The volume of water that the average house leaks are a lot larger than you might think. The EPA WaterSense services estimate that the average leaking home loses over 10,000 gallons of water a year – or, 270 loads of laundry. This is obviously a huge strain on water bills, the environment, and the structure of the home, and something which can require more work than just calling the plumber. A loose roof tile or cracked pipe are not the only sources of leaks in the home, and identifying where the issues are and correcting them will save you a headache.
The simple stuff
Some of the easiest leaks to identify happen when you can hear, or see, water loss from the water systems within the home. If you’re asking yourself what to do if your water heater leaks, or if you have a burst pipe, the answer is at least simple – look for a plumber. Maintenance industry analysts Angi estimate that plumbers will charge anywhere from $175 to $3000 depending on the severity and complexity of a leak, so it’s worth shopping around. Getting a good tradesman with great reviews or a positive local reputation can help you to identify all issues with your home, not the ones that only you have identified, and that can be very beneficial in the long run.
Some leaks and water waste issues are more insidious. As Martha Stewart’s website highlights, signs can include wet spots on walls, poor water pressure, wobbling shower heads and overactive water meters. The latter choice is a great way to have an objective measure of your water intake – consider turning off all water sources and not using anything at all for a period of time, and seeing what your result is. If it’s high – use the internet – you may have a hidden leak that needs more forensic examination.
Repairing the structure
Where a plumber’s job goes away is in wide-scale structural changes. This can be useful anyway – new storm guttering and roof tiles can help to minimize rainwater leakage into the home. For homes with endemic problems, like dampness in the walls or piping that’s been permanently damaged, it can become an expensive job but one that’s worth it. Having a completely dry home is good for your health, as it prevents mold growth, but also for your peace and quiet – nobody likes noisy pipes, the sound of drips, or any of the problems associated with inadequate water protection. If you have the funds available, it may be a good time to look at re-assessing the worthiness of your entire home in water terms and making long-term changes.
Water powers the home, but it can hurt it, too. Finding where water is leaking out of the home and into the ground or the building structure will help to save you money and improve your home’s safety. That’s a priority for every homeowner.