Have you noticed one or more water leaks in your home but can’t seem to find the source of the leak? While it can be irritating to see the water spots or hear the drips, it is possible to locate just about any leak in your house. 

Once you spot the leak, you need to call a plumber to perform a professional plumbing repair. In the meantime, here are seven ways to find hidden water leaks in your home.

1. Look for Water Spots

Water spots occur when water is left to sit and eventually stains the surface it’s pooling on. What spots are typically brown but can also be yellow, gray, or black. There are several places where spots are highly visible.

  • Ceiling
  • Walls
  • Flooring
  • Wood surfaces
  • Baseboards

Water spots are not always easy to identify. They may be as subtle as slight discoloration. In some cases, the stain is so thin that you don’t recognize it. The size of the water spot can be deceiving. A water spot may appear small. However, it can still indicate one or more water leaks.

2. Mold Growth

Wherever there is mold, there is usually moisture. Whenever performing plumbing maintenance services, a plumber may notice mold growth around the pipes or in hidden places along your wall or crawl space. Mold usually occurs as a result of lingering moistures. While it could be caused by dampness or high humidity, it can also occur due to water leaks.

Most mold is easy to kill. However, killing the mold doesn’t solve the problem. There may be loose joints, corroded pipes, or damaged plumbing if the mold is close to your pipes. If so, the technician will need to perform professional plumbing repair to eliminate the leak.

Remember that mold can deteriorate wood. You may need to get someone to look at the supporting structure around the water leak to make sure it is in good shape.

3. Dripping

If you can’t detect water leaks with your eyes, then use your ears. If you suspect a problem, try to listen closely to the dripping and find the source. One thing to consider is that most dripping problems come directly from plumbing components such as

  • Fixtures or faucets
  • Joints
  • Damaged or corroded pipes
  • Drains
  • Toilet tanks
  • Valves

One thing to listen for is persistent dripping. If you hear the constant drip, drip, drip, you need to call a plumber in Chicago, Illinois, immediately. A constant drip can send water spreading throughout your house, causing light to severe water damage.

4. Water Moisture Meter

Even if you can’t fix a leak, you can always find one, which is an important first step in plumbing repair. One of the most effective ways to find water leaks is using a water moisture meter. Plumbers often use a moisture meter to detect moisture content in hard-to-reach areas. They’re valuable instruments in plumbing because they are highly accurate.

They’re also surprisingly affordable, making it a good idea to have one around the house. However, they can be a bit deceiving. A meter doesn’t detect leaks. Instead, it detects moisture. The moisture could be mold, water pooling, or high humidity. However, it’s still highly effective. So, when the meter indicates moisture, it can be a good start pointing to finding the water leak. 

5. Structural Damage

Water can cause significant damage to your house. You often don’t know the damage is happening until you’re faced with a major repair. Here are some ways that water leaks can damage your house.

  • Wet insulation loses its R-Value (insulative value).
  • Wooden framework can crack, deteriorate, and warp.
  • Wall and ceiling drywall can stain, soften, warp, and crack.
  • Flooring can discolor and warp.
  • Foundation can crack and eventually crumble.

If you notice any of these problems in your home, there is probably the presence of water due to a plumbing leak. If so, a plumber can inspect your house to find and fix the leak.

6. Leaky Appliances

More than half of the major appliances in your home use water: refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine, coffee maker, pressure cooker – the list goes on. When an appliance has a water leak, it usually causes the water to spread quickly, seeping into the floor and walls. It can happen so quickly that you don’t know what’s happening. 

Luckily, finding the leaks can be easy because the water supplies on appliances are isolated and show obvious signs of leakage. 

  • Refrigerators leak along the drain or water line.
  • Dishwashers leak along with the door seal, tub, valves, and intake & drain lines.
  • Washing machines can leak in the tub, intake & drain lines, and the door seal.

Plumbers are often certified to work on appliances. So contacting plumbing in Chicago, Illinois, is a good option to restore your appliance.

7. Toilet Dye Test

If you believe there is a water leak around the toilet, there is an easy way to spot the leak. This method is called a toilet dye test, and it’s easy to perform.

Drop four to five drops of washable dye or food coloring in your toilet tank – not the bowl. Use darker dyes. Wait up to 30 minutes. If you spot dye in the toilet bowl, there is a leak in the tank – most likely in the flapper valve. 

Also, look around the outside of the bowl, on the floor, and underneath the tank. If you notice the dye in these areas, there is a leak coming out of the tank. You will need to have it fixed before it causes problems with your bathroom flooring.

Schedule Plumbing Repair in Chicago, Illinois

If you discover water leaks in your plumbing system, don’t hesitate to call a plumber for plumbing repair in Chicago, Illinois. J. Blanton Plumbing offers plumbing repair, maintenance, and installation for your home. To schedule repair, fill out our contact form or give us a call.