A Nimble Guide to Leaks in the Home: Identifying and Dealing with Leaks

November 18th, 2022

The last thing any property owner wants to deal with is a water leak.

These can be frustrating and expensive to fix, but fixing them quickly will save you from further damage in your home and an unexpected water bill.

If you ever find yourself suspecting hidden water leaks in your home, don’t panic!

From the moment you conduct an initial check to the point at which a licensed plumber arrives at your doorstep, this guide can help you detectĀ  potential water leaks in your home.

Let Nimble help you deal with leaks in your home, saving you time, money and a few white hairs!

The types of water leaks in the home

Whilst it can beĀ  easy to ignore the small signs of a water leak, whether it be a few drops of water at the front door or some wet patches on the ground, they may beĀ  a sign of a more significant hidden leak!

Here are a few common types of water leaks you may around the house:

Damp Floors

A leak isn’t always the easiest to find but if you can smell a musty scent developing and notice any mould growth or timber decay around your floors, it’s the tell-tale signs that you may have a leak problem in yourĀ  home.

Water pooling under the house can cause damp floors and can be a result of gutters which haven’t been checked in a while. Likewise, leaves or rubbish can lead to poor subfloor ventilation or blocked vents, also contributing to how much water accumulates in the floor.

A quick fix can involveĀ  investing in a dehumidifier. However if this isn’t sufficient, it may be wise to invest in some subfloor ventilation such as a fan, to allow extra airflow under the property.

If you’re looking at damp concrete slabs, it may be much harder to treat than a timber floor, so the key is early detection.

Take a further look at The Ultimate Guide to Dealing with Damp in the Home to find out more about damp.

Roof Leaks

The roof is one of the most vital components of any property. It protects our home, provides a barrier to the outside world and can be an aesthetic addition to your house or apartment.

Most people don’t think about fixing their roof until they have major leaking problems, but fixing them early will not only save you money in the long run but also provide you with peace of mind that your home is protected from water damage.

The key to fixing leaks on your roof is knowing what signs are indicative of a leak problem, then acting quickly before it becomes too much for you to handle!Ā 

Look for water stains appearing on ceilings or walls, along with mould or puddles on the floors.

FindingĀ  the leakeasier said than done. A small leak can be temporarily sealed but will need to be seen to by a professional before it turns into a major leak, resulting inĀ  a major hit to your bank account in the form of significant repairs or the worst case scenario, a new roof.

Guttering Leaks

A guttering leak can cause damp patches in the walls and ceilings of your house, and you may notice water collecting around the base of the building, stains and moss on the walls or deterioration to the masonry.

These can occur from badly angled guttering that doesn’t allow the water to flow away or full gutters that may have been neglected for some time.

Simple maintenance or even a new gutter, may be of benefit. However it may be a bit harder if the problem is due to the environment that the house itself is in, such as being nestled in-between leafy trees that contribute to the blocked gutters.

Bathroom Leaks

The bathroom is the one of the most common household area’s where you are most likely to find plumbing leaks.

It could be that the water level is too high in the toilet cistern, there are loose tiles in the shower, cracked pipes under the sink or gurgling in the drain behind the washing machine.

Whether it is the tub, showers, taps or pipes, they can all result in some serious water leaking issues that need to be fixed immediately to prevent a hefty bill from your friendly plumber.

Fixing grout or sealant can be one of the easier problems to fix, however failed waterproofing should be left to the professionals as it can cause a whole heap of damage internally if left untreated.

When it comes to pipes, know how to shut off your water supply to stop the water leak and phone a licensed plumber.

Ways to identify a water leak

If you havenā€™t been running the sprinkler longer than usual or doing double washes on your clothes, and receive a larger than average water bill, the extra water usage may be the result of a leak somewhere in your home.Ā 

Water leak test

A simple water leak test with the help of your water meter can help you to detect leaks before you’re affected by the leaking itself:

  1. Check out your water meter
  2. Write down your meter reading
  3. Wait 10 minutes – do not use any water on the property at all during this time
  4. Take another meter reading – if the numbers have increased then you may have a leak

We recommend doing this leak check a few times to confirm the results, waiting an hour or so between checks.

Once you have confirmed the result, the fun part is finding the leak itself, which is easier said than done.

Underground water leaks

A concealed leak, which is a leak that occurs underground, can typically occur between your meter reading and your home, making it hard to identify as the pipes run underground.

If you think you may have a concealed leak, it would be wise to call a plumber and turn off your meter asap. Fixing it yourself could result in further damage to the building or pipes.

Plumbing leaks inside your home

Early leak detection is key to preventing major damage and handing over a large stack of cash to your plumber.

Find leaks quickly by looking for:

  • A leaking tap or water dripping from the taps
  • Any leaks from the water pipes in the kitchen, bathroom or laundry
  • Water pooling behind other appliances such as the washing machine, dishwasher or fridge
  • An excess of water in the toilet bowl, an incorrect flush or a toilet cistern which keeps running
  • Loose tiles or small leaks in the showers

Water leaks inside the walls

Inspecting pipes inside the walls is physically impossible unless you have the right equipment. You can however find some tell-tale signs of a leak:

  • Damp floors, carpet or pooling around appliances
  • Peeling paint, cracked or bubbling wallpaper
  • Signs of mould
  • a musty smell around the house
  • water stains on the walls or roof
  • Damp patches in the corners

Plumbing leaks outside the home

Look for obvious signs such as dripping gutters or damp walls. It may be harder to find a leak outside the home, but if you continue to do routine maintenance around the house, you may be able to detect leaks that can be solved with early intervention rather than costly repairs.

Shutting off the water source

Knowing how to shut off the water source early on can help you avoid a pricey repair bill:

  1. Locate your water meter
  2. Find the on/off valve – it will normally be a tap, knob or lever
  3. Turn the water supply off – normally its clockwise but if it’s too tight, try turning it anti-clockwise to loosen the seal first

Who is responsible for fixing a water leak?

The property owner is generally responsible for fixing any pipes or water leaks on their property.

If it is a leak inside the water meter or a pipe going away from the meter may have a leak, then it is the responsibility of the company or corporation who owns the meter, If you are renting, you will need to contact the agent or the owner of the property immediately as you may be responsible for the excessive water usage.

Contacting insurance

Like most things when it comes to insurance, you will need to check your policy and do some investigation between the lines to see if you are covered in the event of a water leak.

Make sure you check your product disclosure statement carefully and ask as many questions as you can to ensure you aren’t left with forking out the costs for major damage, clean-up and a water usage bill all on your own.

Fixing the leak

When it comes to leaking taps or a dodgy pipe it may be a quick fix that you can do yourself.

If it’s a leak in your plumbing system, water line or something to do with your hot water systems, you will definitely need to seek the help of a licensed plumber who can fix the problem as well as check for other leaks.

When it comes to the meter, find out who is responsible for the meter itself and contact them for repairs or replacement.

Funding the repairs

If you find yourself having to fork out the money to fix water leaks urgently, a Nimble Anytime Virtual Mastercard can sort you out with the funds you need.

The key to dealing with water leaks in your home is early leak detection, to prevent unnecessary water use and damage to your house.