Water damage and leaks can be hugely costly to you and your budget. Water can both create mold and other slower, ongoing issues associated with health, and bigger, faster problems with structural integrity, rot, and deterioration of property value.
Finding a leak in your ceiling, foundation, or discovering the after-effects of a leak by way of mold can be hugely stressful. But keep calm – the issue won’t get any worse, and all that’s left to do is fix it.
Where do you start? Find the source of the leak and identify the cause. We’ve compiled a few scenarios of finding and controlling leaks in your home or retail business location.
What to Look For
Most paints will peel and bubble when there’s moisture behind them. If you begin to see a cluster of peeling paint in a corner, or a specific spot on the wall, there’s likely a leak behind the paint.
Floor tiles in basements are great identifiers of leaks in floors as they’ll begin to shift and eventually rise when there’s water underneath them. Rust on the tile is another good sign that you’re dealing with a leak.
Patches of mold will congregate around their source leak in ceilings, foundations and walls. Mold is a great signifier that you’ve got a leak – or at least a considerable amount of moisture – in the wall of floor somewhere. Once the leak is fixed, mold can easily be killed and removed using a plethora of materials and treatments ranging from bleach, to tea tree oil, baking soda, and ammonia.
Pipes & Plumbing
Plumbing can be a cause of leaks in walls and ceilings. Leaks in pipes and plumbing usually occur at joints, and more often than not in exterior walls that can be exposed to freezing temperatures causing them to burst.
In addition to burst pipes, and peeling paint – some drywalls will simply become soft, pliable, and weak when prolonged moisture and wetness has been allowed to sit behind it. You’ll be able to notice a softness in the wall itself, noting that you’re probably dealing with a leak somewhere close to this spot. When you find and fix the leak, drywall can be patched and painted over for a seamless repair.
Examine the basement for any visible signs of dampness from water in the walls. Cracks in the foundation are good places to look, as they will be the point of least resistance for water to enter the space. Cracks in foundations can be very small, and difficult to locate, and you may be noticing water accumulate after some heavy rainfall, so locating a stream of visible dampness or wet may be hard.
You should be looking for white coloured deposits on you walls as a sign that there’s a leak. The crack responsible for the leak should be closeby.
You’ll need to differentiate between a potential leak caused by water seepage or because of condensation. An old and reliable way of doing this is to tape a square piece of tin foil to one of the walls. Leave it there for a few days and when you eventually remove the foil, the location of moisture on the outside of the foil means it’s an issue with condensation – while water on the inside of the foil means it’s a seepage problem.
Filling cracks with waterproof patching concrete is a good way to combat the issue immediately while you make plans to fix the problem more extensively, while the only way to truly deal with condensation is to employ the use of a dehumidifier and remove as much moisture from the air inside as possible.
Whatever you do, when you find a leak, don’t leave it for too long. Call a professional to help you assess the damage and extent of the leak. Leaving a leak or moisture in the building can spell bigger repair bills and sustained damage down the road.