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Can Plumbers Detect Leaks Behind Walls?

Can Plumbers Detect Leaks Behind Walls

A leaking faucet or spigot is quite annoying, not to mention a waste of water. When a leak is out of sight, it can contribute to bigger problems. Hidden leaks are hard to detect and can lead to mold or mildew outbreaks and many other issues. Issues such as these may also make your water bill go up.

You can often see the symptoms of a leak behind your walls. Peeling paint, warped walls, and bad smells are just a few of the tell-tale signs. If you suspect a water leak in your home, it’s time to call your local Asheville plumbers to resolve the issue. Here’s what to look for and how to find the best plumbing services for your Asheville, NC, home.

How to Tell If You Have a Water Leak

A dripping pipe behind your walls causes moisture to build up inside them, potentially soaking your drywall and warping the structure. You’ll often see signs of a hidden leak, such as:

  • Peeling or puckered paint or wallpaper
  • Brown stains on your ceiling or the tops of your walls
  • Buckling or cracked ceilings, moldings, or walls
  • Dripping sounds but no obvious drips from faucets or spigots
  • A musty mold smell or feelings of respiratory stress for no apparent reason

However, it’s not always clear where the leak is happening as water drips downward. The leak may not be directly near any visible signs.

Sometimes, there are no visible issues at all. You may notice that your water bill is higher even if your usage hasn’t changed. And mold or mildew outbreaks can often be smelled or felt (e.g., your family gets frequent headaches or sniffles) before they’re seen.

To diagnose a water leak, follow these simple steps:

  1. Shut off all water appliances.
  2. Record the number on your water meter. (Tip: this is usually outside near the curb, with a cast-iron lid reading “water.” You’ll likely need a screwdriver to open it.)
  3. Wait 3 hours — don’t turn on any taps or otherwise use any water.
  4. Then, look at the meter again. If the number has increased, you’ve got a leak.

Check around your toilets, bathtubs, showers, sinks, dishwasher, etc. If there’s no water pooled around them, the leak may be within the walls.

Eliminate all other possibilities before getting to that conclusion, though:

  • Run a dye test in your toilet to be sure water isn’t just leaking from the tank into the bowl.
  • Check your lawn to see if any external spigots are dripping or leaking.

Can You Fix a Hidden Water Leak?

Water may accumulate inside your house if it cannot run off during rainfall. That’s why it’s important to keep your gutters and downspouts clear of debris. Water can eventually collect and make its way into your attic or roof interior, then work its way down your walls.

Any structures or depressions on your roof that collect water can also lead to this. If your roof tends to accumulate a lot of dead leaves, clear those off as rain may get trapped in them, causing moisture to drip into your home.

You won’t necessarily see a higher water bill in those situations as the moisture is from rainfall. But if your water meter shows higher usage and your roof and gutters are clear, it’s likely that you have a pipe leaking.

That’s when it’s time to seek out plumbers in Asheville, NC.

How Plumbers Detect and Fix Leaks Behind Your Walls

If you see water damage on your walls or ceilings, that’s a good place to start. If you’re not sure, you can use a moisture meter. Purchase one from your hardware store and point it around until you get the highest reading. That’s where your plumber will start work. (If you’re fairly certain you have a leak, you can save the money as your Asheville, NC plumbing services will bring their own moisture meter.)

Water leaks can also be detected by infrared cameras, as wet areas tend to be cooler in temperature. Again, plumbing professionals will usually provide their own camera to locate the leak.

Once your plumbers find the location of the leak, they’ll get to work fixing it. They may need to cut into drywall to repair the issue. It can be as simple as replacing a fitting or worn-out pipe or repairing a hole or crack. In some cases, parts of your plumbing system may need to be replaced.

For all those reasons, it’s always a good idea to hire some Asheville, NC, plumbing professionals who will cause minimal damage.

Wrapping Up

Remember, leaks are never something to procrastinate on. The sooner you resolve the issue, the less damage you’ll have to repair!

Hidden leaks are also a primary factor in mold and mildew, which can lead to severe allergies and respiratory issues. To protect your and your family’s health, take any potential leaks seriously. It’s always best to keep your home as dry as possible — plus, it saves you money on your water bill!

For expert, highly skilled plumbers in Asheville, NC, reach out to Four Seasons Plumbing to resolve any hidden leaks and keep your home in tip-top shape!

Max Rose - Owner of Four Seasons Plumbing


Max Rose

Max Rose is the owner of Four Seasons Plumbing, a plumbing company in Asheville, North Carolina.