How to detect a water leak in a wall?

May 21, 2021

To detect a water leak, your first indication is your water bill. If at the time of the reading, your consumption is too high, immediately remember to check your pipes. Other clues can put you on the trail of a leak long before you pay the price. Even small leaks cause significant moisture damage:

If you observe a much localized stain of moisture right in the middle of an interior wall, there may be a faulty pipe behind it. A yellowish, green or brown stain of moisture with very marked outlines indicates that there has been a lot of water there. If you see this kind of stain on a wall or ceiling, you are definitely dealing with an accidental leak. A stain caused by ambient humidity grows more slowly and unobtrusively.

In order to make sure of the presence of water in a wall as well as the source of the leak then work on how to stop water leakage from wall, first I carry out a non-destructive leak search intervention by relying mainly on 3 detection devices.

  • The humidity tester or moisture meter.
  • The moisture meter allows you to quickly visualize the real level of humidity contained in the wall.
  • This measuring device thus makes it possible to distinguish an old wet spot from a new wetland.

The electro-acoustic detector

The electro-acoustic detector is a device for detecting water leaks, the operation of which is based on sounds and ultrasounds emitted by a leaking pipe or pipe. This detector offers the advantage of being able to detect a leak in a wet area. It also makes it possible to locate the source of the leak thanks to the sound volume level. Finally, he ensures that the problem really comes from a pipe to be repaired.

The thermal camera

The thermal camera or infrared camera makes it possible to observe the temperature variations in the breasts of the materials. It is then possible to distinguish all the pipes which pass through the wall, the hot water pipes, cold water pipes, heating pipes, etc.

In addition, the thermal camera easily indicates whether the water is coming from the top of the wall and therefore possibly. be on the roof or in the room above (bathroom, neighbor, etc.) Once the leak has been noted and its origin precisely identified, you can then, if possible, close the water circuit concerned and contact me as a plumber approved by most insurance companies, in order to have the plumbing work carried out.

The material placed in front of a pipe deforms, curls, the paint crumbles, …

Water runs down your walls

The presence of water in a wall can be caused by many factors. From simple infiltration to larger leaks, it is often difficult to detect a leak in a wall for several reasons. First of all, the water can run off within the wall itself, for example inside the concrete blocks, thus making the leak invisible. The coatings used to cover the wall can also permanently mask a leak. Finally, the composition of the wall can allow it to absorb large amounts of water, such as plaster or wood, which will hide the problem while causing significant water damage. We are going to see together the revealing signs that should not be ignored, but also the main causes and finally the solutions that will make it possible to accurately detect the presence of water as well as its origin.

What are the telltale signs of a wall water leak?

There are many telltale signs of a leak in a wall, some are obvious such as a puddle at the foot of the wall, others less so such as a diffuse bad smell. The most common case that I encounter during my leak detection interventions is the presence of wallpaper peeling off the wall. In this case, we are pretty sure that we have a problem with a water leak.

The presence of halos on the wallpaper or paint is also an indicator of an infiltration problem. The added concern with moisture stains is that these may have appeared during a previous water damage that has since been repaired. Evaporation is generally not sufficient to completely remove the traces left.

Detection devices will then prove to be very useful in identifying whether it is a new infiltration problem or not. A bad smell, as well as the presence of mold on the wall are warnings of a moisture problem. Finally, the presence of water on the wall or at the foot of the wall leaves no doubt in this case. Of course, overconsumption or a water meter that runs continuously while the taps are closed and the consumer devices unplugged are signs that should not be overlooked.

What are the main causes of water infiltration in a wall?

The number one cause of water leakage in a wall that comes to mind is the presence of a leaking pipe due to weather or even a broken pipe. A poorly maintained roof can also be the source of infiltration. It can also happen, especially if it is exterior walls that the problem is simply gutters that cluttered with vegetation can no longer drain the water. Finally, in some particularly humid rooms (bathroom, veranda, etc.) and or poorly ventilated, the humidity in the air can be the source of the problem.




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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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