Water can get under your house in multiple ways. The plumbing system may be old and leaky, the gutters may be clogged, or tree roots may have infiltrated beneath the construction. Each problem increases unwanted moisture. Regardless of how it takes place, you need to know how to detect a foundation leak and fix the situation before it affects the stability of your home.
Here are a few tips from Jim at Granite Foundation Repair, a professional foundation repair company in Dallas, that will help you find a foundation leak without having any plumbing experience.
Check the appliances in your home
The first sign that you are dealing with a foundation leak should appear in the form of a high utility bill, which is most likely the result of a leaky appliance in your home. Check for dripping faucets, pipe leaks and even your toilet. The excess water is most likely pooling under the construction and could have a severe impact on your house.
Search for damp carpets or floors
If there are no visible leaks from your appliances, it might be the plumbing system has developed small holes or cracks. You can identify the leaking ducts by looking for damp carpets or floors in and around your home. The water may infiltrate the walls and create small pools where the leakage takes place.
Recognize the smell of mold
A clear sign of having a foundation leak is the formation of mold. If you cannot see it yet, you need to recognize its smell, which is musty, sour scent emanating from wet drywall or damp carpets. Mold or mildew appears after extended periods in which the water has gathered on the floor or in the internal structure of the walls.
Inspect the water pressure
Sometimes, a pipe leakage is difficult to identify as the leading cause for a foundation leak. However, you can test it by checking the water pressure. Inspect all the faucets in your home, but one at a time, to determine if the lack of power is the result of a plumbing leak.
After discovering where the water comes out at a lower pressure than usual check the pipes that lead to it and pat them with a dry cloth to find the leaking spot.
Run a checkup of your water heater
Old and overused water heaters may cause significant leaks. Very often, a water heater would power out of the standby mode and start heating water even if you did not program it to do so. This can be the sign of a hot water leak that causes a drop in temperature and a subsequent restart of the heater that is trying to warm up the water. Check the system for any leaks or seek repair advice from a professional.
Look for warm spots on your floor
If you suspect a foundation leak that causes damage under your home, you need to look for warm spots around the house. Try walking barefoot and identify the spots on the floor that feel warmer than any other areas of the room. Mark that location and check it again the next day. If the warmth persists, you might be dealing with a leaking hot water pipe.
Search for foundation cracks
If you notice any cracks appearing in your wooden floors or kitchen tiles, you could be dealing with a major foundation leak. This kind of crevices in the floor take place when a water pipe bursts into pieces and the water pressure hits the foundation.
In this situation, you have very little time to spare. Close immediately all the water sources coming in and out of your home. Call a plumbing professional and check the basement for flooding.
Look out for efflorescence
When you have a leak in your foundation or in one of the walls, you can notice a sort of white powder that appears in that area. These dust-like particles are the minerals in the water that has evaporated. Also known as efflorescence, this powder will indicate the place where the pipe is leaking, so you won’t have to look too much for the spot you need to repair.
Keep an eye on perimeter leaks
Poor drainage can cause perimeter leaks in your foundation, which are some of the most difficult types of leaks to repair. They usually appear where the wall meets the floor and causes the formation of water pools, mold, and mildew. If you don’t act quickly, the leak can cover and damage your home’s entire foundation.
Check your windows
Last, but not least, you may discover that the water pooling on or around your foundation may not be from a leaking pipe or a faulty plumbing system. Sometimes, a poorly-built or ill-maintained window can allow rainwater to enter your home and infiltrate the walls and the floors.
In time, repeated leakage can affect your foundation. In this case, you will need to approach a builder or a handyman that can fix your windows and prevent any future leakage.