Pipes will leak and drip. That’s a fact of life. What can be done if you discover a leak in your
home? Here are some things to look for and some facts about how much plumbing leaks can cost
and the damage they can do.
Undetected leaks will waste thousands of gallons of water and can add up quickly. One leaky
faucet can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water a year. Combine that with other leaks and you’re
looking at up to 10,000 gallons of water per year. That’s enough to do 270 loads of laundry.
Nationwide, the amount wasted can amount up to 1 trillion gallons, which is enough to service
11 million households a year. Water is a precious resource and any sort of waste should be
An easy way to tell if you have any leaks is to look at your water bill. If it’s been consistent and
then there’s a sudden spike in usage (and cost) is a pretty sure sign you might have a leak. If you
had guests and your bill is higher that month and goes back down, then you should be okay. If
it’s consistently higher and seems to be going up, you probably have a leak. If you suspect a
leak, contact your plumber, and have them come out and take a look.
Not all leaks are obvious. Some can be hidden and difficult to find. Finding hidden leaks are best
left to a professional. They have the skills and tools to find and fix those leaks. Some are easier
to spot, such as leaky faucets, toilets, showerheads and so on. These are usually DIY projects and
can be remedied in a few minutes. Replacing a toilet flapper is a simple fix and replacing a
showerhead will allow you to upgrade your showerhead if you want to.
Hidden leaks are another thing. Those can leave no external signs, other than a higher water bill.
They can be in your walls, in your basement, underneath a slab floor, etc. Some signs of a
possible leak are mold or mildew formation, damaged or bubbling paint or wallpaper, staining on
your walls or ceiling, or a musty odor. These leaks are difficult to find and require professional
While a leak may be small, they can cause major damage to your home. They can cause mold
formation, dry rot, ruin drywall, damage your foundation, and so on.
Mold can cause respiratory problems and aggravate existing conditions such as asthma and
COPD. It can also damage your drywall.
Dry rot can affect the structure of your home and cause a weakening of the framing. This can be
an expensive fix. It’s also dangerous since the rotten wood can no longer support the loads of
your home’s structure.
If your home is built on a slab, a leak can be disastrous. It can cause cracking, seepage, and in a
worst-case scenario, cause your slab foundation to shift or move and cause serious damage to
your home’s structure. That can be a seriously expensive fix that will cost you time and money.
If it’s a visible leak, like a toilet flapper, faucet, or showerhead, you can fix it yourself. If you
don’t have the skills or confidence to replace a faucet, have your plumber do it for you. While
they’re there, have them check for any possible hidden leaks.
If you have signs of hidden leaks, or an appliance leaking, like your water heater, have your
plumber take care of them. They have the tools and expertise to find and repair the leak(s) and
any leaking appliances.
Keeping an eye out for any leaks can save you money in the long run. If you catch a leak early,
you can reduce any possible repair costs and prevent costly damage to your home.
If you think you may have a leak in your home, call us at Mark Lindsay & Son and our techs will come to your home to find an repair any leaks or drips.