A hidden water leak in your bathroom can lead to serious problems such as water damage in the bathroom and the surrounding rooms, not to mention its effects on your water bills and the structural integrity of your bathroom. Here are some signs of a hidden leak in your bathroom, so that you can catch it as soon as possible.
One of the most visible indications of a leak is a musty, earthy smell similar to what you may find in an old basement. Smells like this means that water is accumulating with no way for it to dry due to water constantly pouring out and a lack of the necessary conditions for the water to evaporate. It is important to note that this smell is a symptom and not the problem itself, but can be a strong hint that the following issues will take place.
Mold outside of the shower
It’s not uncommon for mold to form inside your shower because it is wet constantly, so you c some mold in the corners can be expected. However, the problem arises when mold becomes visible in the parts of your bathroom that are typically dry, like non-shower walls, floors, and ceilings. Mold growth in these areas can signal that there is water feeding it beneath the surface.
Loss of structural integrity of the bathroom’s surfaces
Accumulation of a large amount of water can have severe and damaging effects on walls, floors, and ceilings beyond mold growth. We will work our way from the bottom to the top of your bathroom. A leak can cause dark stains to appear on the floor of the bathroom from saturating with water. Additionally, a hidden leak can make the floor feel spongey when to walk on and impact the surface itself, like causing loose tiles.
As for walls, a leak can cause the drywall to deform and lead to bubbling, warping, and even deteriorating. This dilemma can be particularly expensive and intensive to fix because the drywall may need to be torn out and replaced in addition to finding the leak. Another sign of a hidden leak involves the wallpaper, which due to moisture building up behind it between the wall can cause it to hang off of the wall.
Stains on the ceiling in rooms below the bathroom
Similar to the walls in the bathroom itself, water can accumulate and lead to dark stains. However, these can be present on the ceiling of the room directly beneath the bathroom. Also just like bathroom walls, this can be a hassle to fix because patches of the ceiling may need to replaced.
High water bills
The final telltale sign that you have a hidden leak won’t be present in your bathroom, but in your wallet. Monitor your water bill and water use to see if they match up correctly. A monthly statement that shows more water consumption than expected may be the result of a leak. Fixing the leak should help stabilize your bill.
Luckily, there are some simple ways to prevent these leaks before they become problematic. The first is to make sure that there are no gaps that water can use to access floors and walls. This step is easy as making sure tiles and grout are maintained correctly as well as caulking the space between showers or tubs and the floor. You should also keep an eye out for leaks and worn out parts, which should be repaired immediately to stop water from building up. Running an exhaust fan will help remove moisture and heat from the bathroom, so mold is less likely to grow.
Unfortunately, if you already are experiencing the above issues, you should call a plumber to find the source of the problem and identify areas in walls and ceiling that may need replacing as a result of the leak.