You might think a leak is always obvious, but you’d be wrong. Much of your plumbing is sealed inside your walls, and when one of these pipes leaks, it can continue leaking for weeks or even months before it’s noticed. This infographic outlines the most common methods for detecting and locating a water leak that’s inside your walls.
- Visible water damage – If a water leak goes untreated for a while, you’ll begin to develop visible signs of water damage on your walls. This includes bubbling and peeling paint, discoloration on the walls, and soft, spongy drywall. Ideally, you should catch the problem before it reaches this point of damage, but that’s not always possible.
- Noticeable musty smells – Another simple method of leak detection is your nose. Where there’s moisture, there’s likely mold and mildew growth. Again, it’s best if you catch these leaks before mold begins to grow, but hidden leaks can be tricky. If you notice a musty smell in a specific area of your home, it’s time to start looking for a leak.
- Moisture detectors – In terms of leak-detecting tools, moisture detectors are among the most common. These devices are highly sensitive to increased levels of moisture in materials. If placed in an area with a hidden leak behind it, the device will emit a loud beeping sound to indicate the presence of high moisture levels and will give you a good idea of where the leak is located.
- Ultrasonic devices – Even if you can’t hear it, a leaking pipe will always make a noise. Professional leak detectors use ultrasonic listening devices to pick up on the tiny sounds of dripping or spraying water, which are muffled by your walls.
- Infrared cameras – Another tool often used by leak detection experts is an infrared camera. Leaky pipes create obvious cold spots inside your walls, making it easy to find the leak with this tool.