The plumbing system in your home is fragile and complex. There are many fixtures, valves, and mechanisms that all must be in top working order for the system to do its job. When there is a burst pipe or a substantial leak, the damage is great and expensive. But, when a leak is small and it goes unnoticed the damage can be catastrophic. Some of the silent leaks that you should be aware of are:
Wall leaks. No one sits around the home staring at the walls and thinks “hmm, I wonder if there is a plumbing leak in that wall”. Leaks concealed inside of a wall can cause a significant amount of damage for this very reason. Until there are signs of the damage, there is no way of knowing that the leak is there. The obvious signs of a wall leak are mildew or mold growing on the wall, brown water stains, water pooling along the baseboard, or a wall that is damp to the touch.
Tub leaks. Underneath the bathtub is a drain called a ‘foot drain’. This drain is often the cause of a leaking tub, especially when the tub has been improperly installed. These leaks are also difficult to locate because they are happening under the bathtub and in the walls. These leaks are highly pressurized by the weight of the tub so they leak slowly. But, because they go unnoticed for so long, they can cause a lot of damage. If the floor behind the bathtub is damp or soft, it is highly likely that there is a leak.
If a plumbing leak is not repaired the water damage will cause the wood in your home to rot. This rotting wood will grow mildew and mold, and will also attract pests including termites. All of these infestations are detrimental to the health of you and your family. When mold and mildew grow, they give off spores that float through the air inside of your home and can cause respiratory problems. This is especially true for anyone with asthma or allergies.
Contact your local plumber if you suspect a leak in your home, and never underestimate the impact that even the smallest leak can have.