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7 Silent Signs of a Plumbing Leak

water damage ceiling

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates “household leaks can waste nearly 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide.” 1 In fact, according to the EPA “the average household’s leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, and ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.” That’s a lot of wasted water down the drain! 1 Water leaks are often silent, going unnoticed while wasting money and creating serious damage to your home. You should be aware of these seven silent warning signs.

#1. Pay attention to your water bills. Unexplained spiking water bills can be a sign of a leaky pipe. You may also see a slow increase each month in your bill, and this could be evidence of a slow leak. Even a slow leak if unchecked will cost you in increased water bills not to mention the cost to fix any damage done to your home.

#2. Evidence of mold and mildew can be an indication of a leak. If you start seeing mold on walls and baseboards, ceilings, or floors in the bathrooms or kitchen this is likely a sign you have a leaky pipe. 

#3. Sometimes evidence of a leak is in the form of smell and not something you can see. For example, a musty smelling room can indicate a leak, where mold and mildew exist inside walls, vents, or under the floor. When water sits in one place under a leaking pipe it begins to stagnate and produces a terrible odor. Ew!

#4. Stained and damaged floors, walls, and ceilings can be subtle signs at first. You may see a slightly dingy-looking spot on your white ceiling or an outline of a water mark on your walls. Even a small stain can be evidence of something bigger going on behind it. A small stain can get bigger if the leak isn’t fixed and end up causing significant damage. If you notice paint on your walls or ceilings that is beginning to bubble and peel off, it’s most often a sign of moisture and you should investigate as soon as possible.

#5. Wet spots in your grass can be a sign of a leaking pipe. This is especially true if you see puddles or mud near the outer walls of your home when there hasn’t been any rain.

#6. Other common signs to recognize in your yard are a patch of grass that is greener than the areas around it or a sunken area in the yard. If a patch of sunken ground falls between your house and the street, this could definitely be a sign of a leak, as this is a common path for a sewer line.

#7. It’s normal for homes to settle over time and even have hairline cracks in the ceiling or drywall. Cracks that suddenly widen can be a sign of a leaking pipe that is undermining your home’s foundation.

Plumbing leaks can be silent and knowing the signs can save your wallet. A leaking pipe is not something you want to ignore. It will not get better on its own and only ends up costing you more in wasted water and expensive damage to your home. At Michael’s Plumbing, we are experts in locating and fixing water leaks. If you’ve noticed signs of a water leak in your Orlando area home, give us a call at (407) 219-9772 or contact us online.

1 “Fix a Leak Week.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 18 Mar. 2020,

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