A leaking water supply pipe isn't always obvious. Leaks can be hidden inside walls or under the floorboards where the pipes pass through. Leaks can also be slow, which means you may never find a pool of water standing near the leak. The following are three signs that can help you catch these types of leaks early.
1: Rusty Water
When leaks form on water supply pipes, the quality of the water often degrades as the leak worsens. Not only may water pressure drop as some water is lost through the leak before it is delivered to the tap, but the water may also arrive discolored. Often, the color is a rusty red or brown, and it is caused by the metal pipe corroding and falling apart. You may even find bits of rusty colored grit in the water — the remains of the pipes as it is flaking and breaking apart. Although the water is still usually safe to use, the discoloration is alarming and the problem it indicates can eventually lead to major damages in your home.
2: Water Damage
Water damage from a leaking pipe typically begins in the wall where you may not notice it right away, although sometimes the first leaks will appear on exposed pipes under a sink or in a basement or crawlspace. Signs of hidden water damage include bubbling paint, soft wallboard, and speckled discoloration from mildew or mold. You may also catch whiffs of a musty mildew smell around the leak, or you may notice that your water bills are going up even though you aren't using more water. If you suspect a hidden leak, then you need to call a plumber so they can locate and repair it promptly. Otherwise, you may end up with extensive water damage.
3: Pipe Dimpling
If you have visible pipes in your home, such as in the basement, then you need to visually inspect them once in a while. Metal pipes are prone to dimpling and flaking as they age. This occurs due to oxidation, which leads the pipes to rust or corrode. Older pipes are more prone to this problem simply because of their age and the materials they are made from. If you notice any dimpling, even if it's just on one pipe, you can be reasonably assured that all the pipes are starting to show age-related damages. Schedule a leak inspection sooner rather than later so you can have the problem fixed before major water damage occurs.
Contact a plumbing service in your area for more assistance if you suspect that you have a plumbing leak.