for showerhead leaks in your bathroom.
Keep an eye out for any unexplained leaks to avoid wastage and constantly high water bills. You can first shut off all the fixtures and appliances in your home, then check your water meter. If the meter is still running, you might have a leak in your plumbing system that needs attention.
Don’t wait until the worst happens. Immediately you notice or suspect a leak in your home, give us a call at Spartan Plumbing Inc.