Leak Detection

Quick Summary

Water leaks can cause costly damage to your home and initiate mold growth. Unmitigated leaks also waste water and increase utility bills. Proactively conducting water leak inspections can save you time and money. Water leak prevention may be as simple as adding a smart water shutoff or smart home water system.

What Is Leak Detection?

Water leak detection may be easy to spot if the leak is coming from your toilet, a leaky faucet or  a slab leak. But pipes behind walls or buried underground are not easy to inspect. Since water leaks are common, homeowners must take proactive steps to look for leaks and potential water damage.

Protect your home from water leak damage by regularly: 

  • Reviewing your water bill and monitoring your water meter
  • Inspecting your foundation and yard for flooding
  • Listening for running water
  • Checking carpets and drywall for dampness
  • Repairing known leaks immediately

Finding and fixing leaks preserves your home’s structural integrity and prevents costly water waste.

When to Hire Leak Detection Services

Repairing water leaks is easy when you’re aware of the leak. However, hidden leaks can go undetected for many months before the problem is brought to the homeowner’s attention. Even after signs of water damage or ongoing leaks, homeowners might not know where to look, which is when a professional can help.

Some signs that you might need the help of professional leak detection services include:

  • A noticeable decline in water pressure
  • Unexpectedly high water bills
  • Smelling a consistent musty odor from an unknown source

Professional plumbing and water damage companies use leak detection equipment to find the source of the leak. Using water-leak sensor equipment, professionals find out why your water bills are unusually high.

If your water pressure has decreased, a leak detection company can check the water flow rate in your home using a flow meter. Finally, musty odors typically indicate a hidden leak, which a professional can find with specialized leak detection technology.

Benefits of Leak Detection Services

Identifying and fixing water leaks promptly helps maintain a safe and healthy home. Hiring a professional to find and correct sources of water loss can prevent unsanitary conditions, preserve your home’s building materials and stop costly water waste.

Residential water damage services have the equipment to find the leaks, resulting in better water flow and usage and reducing water consumption costs.

Prevent Health Problems

It’s crucial to remedy water leaks as they arise. Leaving a water line leaking will eventually lead to water damage and mold growth, which is associated with numerous health problems.

If you notice a water leak in your laundry room, fix it quickly yourself or call a plumber. When water sits for 72 hours or more, mold begins to grow and spread, putting everyone in the home at risk of allergies or other respiratory issues.

Recurring mold growth from unremediated water leaks may cause symptoms like:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Lung irritation

If you have signs of a water leak and your family members are exhibiting mold allergy symptoms, contact a leak detection service company to discover any hidden leaks.

Preserve Building Materials

It only takes a short time for unmitigated leaks to cause severe and costly damage to your home. Standing water may lead to mold growth, but may also damage building materials in your home.

Building materials left soaking in water are at risk of rotting and deteriorating, eventually needing to be torn out and replaced.

Some common types of home water damage due to ongoing water leaks include:

  • Warped flooring in the bathroom, laundry room or kitchen from leaky plumbing lines
  • Peeling countertops and cabinet surfaces from leaky faucets
  • Damp and soggy drywall broken water pipes
  • Rotten wood framing or roof trusses from ceiling and roof damage
  • Flooded basement or crawlspace from leaking water heaters or broken underground water mains

Getting a professional to audit your home’s plumbing system will ensure all leaks are addressed and sealed right away to prevent further costly damage.

Prevent Water Waste

While water leaks cause damage to your home, an undetected leak leads to needless water waste and increases your water bill.

Here are some water waste statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

  • The average US household wastes 10,000 gallons of water per year
  • Approximately 10% of homes waste up to 90 gallons of water per day with unmitigated leaks
  • Toilets in a home have the highest water leakage rate, wasting 46,000-92,000 gallons of water per year—enough to fill a large swimming pool

Adding a simple water monitor, water meter or water-leak sensor to your water system may reduce this enormous waste.

Leak Detection Process

During the water leak detection process, professionals use special equipment to locate and remedy the source of the leak.

Leak detection requires specific technologies that allow a plumber or water detection service provider to determine the leak’s exact location and the extent of the leak.

When you hire a plumber or water leak detection specialist, they typically follow a standard procedure to find water leaks in your home:

  1. Conduct a walk-through and visually inspect pipes, faucets, irrigation systems, building foundation and more.
  2. Check the home water meter (unless you have a well) and flow rate.
  3. If surface areas show no signs of leaks, they will conduct an inspection of underground and wall pipes using professional sound detection equipment.
  4. Once the leak is found, professionals explain how to repair the leak and prevent water damage to your home.

Water leak detection specialists and plumbers have the skills and equipment to find hidden leaks fast, repair them correctly and mitigate damage to your home, cutting down on extensive costs.

Smart Home Technology for Monitoring Leaks

Today’s smart home technology gives homeowners detailed insight into the household’s consumption habits—including water usage and waste.

Today’s water-saving smart home technology includes: 

  • Smart water leak detector
  • Flood sensor
  • Leak alert system

Flow meters recognize a drop in water flow, alerting you to a potential hidden water leak. Other technology, like a Flume meter, sensing cable or a Moen smart water detector provide you with real-time water flow information, detecting leaks and alerting you directly.

Water monitors can help homeowners prevent water waste, potentially saving them hundreds of dollars in annual utility costs.

Cost of Leak Detection Services

The average cost to hire a leak detection service company ranges from $175 to $250. The price will depend upon the location of the leak and ease of access to your home water system, as well as costs in your local area.

Homeowners can also invest in home water sensor systems. These smart home technologies range in price from $40 to $200 and are available at most hardware stores. You can install and operate them yourself and start saving money right away.

Unmitigated water leaks may lead to severe damage to your home, mold growth and increased water bills. Proactively checking your home for leaks will help stop them quickly and mitigate potential damage.

Water Damage Advisor

The Water Damage Advisor content team is made up of multiple contributors, writers, and editors. We are your resource hub for anything related to water damage, mold and restoration needs that you may be challenged with facing.

8 References
  1. Daniel P. Duffy. (2017). Successful water leak detection and audit methods. https://www.waterworld.com/home/article/14070706/successful-water-leak-detection-and-audit-methods 
  2. CRD. (Unknown) Be a leak detective. https://www.crd.bc.ca/education/water-conservation/at-home/indoor-water-use/leak-detection
  3. Health Line. (2020). Mold in your home: What causes it and is it a health risk? https://www.healthline.com/health/mold-in-house#bottom-line
  4. AERIndustries. (2016). The Complete Guide to Water Damage Restoration. https://aerindustries.com/blog/2016/12/07/water-damage-restoration-guide/
  5. United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2020). Leaks can run but they can’t hide. https://www.epa.gov/watersense/fix-leak-week#:~:text=The%20average%20household's%20leaks%20can,faucets%2C%20and%20other%20leaking%20valves
  6. CRD. (Unknown) Be a leak detective. https://www.crd.bc.ca/education/water-conservation/at-home/indoor-water-use/leak-detection
  7. Jared Newman & Micheal Brown. (2020). Best water leak detectors for smart homes. https://www.techhive.com/article/3138905/best-water-leak-detectors-for-smart-homes.html
  8. HomeWyse. (Unknown) Cost to find a plumbing leak. https://www.homewyse.com/services/cost_to_find_plumbing_leak.html
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