Many things to do with houses involve a lot of effort. Whether it’s comparing removal quotes or finding out how to fix water leaks. If you’re having problems with water leaks at home, this article provides a step-by-step guide on how to fix them.
Leaks In The Foundation
These are usually caused by water infiltration or cracks. Firstly, look for damp patches on walls and floors, musty smells, and any signs of water damage. You may have an old plumbing pipe that needs to be replaced, a crack in your foundation wall, or a problem with your drainage system.
For a cracked foundation wall, you may need to use mortar mix or cementitious grout sealant. If a plumbing pipe is leaking, replace it. If the leak persists after repairs, call a professional. You can look for foundation repair services that provide live chats online and let you request a free consultation. They can help with basement wall repair, cracked concrete slabs, helical pier installation, and more.
These occur when the washers, O-rings, or seals become worn out, corroded, or displaced. Firstly, shut off the water supply valve under the sink. If you don’t have an individual shutoff valve for the leaky faucet, turn off the main water line instead. Remove any decorative parts (e.g. a cap, collar, or escutcheon plate) from around the handle and/or spout using a screwdriver.
Unscrew the handle and/or spout using a wrench or pliers. If there are any visible O-rings or seals, replace them with new ones of the same size. Tighten all screws underneath the sink and make sure everything’s secure before turning on the water supply valve again. Test for leaks by running some water through the faucet. If you’re still having problems, contact a professional plumber.
These occur when water pressure and corrosion cause the pipe fitting to break. The most common places where this might occur are valves, elbows, tees, and couplings of both hot and cold-water pipes. First, shut off the water supply at your main valve so no more water can escape. Use a wrench to unscrew the nuts and bolts of the affected pipes. Be careful not to damage any other parts while doing this unintentionally. Remove any debris or rust accumulated outside the threads with a wire brush or sandpaper.
Clean both sides of each female and male fitting. Wrap some plumbing tape around two to three times on all external threads before reassembling them. Alternatively, you can use an approved sealant paste which creates a waterproof bond between threaded fittings. Put back the nuts and bolts, tightening them with a wrench. Don’t over-tighten, as this can cause further damage. Now turn on your main water valve slowly and check for any more leaks.
A Leaky Toilet
Worn-out seals, loose parts, and mineral build-up can cause this. Turn off the main water supply first. If the shut-off valve isn’t working correctly, you may need to temporarily close off the entire home’s water supply until things are fixed. Before installing new components, remove all of the old parts. This includes the tank’s lid, any bolts or screws that hold it in place, and the old sealant. Thoroughly clean all the surfaces you’ll be working on so they’re free from dirt and debris.
If there are hard water deposits, scrub those off to ensure a tight seal when the toilet’s reassembled. Carefully install your new components, ensuring everything fits properly and is secure. Apply a generous amount of plumber’s putty around the base of your toilet tank to create an airtight seal. Then reinstall all of the other parts that were previously removed. Next, turn on the water supply and check for any leaks. If there are still leaks, try tightening the bolts and screws holding the toilet tank in place.
Leaks In Baths And Showers
Worn-out seals/gaskets, damaged tiles or grout, etc., can cause these. Firstly, inspect the area around your bathtub or shower for signs of damage (e.g. cracked tiles, broken grout) that can pinpoint the source of the leak. If you find a broken tile or grout, replace it with a new one. Inspect the plumbing fixtures and fittings for any signs of corrosion or damage. If you find anything, replace the parts as needed.
Check the seals and gaskets around the bathtub and shower to see if they’re worn out or need replacing. If necessary, use a sealant to fill any gaps that may be present between the tiles and grout. This will ensure water doesn’t leak into other areas of your bathroom in the future. Finally, test your repairs by running water through your taps.
Central Heating Leaks
These can occur for various reasons, ranging from wear and tear to faulty installation. A leak can cost you money and cause health risks if not tackled quickly and adequately. The first step is to identify where the leak is coming from. This may involve tracing the water trail along pipes or checking for damp spots around the boiler or radiator. Ensure that all radiators are turned off before starting any work on them. You can fix the issue yourself if it’s a minor leak resulting from wear and tear on components. You may need to get a replacement part and install it yourself.
Once you’ve finished, test the system to ensure everything is normal. This involves turning all radiators back on and running the system for a few minutes to see if there are any further leaks.
Water Leaks In The Roof
Cracked or missing tiles, loose fastenings, and other weather-related damage can cause roofing leaks. Inspect your roof for any signs of damage (e.g. cracks, holes) that can indicate where the leak is coming from. If you spot any damaged tiles or missing fastenings, replace them immediately with new ones. If the damage is more extensive, you may need a professional roofer to come and repair it. Finally, apply a generous amount of sealant around the area where the leak was coming from. This will prevent further water damage in the future. After completing all of these steps, it’s essential to check regularly for any signs of new leaks. Test your repairs by slowly turning up the water pressure at the shut-off valve and check for any more leaks.
Changing The Pipes Entirely
If your home is ancient, changing the pipes may be necessary. This is a time-consuming and costly job, but it can help ensure that your home’s plumbing system is up-to-date and reliable. Firstly, you should contact a qualified plumber who can assess whether or not your current pipes need replacing. If they do, they can advise on the best type of pipes to use and help with the installation. Changing your pipes can be a big job, so make sure you understand exactly what’s involved before committing to it. Depending on where you live, it may also require building permits and other paperwork.
Choosing A Professional Plumber
If you determine that the water leaks are far too complex for you to handle, it’s best to hire a professional plumber. Look for experienced contractors willing to offer free estimates and have good customer reviews. Ask your family, friends, or colleagues to see if they can recommend anyone. Ensure the contractor is appropriately licensed and insured before entrusting them with the job. Here are some things you need to consider:
- Their Reputation: Check online reviews, Better Business Bureau ratings, and customer references to ensure the contractor has a good track record. Additionally, online reviews and ratings can show how reliable and efficient the contractor is.
- Insurance: Make sure that they are properly insured in case any accidents happen while they’re working on your property. This will ensure that you’re not financially responsible for any damages or injuries caused during the job.
- Price: Ask potential contractors to provide you with an estimate of the cost before committing to the job. It’s also a good idea to get quotes from multiple contractors to compare prices and find the best deal.
As you can see, there are many reasons why people experience leaks in their homes. Whilst you can perform simple tasks yourself, always make safety a priority. If there’s any doubt about what you’re doing, involve the help of a qualified professional.