Tiny drips and leaks may seem harmless initially, but they can quickly escalate into extensive flooding, waterlogged walls, mold infestations, and expensive repair bills. However, quickly addressing these leaky pipes and fixtures can help in preventing issues.
Common Causes of Leaky Plumbing in Fairfax Homes
One of the most common reasons leaks occur in Fairfax properties is aging pipes. The older your home, the more likely it is that your pipes are outdated, making them prone to corrosion and cracking over time.
Galvanized steel pipes are prone to rusting and forming pinhole leaks as they age. PVC and copper pipes can also begin to leak at joints and connections over time. If your home is over 20 years old, be vigilant about monitoring your plumbing for any signs of deterioration.
In addition to aging pipes, faulty or deteriorating fixtures such as showerheads, faucets, and toilet tanks can begin to drip or leak slowly. The constant pressure of water running through your home’s plumbing places wear and tear on these components.
Rubber washers and gaskets eventually break down and need to be replaced. Dripping faucets and showerheads waste water and can easily go unnoticed, causing your water bill to creep up over time. A leaky toilet can cost you hundreds of gallons of wasted water monthly.
Early Warning Signs Homeowners Should Look For
To catch leaks early, be on the lookout for these common warning signs:
Unusually High Water Bills
One of the first indicators of a leak is often a spike in your water bill. Compare your current water usage to the same timeframe of the previous year. If your usage is significantly higher without any change in household size or habits, a leak is probably to blame. Even small leaks can cause you to lose thousands of gallons of water monthly.
The dampness caused by leaking water promotes mold growth in your home. Pay attention to any areas that smell musty or mildew, especially basements, crawlspaces, and bathrooms.
A persistent musty odor usually means moisture is getting in somewhere, whether through a leak or excess condensation on pipes. Tracking down the source of the odor can help you find the leak.
Visible Water Damage
Discolored spots on your ceilings, bubbling or peeling paint and wallpaper, warping floorboards are all signs that water has been leaking for some time.
Water spreading inside your walls, floors, and ceiling can cause drywall and wood to swell, warp, or deteriorate. The longer you take to address the leak, the more extensive the repairs will be.
Strange Noises in Pipes
If you hear abnormal noises, such as gurgling, dripping, hissing, or clanking, coming from your plumbing, it could mean you have a leak.
Air may be penetrating the system through a breach somewhere; a loose pipe fitting could also be the culprit. Strange noises always warrant further investigation to locate the root cause before it worsens.
Reduced Water Pressure
When one or more leaks are siphoning off water, you’ll notice a drop in water pressure levels throughout your home.
Check to see if all your faucets have a lower-than-normal flow rate, which points to a leak reducing overall water pressure. Low pressure could also result from clogged pipes, but a leak is often the culprit.
When Leaks Require a Plumber’s Expertise
While some minor leaks may seem to be an easy DIY fix, it’s highly advisable to call a professional plumber to handle any type of leak in your home. Even small, seemingly inconsequential leaks can lead to mold, water damage, and deteriorating pipes if not properly repaired.
Well-meaning DIY repairs often make leaks worse and end up costing homeowners thousands of dollars more in repairs later. Attempting to patch a leak without addressing the underlying cause usually results in the leak reappearing or popping up elsewhere.
Licensed plumbers have the skills, specialized tools, and years of experience to correctly diagnose the root source of leaks and make comprehensive repairs that adhere to code. They can access hard-to-reach areas in your home’s plumbing system, such as behind walls or under foundations, to find the origin of the problem.
Professional plumbers also use high-tech leak detection methods such as infrared cameras, acoustic listening devices, and pipe inspection cameras. This specialized equipment can pinpoint both the location and severity of leaks, even in hidden pipes.
Beyond repairs, plumbers perform preventative maintenance to keep problems from recurring. They can evaluate all of your pipes, advise on necessary replacements, and ensure your entire plumbing system is leak-free. Taking a DIY approach means vital prevention gets overlooked.
Calling plumbers in Fairfax, VA promptly at the first signs of a leak protects your time, investment, and peace of mind. Don’t take chances trying to temporarily patch a leak on your own without understanding the full scope of repairs needed. The professionals have the knowledge to fix any leak completely right the first time.
Keep Your Home Leak-Free with Baumbach Plumbing’s Expertise
At the first sign of a leak in Fairfax, VA, the best course of action is to call a professional plumber to inspect your home’s plumbing system and make necessary repairs.
Baumbach Plumbing has been detecting and repairing all types of leaks in Fairfax homes since 1928. We have state-of-the-art equipment to find even the most hidden plumbing leaks before they cause expensive repairs.
Our expert plumbers in Fairfax, VA can troubleshoot any plumbing issue and also provide preventative maintenance to stop future leaks from developing. If you suspect a leak in your Fairfax home, contact Baumbach Plumbing today at (703) 239-7177 or online to schedule a comprehensive plumbing inspection.