Want to protect your home from water damage? In this article, we discuss how to find a water leak inside a wall so you can prevent a costly repair.
When leaks go undetected for a long time, they can cause substantial damage to your home and your belongings. From crumbling drywall and bubbling paint, to rotting flooring, to mold infestation, the problems that come with a leak inside the walls of your home can have serious, lasting consequences.
To discover and pinpoint a leak, follow these steps:
Know the Signs of a Water Leak Inside a Wall
To locate and fix a leak inside your walls, you must first know that there is a leak to fix. Obvious signs of a leaking pipe located in the wall include standing water or wet carpeting near a wall and discoloration on the wall itself.
When excessive amounts of water accumulate within your walls, you may also notice a change in the wall’s texture. It may look like the paint or wallpaper on your drywall is bubbling or bulging. If your wall appears to bulge outward, that could be a sign of a major leak that needs to be addressed ASAP.
As is possible in any moist environment, if you have a leak inside your wall, you may notice the signs of mold. Mold can be harmful to breathe, so if you do notice mold growing on your walls, you should contact a professional.
Keep an Eye on the Water Bill
A significant leak may lead to increases in your monthly water bill. If you know how much water you typically use every month, any increases that seem out of place could be a sign that you have a potential problem.
Use a Moisture Meter to Locate the Leak
If you want to learn how to find a leak inside a wall, you may need to make a few purchases first. There are a lot of tools that homeowners can buy or rent to help detect a leak. One of these tools is the moisture meter. If you know the wall that has a leak inside it but not the exact location, take measurements in a few different places on the wall. The spots that read the highest are closest to the source of the leak.
Locate the Leak with an Infrared Camera
Because moisture is cooler than the surrounding air and materials, you can also use an infrared camera to get an idea where a leak is coming from.
Remove a Section of Drywall to Find the Leaking Pipe
Once you get a better read on where a leak is located, you can start removing drywall to start the repair process. Using a drywall saw, cut a large opening to put your head and a flashlight inside so you can look around for the leak.
4 Reasons You Might Have Water Leaking Behind Your Walls
A leaky pipe is one of the biggest stresses you can have in your home. This section will look at four common reasons for this, from corrosion to temperature changes. While leaks can be expensive to fix and cause damage to your home, if you take precautionary measures now and address any issues early on, you could avoid a lot of the headaches that come with water leaking behind your walls!
4 Common Reasons for Water Leaking from Your Plumbing
There are many reasons why plumbing could be leaking. Some of the most common reasons are corrosion, high water pressure, temperature changes, and a shifting foundation. If you notice that water is coming out of your pipes and you don’t know why, it’s important to shut off the water and contact a plumber as soon as possible before water damages your floors, walls, or ceilings.
When pipes are exposed to water and air, it can cause the metal to break down. When the metal gets too thin, it can easily spring a leak. If you have water leaking from a pipe, you need to examine your plumbing in various places to check for signs of corrosion. Sometimes plumbing needs to be replaced in large sections simultaneously, so if there is a leak in one place because of corrosion, you can bet that other piping sections will soon break down. To avoid an expensive disaster, get in touch with a plumber so they can inspect your pipes.
2. High water pressure
Sometimes, the high water pressure in your house can cause a leak in your plumbing. This often occurs when you live in an old home with pipes that aren’t adequate for the new water pressure. You may have noticed this problem because of water seeping from under the sink, running down the wall, or just dripping out of the faucet.
3. Temperature change
When water freezes, it expands. This expansion can create tiny cracks in the pipes, leading to leaks. When the temperature changes, your pipes might also need to adjust by expanding and contracting. If you notice a leak on your property during these times, the pipe is just adjusting to the temperature change. If this leak continues after you have let time pass or if there are other leaks inside your home, you may have a problem that requires professional help.
4. Shifts in your home’s foundation
Often, when your plumbing starts leaking, it’s because the ground around your home has shifted. This can happen because of heavy rains and years of wear and tear on the soil or if you have a pipe resting on newly settled soil. Shifts in the foundation may require extensive work to fix the problem.
What are the Causes of Moisture in Drywall?
The most common cause of drywall moisture is water seeping through the wall or ceiling installation. This water can come from the walls themselves or the ceiling above, and it can cause several problems. Furthermore, this process can lead to holes in the drywall, allowing moisture and other contaminants inside the wall. The same goes for water that seeps into the ceiling; it can cause damage to insulation and wiring, as well as the drywall itself. To avoid these problems, it’s essential to keep track of all changes in humidity levels.
How to Detect Moisture Behind Drywall
If you’re noticing water leaks behind drywall, there’s a good chance that moisture is the cause. Here are four ways to detect moisture behind drywall:
Check for Damaged Drywall
Moisture is likely behind the problem if you notice any signs of water damage or fraying in your drywall. To check for damage, start by feeling the wall for any dampness. Next, use a moisture meter to check the wall’s moisture level if it feels wet.
If the meter reads above 20%, moisture is present, and you’ll need to take steps to dry out the wall. If the meter reads below 20%, there may still be some moisture present, so you’ll want to keep an eye on the area for any further signs of damage.
Look for staining or discoloration of the wall.
Wall stains or discoloration can signify moisture behind the drywall. Another sign of water is if the wall feels warm or damp to the touch.
Listen for Water Sounds
Several things can cause water sounds, but the most common is moisture. For example, if you hear strange noises from your walls, there may be too much moisture in the air. If you think you might have a moisture problem, consult a professional to get it sorted out.
Observe Signs of Wetness
Finally, one way to detect moisture behind drywall is by observing signs of wetness – like water droplets on the wall or floor or mildew growth.
5 Surprising Tools to Detect Moisture in Drywall
Do you ever need to drywall a room but have trouble finding the right tools? That is likely because there are so many tools available for this task. If you’re struggling to figure out what tools you should get, here’s a guide on five necessary tools on how to detect moisture behind drywall.
1. Moisture meter
This tool uses light and sound sensors to detect air moisture levels.
2. Thermal camera
This camera uses infrared radiation to see through walls and ceilings. It is often used to inspect for water damage.
3. A vacuum cleaner with a wet/dry attachment
This attachment can be used to remove moisture from behind drywall. Using these tools can prevent damage to your home and protect your belongings.
4. A humidity meter
It is the most accurate tool for detecting moisture behind drywall. But unfortunately, it is also the most expensive tool.
5. A moisture tester
It is less accurate than a humidity meter, but it is cheaper. Moreover, it can only measure the moisture level in the air.
Don’t Have Time to Learn How to Find a Water Leak Inside a Wall?
Don’t have time to learn how to find and fix a water leak inside a wall? Here at Custom Plumbing of Arizona, we’re ready and eager to help! We can get you fixed up so you can resume enjoying your home again.