Common Leaks That Happen in a Home and How to Spot Them

Many leaks seem minor, but left unchecked they can lead to astronomical water bills and expensive home damage. Learn about some of the most common places where water leaks happen in a home and how to spot them.

If you have a musty smell around your drain, an increase in your water bill, or other warning signs, it’s time to call a plumber. Professional plumbers can detect leaks and provide answers to your questions. Sites like will give you more information on plumbing services.

Water Stains on Walls and Ceilings

The appearance of water stains on ceilings or walls is usually a sign that there’s a leak somewhere in your home. These stains are typically caused by water that has seeped through the roof, insulation or a leaking pipe. If you notice these stains, it’s important to take action as soon as possible. The longer you leave a leak untreated, the more damage it will cause to your property and personal belongings.

You can often tell a stain is from water because it tends to be much darker than other types of stains, and it may look wet or damp. The stains may also appear in close proximity to a sink, toilet or other plumbing fixture.

Water stains on your ceilings or walls aren’t just unsightly, but they can also cause structural damage. It’s crucial to address these stains as soon as you spot them and avoid painting over them with a temporary solution, which could make the problem worse.

Dampness in Your Floors or Other Surfaces

There are many things that can cause dampness in your floors or other surfaces. One of them is a water leak in your house. This problem can lead to a lot of different issues, such as mold growth, wall and ceiling discoloration, sagging floors and ceilings, peeling paint, high water bills and more.

The good news is that it’s not always hard to spot a leak in your home, even if it’s hidden from view. For example, a leaking water pipe behind the drywall can be easily spotted with a simple water test. Just turn off all the faucets in your home and check the water meter. If the meter is moving, then there’s a leak somewhere in your home.

The main reason that homeowners should know how to spot a leak is because it can save them money and headaches in the long run. It’s also important for them to know that the sooner they call a professional, the better.

Cracks in Your Walls or Ceilings

If your home has cracks in the walls or ceiling, it could be a sign of a leak. But it’s important to understand what the cracks mean before deciding whether or not to worry about them.

For example, small vertical cracks that look like spider webs can often be caused by a minor shift in your building, which will then transfer that movement up into the walls. This isn’t usually a problem.

Wider, long or jagged cracks can be more serious and could indicate that your building has shifted significantly and that it’s in danger of collapse. If you see these cracks, get them checked out as soon as possible by a structural engineer.

Cracks in the wall or ceiling that are discolored, for instance, may be a sign of moisture or mold damage. If the cracks are orange, yellow or brown it’s a good idea to call in an expert to investigate. Similarly, if the cracks appear in areas such as above door frames it’s worth getting them looked at to make sure they don’t indicate serious subsidence or other structural problems.

Mold Growth

Mold growth is often a sign that there’s a water leak. Mold spores can thrive in damp and dark environments, as long as they have an organic food source to consume (like dust, skin cells, or organic drywall).

For example, a slow leak in the tub or toilet that never gets repaired is the perfect environment for a buildup of toxic mold. This mold can then spread throughout the house, especially if it gets into the air conditioning vents or other areas that circulate through the home.

In addition to causing health issues and structural damage, mold can be difficult to remove once it’s grown into carpeting, insulation, or walls. If you notice a small amount of mold in the kitchen or bathroom, clean it up immediately and be sure to ventilate the room well by opening windows and turning on fans. This will help keep the humidity down and prevent the mold from returning once it’s dried.