Five Signs and Symptoms of Water Leaks

Does the thought of watering your house sound crazy? You may not be aware of it, but that’s what some homeowners are doing unconsciously, and the cost can be far more staggering than their monthly credit card statement. If the plumbing in your house has sprung a leak, there’s a good chance you don’t even know it. And you may not know it until it’s too late and your repair bill in in the thousands. Undetected plumbing leaks should be one a homeowner’s worst nightmares, but the possibility of it seldom enters our mind.

If you want to avoid one of life’s ugly surprises, it’s wise to be on the lookout for telltale signs of water seeping through your walls and floors. Here are a few signs of trouble:

Increase in Your Water Bill

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but don’t jump to the conclusion you have a water leak when your monthly water bill suddenly spikes. First, ask yourself if there’s a common sense reason for the increase like you’ve just filled your above ground swimming pool. If, however, you notice a significant jump in your water bill without a reasonable explanation, you may have a water leak and further investigation is warranted.

A Continuously Ticking Water Meter

If your water meter is continuously ticking even when you’re not using water in the home, you probably have a leak. Before making this conclusion, look around the house. Did someone forget to shut off a sink faucet all the way in a bathroom, the kitchen or garage? Is there a toilet running somewhere in the house because of a faulty valve? Did your automatic sprinkler system come on? If you’ve checked all these things and the meter keeps ticking, it may be time to call a plumber.

Mold or Mildew Forming on a Wall

While finding mold or mildew on the walls inside your shower is not a cause to worry about water leaks, seeing them spring up in other places like interior walls, ceilings, or baseboards could indicate a leakage problem. Leaks often cause damp spots, which can lead to mold or mildew forming. This usually gives off a musty odor. If you sense a musty smell around the home, you may have a leaking pipe.

Discolored or Spongy Floors

If you notice some floor tiles have suddenly or even gradually become discolored, especially near any water sources such as showers, tubs, toilets or sinks, you could have a leak inside a nearby wall or under the floor. Likewise, if floor tiles feel spongey when you step on them, the cause may be the same. If you have carpeting instead of tile flooring in such places, check for continued dampness of the carpet and for musty odors.

Cracks in the Walls or Foundation

It’s fairly common to find cracks in your home as your house settles over the years. However, if you begin to notice foundation cracks that have suddenly appeared, there may be cause for concern. If water has been seeping out of your pipes, it may have weakened the foundations or wall structures. This will cause cracks to appear over and above those caused by the settling of the house. Short of full-blown cracks; warping, bubbling or sagging of any structural components indicate problems that may be water-leak-related.

The longer you procrastinate, the more damage you may be doing to your home’s value and your bank account. By the time you see more pronounced signs, you’ll likely need more than just a plumber. If you suspect you have a hidden plumbing leak, running off to Home Depot for some duct tape or a new pipe wrench is a bad idea. This is no job for an amateur, and most of us unfortunately fall into that category even if we won’t admit it.

If you suspect you have a water leak somewhere in your home, perhaps you should consider getting an expert opinion from the folks at South West Plumbing. Fast action could save you lots of money. Visit their website at and read some of the great reviews.