7 Signs of a Water Leak Inside Your Wall

by Rohit on Sep 17, 2020

A water leak is a risky business. There's probably nothing worse than having a water leak in your home. But wait, there's something that's much worse. Yeah, we are talking about having a water leak and not knowing about it until it's too late!

Huge and sometimes irreversible damage can be done by hidden leaks behind the walls. It's like your home's dirty secret that's ruining it from within. Quite unfortunate, indeed!

So, what really causes an internal water leak?

Well, an internal water leak can spring from a variety of sources - burst pipes, sewer overflow, and waterlogging to name a few. It runs deep in the plumbing system and that makes it difficult to detect.

Now, what can be done about internal water leaks?

Typically, an internal water leak situation is not something you can tackle on your own. You will need to contact a professional for water leak repairs.

But actually, the first step is to spot the hidden leak lurking behind your house walls. You need to keep a lookout for these tell-tale signs of a water leak inside the walls.

1. Mold growth

Mold starts growing in presence of continuing moisture and seepage. Mold growth is quite a visible indication of an internal water leak. You will easily notice the foul-looking green and brown stains on the wall. The stains appear to have a soft texture and may even smell bad. Most often, mold growth happens due to drainage leaks which may be rooted far away from the visible evidence. An expert plumber's trained eyes can figure the source of the leak.

2. Foul smell

There may be mold growing under the sink or behind the furniture that may escape your vigilance. But presence of mold growth can be detected from a typical stuffy and stale odor. The musty smell is a clear warning sign of hazardous mold growth and an underlying leak.

3. Damp or warped walls

If you have a sharp eye, you may notice slight warping of the wall surface. Or you may feel the wall damp or cool to touch. Warping and dampness in walls may be caused due to leaking water being absorbed by the sheetrock. If left unrepaired for too long, the warping and dampening may cause structural damages which can be quite costly to fix. We say, it's better to be safe than sorry. You should get a professional opinion as soon as possible.

4. Discoloration

Continuous leakage may cause walls to look faded or discolored. Maybe the leak isn't too severe yet, but there's no way to know until the issue is explored thoroughly. You should call a plumber to look at the wall and give you appropriate advice.

5. Baseboard swelling

You shouldn't shrug off thinking it's not important to check on the baseboard for detecting water leaks. Baseboards and any other wooden fixtures to the wall can absorb moisture from water leaking behind the wall. This can cause the board to swell and become warped or bubbled.

6. Peeling paint and wallpaper

Sometimes you may notice the paint, plaster or wallpaper on the wall giving away. The wall paint may also have cracks which crumble and peel when rubbed. You should know that all this could be due to pipe leaks behind the wall. Although, there is a small chance that the problem may be caused due to salt damp and not necessarily a pipe leak.

7. Unusually high water bill

Now, this is a sign which is most indirectly related but can be a definite red flag for water leaks. A sudden and unexplained high water bill should get you to investigate your home's plumbing for undetected water leaks. You can look for other signs discussed above to help you spot the problem areas.

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