You may know how to find that leaky pipe in the attic, but what about the one hidden inside a wall? You might think it’s impossible to locate that leak until you look for it. But if you know where to search, there’s a good chance you can find and fix even those leaks hidden inside walls. Let’s face it: Water leaks can be extremely disruptive and costly. Once you locate the source of your water leak, repairing it should be your first priority. Fortunately, many water leaks are fairly easy to detect and repair. In this article, we will explore several techniques for finding a water leak inside a wall and offer solutions for fixing them.
How To Find A Water Leak Inside A Wall?
- Look for wet spots on the floor – Water leaks inside walls are often hidden from view, so look for any wet spots on the floor. Saturated carpet, padding, or drywall can tell you that water is coming through the wall.
- Look for moist insulation – In older homes with fiberglass insulation, moisture may be visible in the insulation as it absorbs moisture from a leaky pipe or another source. You may even see mold growing on fiberglass insulation if it has been wet for a long time and is not properly ventilated.
- Look for discoloration of drywall – Drywall is made of gypsum, which will turn white when exposed to water. If you see discolored drywall in an area where there are no windows or other sources of light, it could be a sign of a hidden leak behind the wall. If you see discolored drywall in an area where there are no windows or other sources of light, it could be a sign of a hidden leak behind the wall.
- Listen for running water – Often times you can hear water running inside your walls if there is a leak close by (this is especially true if you have plastic pipes). If you hear running water inside your walls but don’t know where it’s coming from, try turning off all your faucets and plumbing fixtures to eliminate them as possible sources of leaks. You can also check your roof and foundation to see if there’s any evidence of a leak.
- Inspect your water meter – If your water meter shows that you’re using more water than usual, there may be a leak inside your walls. A small leak can show up on the dial of the water meter even if it is not noticeable anywhere else in the house.
- Look for rust stains on your walls – Rust stains are usually caused by copper pipes that have oxidized and are leaking into the wall cavity. The stains will appear as reddish-brown spots, especially on drywall or plaster walls. You can also see rust stains on ceiling tiles above a leaky pipe or in a wall directly above an active plumbing fixture such as a sink or toilet (this is because water leaks often drip down through the ceiling).
Look For Discolored Drywall
- Check the drywall in the area where you suspect a leak. Drywall is composed of gypsum plaster sandwiched between two pieces of paper. The paper on either side of the plaster is usually white, but if there’s a water leak behind that wall, one or both sides of the paper may be discolored. If you find discolored paper, chances are there’s a water leak inside your wall.
- Water leaks can cause mold to grow on surfaces directly adjacent to them. If you find mold growing on the drywall in your wall, chances are there’s a water leak inside that wall.
- Look for stains on the ceiling directly above your suspected water leak location. Even if you can’t smell or see any evidence of a water leak inside your walls, it may be leaking into your house and causing damage elsewhere in your home (such as to your ceiling). This type of hidden damage may not be noticeable at first, but it will eventually become apparent as the ceiling begins to sag or stain and must be repaired at some point in the future anyway.
- You might also notice that there is mold growing where carpeting meets baseboards or other flooring materials around windows and other places inside your home where they meet walls; this could indicate a hidden water leak behind those walls somewhere else in your home as well (or it could simply mean that moisture is getting into those areas from outside).
- If water is coming from your walls in several different places, it’s likely that there is a water leak inside your walls.
- You may also be able to detect a water leak inside your walls by listening to the sound of running water. Listen closely to the sound inside your walls and try to pinpoint exactly where the source of the sound is coming from.
Check For Wet Carpeting
- First and foremost, look for wet carpeting in the room with the water leak. If you have carpeting, it’s a sure sign that you have a leak in your wall or ceiling. Look around the base of your walls and ceilings for any signs of moisture or water damage. You may also notice an odor, which is usually indicative of a mold problem in addition to a water leak.
- If you don’t find any wet carpeting, but there are signs of water damage on the wall or ceiling where you suspect the leak is occurring, then check around the window moldings and floor moldings for wetness or discoloration. If you do find evidence of moisture under these areas, then there’s a good chance you have a leak inside your wall that needs to be repaired.
- Check around all electrical outlets in the room with signs of moisture damage for discoloration at floor level or along any walls near them. This would indicate that water is leaking from somewhere behind those electrical outlets and running down to where it meets the floor level.
- Check under sinks in bathrooms — if they are leaking from behind — for any signs of dampness on the wall near them (wet paint). Also, check for discolored grout around tile floors and walls where tile meets tubs and showers; these are often indicators that there’s been water leakage behind those fixtures as well (see photo below).
- If you have wooden cabinets or wood paneling in your kitchen or bath, look for water damage around the edges of those cabinets and panels. This is a common point of entry for water leaks behind walls.
Check The Drain Hose
- One of the most common causes of a water leak inside a wall is a clogged or loose drain hose. To locate this hose, go to the sink and turn on the water. If you see water dripping from under the sink cabinet, you found it. If not, try checking the bathtub or shower drain.
- If you can’t find any of these hoses, check for an open seam in your wall where water may be leaking through. Water can cause rot and mold to grow around these seams if they aren’t properly sealed with caulk or waterproof tape.
- One way to find out for sure if it’s a leak in your wall is by using a water detector dye kit, which will leave colored stains wherever there’s moisture in your house or building. These kits are available at most home improvement and hardware stores for around $15 (as of 2010).
- If you have reason to believe that there may be leaks inside your walls, consider hiring a professional plumber to do an inspection and fix any problems that are found before they get worse and more costly to repair later on down the road!
As you can see, there are several ways to locate a water leak inside a wall. Once you find the leak, repair it as quickly as possible to prevent unnecessary water damage to your home’s structure. Fortunately, you can usually repair a water leak without having to tear apart the wall.