Have you ever been swamped by unexpected water leaks? Are you frustrated because you’ve tried your best to prevent these things from happening, but still get surprised by unforeseen leaks somewhere? These are common concerns that this article will help you with. We’ll dive into water leak repair and the 7 most common water leaks. For now, let’s discuss some of the problems that water leaks can cause and why it’s so important to prevent and repair them.

The Dangers of Water Leakage

Mold and Mildew Issues

Perhaps one of the more serious dangers from water leakage is the growth and spread of mold and mildew. They could grow in damp places or places that easily get wet. Water leakage is a perfect way to create a safe environment for mold and mildew to grow and develop.

The worst part is that it can easily spread to other areas of the house or the vicinity, and can even latch onto things, furniture, and clothes. To ensure that it is removed, you have to pay generously for professionals. And even that is not a guarantee that your problems will be solved because removing mold and mildew is not only difficult but also takes a lot of time.

In comparison to mold, mildew is easier to deal with. They usually just grow on the surface of damp or wet areas and can easily be cleaned by applying bleach or vinegar. But mold is a different story. Mold penetrates the surface and eats away at materials such as wood and drywall. It can grow within 24 to 48 hours, with its spores quickly dispersing in the air around the damp and wet area to the rest of the house.

Here are few other things to watch out for if you have mold and mildew growing in your house:

  • Bacteria
  • Dust Mites
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Fungus

Health Complications

With bacteria, dust mites, volatile organic compounds, and fungus growing with mold and mildew come a collection of diseases. In fact, this is primarily the most dangerous effect of having water leakages in your house. Mold and mildew can cause several diseases including:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Pulmonary hemorrhage
  • Toxic Mold Syndrome
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
  • Infections
  • Irritation from mold by-products

This is largely because of the spores, mold by-products, and other irritants that are released by mold and mildew. Along with fungus, these can cause mild to severe respiratory problems when inhaled. The sad thing is that this doesn’t only affect you and your family, but also your pets and other animals you have on the property. A few key symptoms to watch out for are:

  • Throat, nose, and skin irritation
  • Itchy eyes or redness
  • Frequent coughing or sneezing, as if affected by a severe allergy
  • Upper and lower respiratory infection
  • Sinus congestion
  • Rashes
  • Fatigue
  • Fever and/or difficulty breathing

Household Water Contamination

Water moves along pipes with pressure to force water out of the leaks, preventing other materials and contaminants from entering the stream. However, damage in the pipes decreases this pressure, which in turn allows water to get sucked out through the hole, while polluted groundwater gets sucked in.

This carries not only bacteria and viruses from feces but also other materials, debris, and contaminants that would later be mixed with drinking water. Here is a list of what could contaminate your drinking water due to water leakage:

  • E. coli Bacteria
  • Coliform Bacteria
  • Nitrates
  • Lead
  • Fluoride
  • Arsenic
  • Radium
  • Radon
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Herbicides
  • Pesticides
  • Chemicals
  • Fecal Matter
  • Microbial Pathogens
  • Parasites
  • Viruses
  • Petrochemicals

Increased Utility Bills

An average household is said to waste an average of 10,000 gallons of water due to leakage—that’s worth at least $150 literally down the drain. On average, 10 percent of households lose an average of $500 to water bills for the same reason. And that value is dependent upon how much you’re paying for water. So, in some instances, utility bills can be higher. Read on to find out where to spot these leakages and how to deal with them!

Attic and Ceiling Damage

Damage to the attic and the ceiling is probably one of the problems you wouldn’t expect from water leakage. The thing is if water leaks to this area, mold, mildew, and fungus can grow. This damages not only the wood and other materials in the attic and ceiling, but also everything you store up there. Those also damage the insulation as well as compromise structural integrity—which we will discuss in a bit. The worst thing that could happen is water accumulating into a pool until your ceiling collapses on you. That’s definitely something you want to avoid, right?

Structural Damage

Water leakage can significantly contribute to structural damage to your property. This goes back to the presence of mold, mildew, and fungus that eat away at the materials of the building. Water will also be detrimental to wood and dry walls which will begin to warp as they absorb it. Over time, holes and cracks will burrow through supporting beams, walls, and ceilings. Thus, causing tremendous issues with your property’s structural integrity.

Fire Hazard

You might ask, can water leakage really be a fire hazard? The short answer is yes. Remember, water can ultimately cause damage to the structural integrity of the property. This includes electrical wiring and other electrical components. Water and electricity are a match you want to avoid at all times. In addition to mold, mildew, and fungus in your electric wiring, water can also easily cause corrosion. All these could cause sparks and short circuits in the electrical wiring. That’s why water leakage is a fire hazard.

Financial Burdens

With all of that said, it’s no question that water leakage boils down to one thing—financial burden. Water leak repair costs money, oftentimes to the upwards of several hundred, or even thousands, of dollars. Not to mention hospital bills, medicine, or visits to the doctor due to respiratory problems. Should the problem be severe enough a person can spend between $3000 to $7000 in treatments alone for lung or other related diseases.

All the dangers of water leakage underscore the importance of maintaining your property’s water system. And how do you do that? The easiest way is to detect common water leaks and have them repaired right away.

Detecting Common Water Leaks

Broken Seals

There are seals around water connectors and other places such as dishwasher doors. However, these seals wear out as they age, thus condensation around its area eventually accumulates more water. There are many ways to deal with this, but until you can replace these connectors and other places, you can have a temporary solution—that is, applying epoxy directly on the leakage. This will form a temporary seal. You may also use clamps and wraps.

Toilet Leak

Detecting a toilet leak is fairly easy with a guide. Check if any of the following is present:

  • Condensation on the bowl
  • Crack
  • Rusted Pipes
  • Loose or Worn-Out Seals
  • Misadjusted Flush Valve Assembly
  • Worn Out Flapper

These are telltale signs that you have a toilet leak, which means you’re losing water and it’s damaging not only your bathroom but other parts of your property such as floors, walls, and pipes. That’s why it’s important to fix this right away. A few of the steps you can try to fix toilet leaks are to change out rubber gaskets around the tank bolts as well as the spud washer. You can also seal the cracks, and repair wore out seals

Clogged Drains

Are you frustrated with clogged drains? What methods have you tried to fix it? To help us understand this problem further, let’s take a look at what actually causes your drains to clog up. It could be any or a mix of two or more in this list:

  • Hair
  • Soap
  • Dirt
  • Oil, grease, and fat
  • Food waste
  • Wipes and diapers
  • Mineral build-up

There are more, but the list is a succinct collection of common culprits behind clogged drains. The first thing you can do is to make sure the drains are cleaned. Pick up things that can physically clog it. The problem is if the deposits you’re dealing with are not on the surface, but somewhere deeper. One of the things that you can do is use simple ingredients you can find in the kitchen to melt down anything that’s clogging up your drains. For example, you can use these:

  • Baking soda and salt
  • Vinegar, salt, and lemon
  • Salt and hot water

Faucet Leak

A typical faucet leak is easy to detect. You only need to examine 3 things: dripping or leaking, irregular discharge, and squeaky handle. A leaky faucet is among the most common water leakages that could happen on your property. Faucet leaks can cause you between $60 to $200 every year.

One of the things you must do is disassemble the faucet and examine its O-ring and washer, as these are likely what’s causing the leak—parts that you may have to replace. Then you reassemble the faucet and see if it works well already. Other causes for the leakage could be corrosion, which entails more work that you might want a professional to deal with.

Water Heater

What causes water heaters to leak? It could be any or a mixture of the following:

  • Damage to the drain valve
  • Too much water pressure
  • Damaged temperature and pressure relief valve
  • Cracked internal tank
  • Old and worn-out tank
  • Collection of sediment
  • Loose inlet and outlet connections
  • Corroded anode rod
  • Cracked storage tank

One of the ways you can detect any leakage on your water heater is by checking any type of condensation around it. There could also be obvious top and bottom leaks. For instance, top leaks are likely connected to faulty inlet and outlet connections. Bottom leaks, on the other hand, are probably caused by damage to the drain valve or the tank itself. The position of the leaks in the water heater is an indicator of which part needs repair or replacement.

Loose Water Connectors

Water connectors can be found in pipes and hoses that supply the property with water. They could also be supplying water to your appliances, the leakage from which you can easily detect by seeing water run through the hose or simply forming puddles around the appliance. You have to seal loose water connectors as a temporary fix before you have them replaced or repaired by a professional.

Outside Water Spigots

You can attach hoses or other attachments directly to your property’s water source so you can channel the water outside through spigots. What could be causing leaks of your outside water spigots? It could be loose packing nuts, worn-out washers in the outside spigots, or frost damage.

At any rate, this is a concern that needs to be addressed as soon as possible because faulty outside water spigots can cause foundation damage, water backs up into your home, creating mold and mildew. You can try and fix this yourself by replacing their washers or the screws that hold the washers together. Otherwise, you might want to call in a professional to repair it or replace it altogether.

With all of that being said, nothing should stop you from detecting, repairing, and replacing the components that are causing water to leak onto your property. It can be a fun, meaningful, and rewarding endeavor on your part. After all, you get to learn things and save money at the same time.

However, you must admit that if you want to save trouble, ensure quality, and be guaranteed that your water system will run smoothly for longer, you can call a professional to help you. In fact, this will also give you peace of mind knowing that the person fixing your water pipes and other components in your home knows what he or she is doing. You can book a professional from Whipple Service Champions here.