How Can You Detect a Hidden Water Leak Behind Your Drywall?

If your water bill has been much higher than normal recently, but your consumption needs have not changed, you may wonder why this should be the case. You may immediately suspect a leak but cannot see any evidence of this in the usual suspect areas. However, the leak may be out of sight behind some of your drywall, and as it may be classified as a "slow" leak, there is no obvious proof. What should you do in this situation?

Confirming Your Worst Fears

The first thing you should do is to confirm your suspicions by turning off the water at the mains, making a note of the reading on your meter and waiting for a while. Do not flush the toilet or run any taps during this period and then check the meter once again. If it has moved, you know you're dealing with a leak.

Being a Detective

Next, look closely at areas around your interior wall, especially behind large furniture items. Can you see any strange blotches, or has some of the wallpaper in that area curled up at the corner? If you have a carpet, look for some dark stains and if you find any, place your hand on the surface to see if it's damp.

Should you find anything, this does not necessarily indicate the exact location of the leak. After all, water can run along pipes to their lowest point before being overwhelmed by gravity and dripping to the floor.

Locating the Leak

You can always use a moisture meter to find out exactly where the leak may be. You can pick one of these up from a home improvement centre and, to use it, place the meter directly on the wall in different areas. The device will give you a higher reading when you're closest to the hidden leak's location.

Fixing the Problem

You'll want to take action to fix the leak as soon as possible. In addition to the obvious cost, leaking water can cause considerable damage due to wood rot, mould or mildew accumulation. You need to cut into the drywall at the problem location and have the tools on hand to patch or repair the leak. Obviously, you need to replace or repair the drywall once the work is complete. 

If you're not happy doing this type of repair yourself, call in a plumber as soon as possible. They will do so with minimum disruption and get you back to normal.

Reach out to a plumber for more information.