Posted on: 19 January 2016
Water damage is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to your home's structure. If you don't get everything dried out properly, it can just keep on doing damage years after the initial event. Spotting the signs of a leak can stop this minor annoyance from becoming a serious problem.
While you are cleaning the bathroom, take a minute to look around the room. Check every corner, including those up by the ceiling. Don't forget to look inside your vanity when you do your checks. You are looking for the telltale signs of a leak: water stains. Unfortunately, they only signify that you have a problem, not necessarily where it's located. Water can run inside the walls and cause stains quite a ways away from the actual leak. The good news is that now that you have noticed it, you can repair the leak before it gets any more serious.
If you are new to this home, you do need to take an extra step before you assume there is a leak. Previous leaks may have stained the walls but then been repaired. If the previous owner didn't put a couple layers of stain blocker underneath the new paint, the old stain can bleed through the new paint. Look for other signs that the stain is caused by a new leak before taking action.
Stains aren't the only sign of a leak that can show up on your wall. Mold and mildew will thrive on the moisture released from the leak, and the building materials in the walls will give these organisms plenty of food. Mildew in the corners of your shower is normal, and you probably take steps to keep it to a minimum. Mold in areas that don't normally stay damp isn't and usually indicates a leak.
Once the leak is repaired, you still need to kill the mold. If the damage is extensive, your only choice may be to rip out the walls or ceiling and replace them. A mold remediation contractor might be a wise investment. If any mold survives your efforts, it can regrow and cause health problems within your family.
If the infestation is minor and you catch the leak early, you might simply be able to clean the surface and kill the mold that way. There are several solutions that are able to kill all but the most stubborn mold spores. Most are reasonably safe and include bleach, baking soda and tea tree oil. The good news is, these products are easily obtainable, so even if the first doesn't quite do the job, you can always apply a second cleaning agent to the mildew colony.
Stains and visible mold are great ways to spot a possible leak in progress, but the leak has to be large enough and old enough to make its way through the wall. Your bathroom may not always smell the best, but it should smell nice and clean once you are done giving it a good scrub.
If the room still seems a bit musty, a hidden leak may be to blame. Pooling water beneath the floor or within the wall can grow a colony of mold without it ever making it to the side of the wall you can see. In these cases, the only sign you are going to get that there is a problem will be that musty odor.
Spotting leaks can be tough, but it is much easier once you learn to spot the signs of a problem. The time you spend learning these techniques will be far less than the time and money you save by spotting the next leak early and being able to take care of it promptly. Contact a company like Two Men And A Snake for more information about repairing a leak.Share