Some water leaks are very visible, which makes them easy to notice and troubleshoot as soon as possible. However, if a leak is hidden away, say in your walls, it’s harder to pinpoint. But don’t worry—there are some telltale signs that can easily indicate if you have a leak in your wall. To help you out, here is a guide by the pros at OnTime Service on how to find a water leak inside a wall.
1. Discoloration on Walls
If you notice any sort of irregular discoloration or the wall looks slightly washed out, there might be a leak behind the wall. Water leaks will usually show up on the surface of the wall, whether it’s drywall, wallpaper or wood.
2. Change in Wall Texture
One of the major telltale signs of a leak behind the wall is the paint or surface of the wall changing in texture. It will usually manifest as small bubbles or fine rips/lines in the paint. Drywall that has been exposed to a lot of moisture for a long period or has been water-logged, will usually have this sort of texture.
3. Mold or Mildew Growing on Walls
Mold is a fungus that is attracted to damp spaces—if there is a leak behind your wall, mold will inevitably start growing there. If you notice a bunch of black and brown dots growing in your walls, chances are there has been a leak in the wall for a while. When drywall has been exposed to moisture for a long time, mold and mildew is a consequence of that. If you don’t see mold and mildew, it might still be growing inside the walls. If you smell a musty odor in addition to seeing other signs (such as texture changes or discoloration), that might be an indication of a leak or mold growing inside the wall.
4. Standing Water Near Walls
An obvious indicator of water leaks inside your wall is standing water on the floor near your wall or a carpet that is always damp.
5. Use a Moisture Meter
If you are suspicious of a leak inside your wall but want to be completely sure or you want to pinpoint the location of the leak, you can use a device called a moisture meter. This tool can be placed directly on the wall (be sure to place it on several spots on the wall) and will give you a moisture reading. Wherever you get the highest moisture reading, that is the location of the leak or the location nearest to the leak. Moisture meters can be found or rented at your nearest home improvement store.