Is your water bill suddenly getting higher? Do you hear running water even though all the taps are turned off? If the answer is yes, your Central Florida home may have hidden leaks that can cause severe damage and pose health hazards for your family and guests. Left untreated, water leaks cause foundational damage, promote mold and mildew growth, and more.
No matter where a leak occurs, a professional water damage restoration and remediation company like Central Florida Restoration Services can help.
Why Leak Detection is the Best Defense Against Water Damage
Leaky and broken pipes are the major cause of residential water damage. Even the tiniest of leaks in your Central Florida’s vast plumbing network can, over time, do serious harm. Leak detection services can stop a small leak from becoming a significant water damage disaster.
One consequence of a water leak that many people don’t think about is, if water can leak out of a pipe, other things like soil, bacteria, and organics can get into the pipe. That can lead to contamination of your entire water system, even rendering your water unfit to drink.
Household Leaks are More Common Than You Think
According to the EPA, household leaks can waste nearly a trillion gallons of water annually. Toilets, faucets, showerheads, outdoor faucets, and appliances regularly leak in up to ten percent of American homes. Many visible leaks can be fixed by the homeowner or a professional plumber. Hidden, undetected leaks are the ones that potentially do the most damage.
Leaks occur for any number of reasons:
- Corroded pipes – As pipes age, corrosive substances like rust form throughout your home’s plumbing system. The corrosion eats away at the pipes and creates openings for water to leak out.
- Damaged pipes – This can be due to construction, yard, or other plumbing repair work.
- Clogged drains and pipes – This can lead to pipe corrosion or damage due to higher than normal water pressure.
- Pipe fittings – These can come loose.
- High water pressure – This can cause pipes to burst.
- Tree root intrusion – These can cause plumbing backups.
- Foundation or ground shifting – When this happens, it can displace pipes and cause connection breaks.
- Damaged seals – These wear out over time and break.
Typically, though, pipes leak because they’re old and tired. If the leaks happen under the foundation or behind a wall, you could find yourself dealing with a major water damage problem.
What Should You Do If You Suspect a Plumbing Leak?
Dripping faucets, worn toilet flappers, and leaky valves are often easy to fix using a few tools and new hardware. Fixing these issues can save you up to ten percent on your water bills, so it’s always a good idea to make these simple repairs. It’s the bigger, often unseen, leaks that can cause the most damage, though. And the longer you leave them undetected or unaddressed, the further damage they can cause.
Water damage and restoration experts are skilled at finding leaks before a pipe bursts and causes flooding that requires total renovation to your Central Florida home. They have the sophisticated equipment needed to identify leak sounds and pinpoint the exact location of leaks. Flow meters and pressure gauges can also be used to detect pressure differences. They’re also trained to accurately find other “mystery” leaks like roof leaks, windows leaks, groundwater intrusion, and even faulty tile grout leaks.
Home Leak Detection Products
Dealing with a leak can be frustrating, time-consuming, and downright exhausting. If you suspect your home has a leak, there is an easy DIY leak test you can try.
- The Meter Test
Turn of all taps in your home. Note the current reading on your water meter and write it down. Do not turn on any water or flush a toilet while doing the test. After 30 minutes have passed, recheck your meter. If the numbers have changed, shut off all toilet valves and wait another 30 minutes. If the numbers didn’t change, your leak is coming from a toilet. If they did change, you need a professional leak inspection.
Leak Detection Systems
Water damage to your Central Florida home can be costly. Once you identify and repair any existing leaks, you might want to consider adding a leak detection system to your home. These innovative systems use smart leak sensors to alert you to plumbing problems the moment they’re detected, so you can fix them before they get worse.
Smart leak detection systems are designed to identify leaks in their early stages. Some are battery-powered, and others run on electrical power and have battery backup. They work by monitoring the water flow in your home. When a problem is detected, the system sends an alert either by a smoke detector-type alarm or by a notification to your smartphone/digital device.
The relatively inexpensive home water detection systems can be well worth the investment if they help detect a leak at its beginning stages. More expensive systems are also available, including ones that automatically shut off the water flow if a leak is detected. Some can be self-installed; others require professional installation.
There are four types of smart home leak detections systems, and most include one or more of the following components:
- Smart leak detectors – These are moisture-sensitive devices you place strategically throughout your home to detect leakage. Some are self-contained with a built-in alarm and multi-year battery. Other smart systems use Wi-Fi to connect to a home security system. Systems like these usually don’t require professional installation.
- Smart water monitors – These alert you to a water leak by tracking water flow through your home. The system’s monitor connects to your home plumbing by either a pipe or ultrasonic technology. If the monitor senses a loss of water pressure, the system sends an alert to warn you about a potential leak. Some systems can provide home water usage data so you can conserve water. Some smart water monitor systems can be self-installed; others require professional installation.
- Smart water shut-off valves – These connect to your home’s water supply and temporarily shut off your water at the source when a leak or significant change in water pressure is detected. This type of valve can also be helpful if your main water shut-off is difficult to access or hard to find. You can also turn off the shut-off valve remotely. You can pair a smart water shut-off valve with a smart water monitor or a smart leak detector to create a more effective total home leak protection system. Shut-off valves are usually installed by a professional. Their cost varies depending on whether the unit is purchased separately or as a part of a package.
- Freeze sensors are less common in Central Florida homes, though frozen and cracked pipes do happen here. Like leak sensors, freeze sensors detect temperature conditions that contribute to freezing pipes. They detect when the temperature inside your home drops below a set temperature, typically around 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The sensors then set off an alarm, use your WiFi to send an alert, or call your phone. They can also communicate with a smart water shut-off valve.
Some home leak detection systems combine water and freeze detection. If you’re unsure which package is right for you, talk to a professional.
The Savings Add Up When You Hire a Water Damage Restoration Company for Leak Detection
Unrepaired water leaks can cause severe damage to your Central Florida home and result in expensive repairs. A professional water damage restoration company can detect any hidden leaks at your property without invasive destruction to your home.
Though the areas most prone to leaking are bathrooms, concrete slabs, attics, basements or crawlspaces, and sprinkler systems, leaks and water damage can occur just about anywhere in your home. If your home has already suffered water damage due to a leak, it’s essential to call in experts who can properly clean and restore the area. While most plumbers are skilled in fixing immediate plumbing problems, many might not be able to identify hidden water damage. Left undetected and untreated, these hidden leaks can end up costing you a whole lot more than the original damage. In many cases, homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover it, either.
Of course, your first aim is to stop a leak and prevent any more water from seeping into your home. Power should be shut off to avoid electrocution. Once the leak is under control, repair, cleanup, and restoration services can begin.
Here’s what you should do to address your home’s water damage as well, as what a water damage restoration company will provide once they arrive:
- Inspect your home and property, as well as take photos of any damage.
- Call your insurance agent or carrier to help you understand what is or isn’t covered under your policy. Central Florida Restoration Services is skilled at identifying water damage issues you might miss and will help you deal with your insurance company, potentially getting you more from your claim.
- Prepare for the restoration process. What restoration work needs to be done will depend greatly on the extent of the water damage. The goal is to get your home back to its original condition.
- The restoration contractors use water extraction machines to remove any water from your home and prevent further damage to your property.
- Professional drying equipment is used, and affected areas are inspected for mold growth. After drying, the area is sanitized and disinfected.
- A thorough cleaning and restoration process restores building materials like drywall and flooring.
A final inspection should occur once the water restoration services are complete.
Central Florida’s Most Trusted Leak Detection Company
It’s always best to stop water damage before it starts, but sometimes that’s not possible. If you experience water damage in your home, restoration professionals can help you get back on track. They can also inspect your home for any hidden or undetected leaks, so the problem doesn’t reoccur.
At CFRS, our goal is to make the water damage restoration process as stress-free as possible. We have years of experience in dealing with every type of leak and damage. We have seen it all and understand how worrying it can be to homeowners. That’s why we’re committed to providing a timely response after your call. We’re Central Florida’s premier water damage, mold damage, fire damage, and smoke damage company. You can rest easy knowing whatever your leak problem, we’ve likely handled it before.
To learn more about all the water damage services we offer, including 24/7 emergency services, contact CFRS today. We provide the support you need to keep your Central Florida home and family safe from the disastrous effects of water damage, showing you how to avoid costly future leaks, damage, and repairs.