Water, Water Everywhere

Drip, drip, drip. That little noise can become a big annoyance – and it can even be a sign of things to come. Don’t take a leak sitting down!

Find out where it’s coming from in your home. Check faucets, appliances, your home’s basement and attic and your roof. Then get moving with a plan to make it stop before it stops you.

If it’s a faucet leak, you’re in luck. There’s most likely a washer that needs tightened or replaced and it’s a simple fix. Call a plumber and have it done within the week. But if you’ve checked all your faucets and toilets, tightened the handles to be certain they’re completely in the “off” position and checked that the stoppers on the commodes are working properly, and you’re still hearing that rhythmic drip, drip, drip, then keep looking! You are on a mission!

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Next, check your appliances ­– dishwasher, washing machine, and refrigerator/freezer. It is not unheard of to have the water hose to the ice maker drip before it springs a leak. Check bigger systems like water heaters and HVAC systems. You should still be feeling lucky if you find the leak in one of these areas.  You still need to call a repair person, but hopefully your foresight of purchasing a service agreement or extended warranty on your appliances will now pay off, resulting in only a mild headache.

That headache will become a migraine the longer you look for the annoying dripping, which has now become CLOP, CLOP, CLOP in your head. Nonetheless, persevere! Your discovery now will save you thousands of dollars if you find the leak before it completely floods your basement. If a small drip becomes a big waterfall, it can create even more hazards, including flooding and electrical dangers. If you see water or wetness at the foundation, or even a creeping dark spot, call a custom builder or remodeler immediately. He will come and inspect the damage and work with you on a solution to stop the leak. A foundation leak usually occurs when the foundation is compromised in some way. It may crack or erode from too much rain or watering, poor drainage, sub-par construction or bad remodeling.  Sometimes natural factors like extended tree roots or seasonal rains can cause a foundation to crack or leak. A custom remodeler should know how to find the source and provide steps to remove it. He should also correct any damage to the foundation and check for mold.

Mold is one of the biggest, silent difficulties of water damage. It can cause problems with physical buildings, as well as with a person’s physical health. Constant exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of symptoms, like nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing, eye irritation and skin irritation. Mold can be found in areas that retain moisture, such as compost piles, cut grasses and wooded areas, but it can also grow in damp basements or around houses that have constantly damp soil or mulch. Exposure to damp indoor environments has been linked to upper respiratory tract symptoms like coughing or wheezing, and researchers have linked these symptoms to mold. It all started with an innocent drip, drip, drip.

Another cause of the leaking could be a sewer leak. If you get sewer water in your home, call a professional immediately. Sewer water is bacteria-laden and can cause serious illness in humans.  Specialists in detection and water damage clean-up are trained in handling this dangerous water, so while you may be tempted to just get it out of the house, wait for them to do so, rather than put your own or your family’s health at risk.

Other results from what seemed like a tiny drip, include attic and ceiling damage, which can cause a ceiling to weaken and collapse into the floor below. Getting the ceiling re-done can be costly, as well, so catching any growing water stains on the ceiling or in adjoining walls is a plus. The dripping can cause a fire hazard due to water and electrical currents – they don’t mix. Drips that leak onto the floor can cause falling hazards. Slippery when wet doesn’t just apply to rural roads on a rainy route. Any tile or wooden floor can become slippery with even the tiniest drop of water, causing falling hazards.

Finally, after you’ve searched high and low, sufficiently searched your home for the origin of the water, and called in the appropriate repairman, your monthly bill from the water company arrives in your mailbox. The monthly installment is twice that of the previous month. No, you didn’t keep your heater on in the summer or run the air conditioner at full blast. You had a leak that went drip, drip, drip in the night and throughout several nights and days. You searched for days to find it. You paid a few hundred dollars to professionals to repair it properly. You thought your migraine was dissipating. Your utility bill reflects increased water usage. How can that be? It’s amazing how a little drip can become a big headache. Stand up to the drips!