Bathrooms are one of the most common places in the home to experience water leaks and water damage. While leaks around faucets or from exposed pipes under a bathroom sink are often easy to spot, leaks can sometimes develop in the pipes in bathroom walls or under the floor that are harder to notice. Here are three signs of a hidden water leak in your bathroom.
Visible Mold and Mildew
Moisture is a key component for the growth and spread of mold and mildew. Some mold is bound to develop over time in the corners of your shower or other places where water can accumulate through normal usage of your bathroom. However, if you ever see mold and mildew in parts of your bathroom that usually remain dry, it is a clear indicator that moisture is affecting the area from an unknown source.
Damaged Paint, Wallpaper, and Walls
Paint and wallpaper on bathroom walls should be able to stand up to steam from normal shower usage for years, if not decades. If you notice sudden peeling or bubbling of the paint or wallpaper in your bathroom, you should take it as a sign that your walls are being exposed to a significant amount of moisture.
If you have a leak in the pipes behind your bathroom walls, it can sometimes be severe enough to cause the walls themselves to soften and warp. Drywall is a particularly good indicator of a hidden leak, as it will stain from a relatively small amount of water exposure. You should have a plumber inspect the water lines behind your walls immediately if you notice swelling, sagging, or crumbling drywall in your bathroom.
A Damp or Musty Smell
Wood, drywall, and other surfaces in your bathroom that are vulnerable to moisture will emit a noticeable smell as they begin to rot. This smell can be easy to overlook in the early stages of bathroom water damage, and can be even harder to notice while the air is still humid from a recent shower.
The best time to check for a damp smell in your bathroom is when it is completely dry. Run the exhaust fan and refrain from using the shower for a few hours. If a smell is still present, it means that some surface in your bathroom must be in continuous contact with water and a plumber will need to hunt down the source of the leak.
Use these tips to detect hidden water leaks before they cause serious structural damage to your bathroom so you can avoid expensive repairs.
For plumbing services, contact a company such as ACC Drain & Sewer.