Water provides amazing benefits, and it is essential for life, but when talking about a household or building, water can be the worst thing possible to happen. To provide the amenities we take for granted in the form of faucets, showers, bathrooms, and drinking water spigots, plumbing crisscrosses a structure inside the walls, through the floors, and sometimes above ceilings.
All of that miracle happens through piping that, when working correctly, delivers water from point A to point B successfully and reliability.
However, to do all of that, water has to be moved with pressure, and that same energy can also be what causes serious broken pipe repair emergencies.
Table of Contents
Leaks Come in Different Sizes and Shapes
The traditional plumbing leak most people think of from movies or stories involves a pipe joint that seems to lose connection. That said, real leaks come in lots of different forms and sizes. There is, of course, a catastrophic pipe break, usually due to water freezing in a pipe and cracking it. Most times this happens at the joints, but it could in some odd cases occur in the weakness of a metal pipe itself. The more common leaks happen with joint failures, connection failures, and deteriorating plumbing.
There are also puncture leaks, but these tend to happen either because of rodents in the walls or human error (usually drilling into a wall). Out of all these possibilities, those leaks that are in lines under pressure are the worst because the leak doesn’t stop until the water pressure is cut off or the link is blocked. Given the amount of water that can be pushed out of even a small pipe, a tremendous amount of damage can occur.
The Scale of Damage Possible
Take the example of a laundry machine that suddenly dumps all of its loads of water onto the floor. That is usually anywhere from 20-40 gallons of water.
If the laundry machine is on the second floor of a home, the water will spill, go through the upstairs floor after spreading, then the subfloor, and then leak through to the ceiling of the bottom floor and eventually soak the ground-level flooring.
Overall damage can easily cost $8-10,000 in mitigation work, and another $16,000-18,000 in repair work costs to get back to the status quo. And that’s just from a water spill with no water continuing to flow from a feed line. If the water keeps flowing out, the damage grows exponentially, depending on how long it takes to cut off the water feed.
Signs of a Pipe Leak or Line Break
Probably the most telling sign of a water leak is the discovery of water and soaked flooring where there shouldn’t be any water. However, in some cases, water can leak into the interior walls without being discovered for a long time.
In these cases, mold growth can be a giveaway of a water leak problem. Additionally, the warpage of drywall or wood can be a tell-tale sign as well since both absorb water and expand. Discoloration of pipes and exposed fittings can be another giveaway. Finally, unexplained spikes in the home or building water bill should be investigated; the increased water flow at a constant rate triggers more costs, especially in large amounts given the time that passes between billing cycles.
What to Do When a Water Leak Happens
First off, as soon as you discover a water leak, cut off the water supply to the structure. Even if it produces a bit of inconvenience, until the water leak source is identified, not knowing if it’s coming from a feed line only adds to the damage already occurring.
Second, once the leak is located, even if not a feed line, keep the water supply shut off where possible, and don’t use that item any longer. Contact your structure insurance immediately and request permission to soak up and stop the damage from growing further on what is already spilled. Some providers may not want you to touch anything until they see it, so ask first. Not doing so could negate part of your coverage in a home or building insurance policy, as silly as it sounds.
Third, once you have a green light from the provider to act, get a professional plumber’s help ASAP, open up the area to dry out the water, and mitigate the damage. Your provider may also connect you to mitigation services trained to deal with water damage and potential mold risks if the leak has been present for a while.
Don’t try to figure it out yourself. Most times, there is nothing to save but the structural frame, so don’t try to ignore the gravity of water damage, even if just some wet drywall or wood. It can hide a bigger nightmare inside the wall structure.
- 7 Exercises to Do Everyday: Boost Your Fitness Routine - December 2, 2023
- Top 5 Lead Generation Tactics for Real Estate Agents - November 30, 2023
- Ways to Make the Most of Your Backdrop Stand - November 29, 2023