Are you worried that you have a water leak in your home? This blog outlines 5 ways to check for water leaks yourself. Water leaks can go unnoticed for a long time and therefore lead to more significant problems further down the line. If you suspect that you may have a problem you should check it as soon as possible to avoid any water damage in your home.
Although many people’s first thought would be to call a plumber, sometimes they are expensive and it may take a while for them to come round at a time that suits you. To avoid this, you should follow these 5 tips on how to check for water leaks.
Check the water meter
The first step to checking if you have a water leak in your home is to check the water meter as this will allow you to see any hidden leaks you may have. To do this, you need to turn off all the water in your home and ensure the dishwasher, washing machine and any other appliance that uses flowing water is turned off.
Next, look at your water meter to see if it has changed since turning off the water. If it has changed drastically then it’s a pretty sure sign that you have a water leak. If the water meter doesn’t change then leave everything off for a few hours and check your water meter every 30 minutes.
This will ensure that your water meter picks up any small or slow-moving water leaks you may have. If nothing changes after a few hours the chances are you probably don’t have a water leak.
Monitor your water bill
Monitoring your water bill is something that everyone should do regularly to detect any water leaks early to avoid any irreversible damage. Note down what your average monthly water bill is for your family so you have a starting point. Then, you can regularly monitor your water bill to see if anything seems irregular as this will give you a good indication as to whether you have a water leak or not.
If you find yourself in a situation where your water bill has drastically changed or you seem to have gone over your monthly average in a couple of weeks then you probably have a water leak and will need to call a plumber to fix it.
Add food colouring to your toilet tank
If you can’t visibly see any water leaks in your home then it could be an internal link coming from the toilet. Every toilet has a toilet flapper that is used to prevent water from going into the toilet bowl unless the toilet has been flushed. However, over time the toilet flapper can become damaged and cause unwanted water leaks.
In order to detect whether your toilet is leaking, add a few drops of bright food colouring to each toilet tank. If there is a leak then the colour will appear in the toilet bowl after 5-10 minutes - make sure you don’t flush the toilet within this time to ensure the results are accurate.
Make a note of any small indications of a water leak
Some leaks happen slowly and over a prolonged period of time, meaning they are often harder to spot. However, making a note of any small indications can help you catch a water leak early and prevent further damage.
One thing to be wary of is wall/ceiling discolouration as this could be a good indication that you have a leak. If there is a leak in your wall/ceiling then you will often see brown/yellowish patches of discolouration that will often grow over time. If this is the case, you will have to re-plaster your wall after the leak has been fixed.
Another thing to take into consideration is loose or bulging wallpaper. When your walls are damp, the wallpaper will start to lose its grip and come away from the wall. So, if you notice this make sure you check behind the wallpaper before sticking it back on as it could be a hidden leak.
Furthermore, if you start to notice a musty smell in the room or it feels humid then this could mean you have a hidden leak in the room. It’s important to make a note of these small changes and they could be an indication that you have a leak within your home that needs attention.
Check the exterior of your home
Remember that it is just as important to check the exterior of your home for any water leaks. Start by checking your outside taps to make sure they have been turned off properly from when they were last used. Although the tap may only be dripping a little bit of water, over time this builds up and can cost you a lot of money.
Next, you need to check the grass for any patches that are unusually wet as this could indicate an underground leak. As well as this, you need to check for any patches that are growing faster or look a lot greener as this could also indicate a leak that hasn’t come through yet, hence why it’s growing faster rather than being soggy.
In summary, there are many ways you can check for hidden leaks around your home before you call a plumber. Now that you know how to check for water leaks, you can put these tips to good use when checking your home.
My biggest tip would be to check your water bill regularly as this is a good indication that there may be a leak if it suddenly goes up. This also doesn’t require a lot of time or effort so it’s a great way to easily keep on top of checking your home for leaks.