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Water damage is frequently caused by one or multiple water leaks and can have a catastrophic impact on your home. Unfortunately water damage usually first starts out of sight, yet it is capable of weakening your house’s structure and can cause mold and mildew growth quickly.
How Experts Find Hidden Water Leaks
Here are the most common places experts say to look first:
- Use Your Water Meter to Detect Leaks
- Check for Broken or Worn-Out Rubber Seals
- Look at Your HVACs Condensation Lines
- Check Walls for Hidden Water Damage
1. Use Your Water Meter to Detect Water Leaks
According to the City of Tucson website (https://www.tucsonaz.gov/water/how-to-read-your-meter-and-detect-leaks), learning how to read your meter can help you determine if there is a leak on your property.
- Turn off all water-consuming appliances, including toilets, faucets, washing machines, showers, evaporative coolers and icemakers in refrigerators.
- Go outside, make sure that there is no water source accidentally left turned on such as a garden hose.
- Now find your water meter. Look to see which type of water meter you do have. For the meter with the analog display, check the needle’s position on the meter dial and note the time. Check the needle’s position again after 15-30 minutes. If the needle’s position has changed, you may have a leak. Some meters have a blue triangle dial on the face, which turns with low flow through the meter and makes it easier to detect when water is moving through the meter. For the meter with a digital display, check the flow rate display screen. Any flow rate other than zero may indicate you have a leak.
- Take a second water meter reading to see if anything has changed. This is how to detect water leaks for most of your home. Just make sure you haven’t used any water during that hour to a two-hour window.
2. Check for Broken or Worn-Out Rubber Seals
Household appliances, especially those that use water such as dishwashers, washing machines, or hot water heaters are also a common cause of hidden water damage. Experts will check household appliances to determine if they are causing water damage to your home.
When your appliances were installed, the contractor put a rubber seal around all water connectors. As your appliances age, the seal may break or wear out. Condensation buildup on your appliance or puddles near the appliance can alert you to a broken seal.
Do not forget to look at faucets! For many homeowners, the source of a water leak stems from a worn rubber washer on the faucets underneath the handle.
3. Look at Your HVACs Condensation Lines
An HVAC system is responsible for the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning in your home. This is the number one cause of water damage to your home. This type of a leak is normally slow at first and goes undetected. Although normally it will not flood the whole house, most of the affected area will need to be removed due to water contamination.
In Tucson, we usually see clogged HVAC drain lines during or right after the monsoon season because there’s a lot of dust and debris being blown around, which can easily get into the drain line and cause a clog. A little clog in your condensate drain can create a huge problem!
4. Check Walls for Hidden Water Damage
Another place hidden water damage can be is in your walls. All plumbing materials age and deteriorate with time. Despite your best intentions, your water pipes might burst without warning or develop a small leak.
Small leaks are difficult to detect and over time this water damage will make itself known through staining or soft spots in the drywall.
If you do have wet drywall, be sure it’s properly dried and replaced to prevent mold growth.
Don’t come home to a flooded house!
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Got Wet! We Dry!
At Commercial Cleaning & Restoration, we can help you with thorough structural drying, flood cleanup, and water damage repairs. If you’re already noticing the signs of mold, we can also help you with remediation services too.
Water extraction is a multi-step process that should be handled by an experienced, certified, licensed water restoration contractor. These are the steps we take to ensure the fastest results possible:
- Stop the cause of the water leak.
- Remove any standing water in the area. We have large water extractors that can remove water very quickly.
- Use special equipment like water meters to assess the damage within the walls.
- Prepare for a thorough drying process by allowing airflow into the walls. Depending on the damage assessment, drying could involve lifting the baseboards or removing damaged walls.
- Dry the damaged structure thoroughly with dehumidifiers and air movers.
- Rebuild and make it Like New Again!
In the process of cleaning up water, there is always a potent and hidden danger of mold. Mold can literally establish itself to the point of noticeable odor and visibility within hours of the water removal. Slow leaks can be equally as damaging as a major water event. Because they go unnoticed, a garbage disposal that drips periodically can ruin a cabinet and leak to the floor beneath it.
Commercial Cleaning and Restoration does not recommend DIY mold removal, we know that there are a lot of people out there who do NOT properly contain the affected area. Many DIYers have found that they didn’t have the right safety equipment, or they found a larger issue than they expected.
Carpet • Tile • Area Rugs • Upholstered Furniture
At Commercial Cleaning & Restoration, we want the best for you and your carpet and we will work to prove it to you.
We also clean area rugs and upholstery.
If you are interested in having your flooring and upholstery professionally cleaned, schedule an appointment at (520) 297-4736 for your home today!
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