With COVID-19 restrictions forcing us to spend a lot more time around the home, DIY projects have become the order of the day, sending sales of paint, tools and other home products soaring throughout the lockdowns.
While DIY projects can breathe new life into our home, they can also uncover a hidden problem that may not have been discovered until it’s too late: a water leak.
The dangers of a water leak
Over time, an undiscovered water leak can cause a significant amount of damage. It can result in ugly tide marks on walls, change the colour of grout and cause paint to bubble and peel. Behind the scenes, a water leak can also cause structural damage to your property, causing wood to rot and metal to corrode.
An undetected water leak can also have serious consequences for your health, causing damp and mould which is known to cause sore throats, allergies and exacerbate respiratory conditions such as asthma.
Pests such as silverfish thrive in damp conditions and are common where there is an hidden water leak. Depending on the extent of the infestation, pests can be difficult to eradicate, adding an additional layer of complexity to fixing the damage caused by a water leak in the home.
The cost of a water leak
The cost of fixing a water leak in the home can run into the tens of thousands, depending on how long water has been leaking and the extent of the damage it has caused.
Yet even worse, if a pipe bursts or a water tank overflows and causes a flood in your home, the damage can be devastating. Not only can it destroy your property and belongings, it may force you to find alternative accommodation until the damage can be fixed. Depending on how badly your property is damaged, this can take many months and cause a huge amount of disruption to a family.
It is important to note that Irish Water will only repair leaks that are identified on the external water supply pipe. That means if the water leak is on your property, you are responsible for locating the source, repairing the leak and paying for repairs and replacement of your property and belongings.
What causes a water leak or burst pipe?
There are a variety of reasons that can cause a water pipe to burst, or crack and cause a slow water leak.
Clogged pipes are often a cause of water leaks where fat, grease, hair and other build-up create pressure and cause pipes to burst or crack. Pipes that aren’t properly insulated can also cause a water leak or flood when they are exposed to colder conditions, freezing the water inside and causing the pipe to expand and burst.
Corrosion is also a cause of water leaks as water pipes deteriorate with age. Corrosion, rust or cracks on a water tank can be a sign of a water leak and should be inspected by a professional as soon as possible to prevent a water overflow and flood situation.
Water leaks are common in bathroom and wet areas, where seals may have deteriorated over time. If you suspect a water leak is coming from your bathroom, it is important to find the source of the leak and repair it quickly to prevent rot from setting in and damaging the building structure.
How to detect a water leak
If you suspect a water leak in your home, keep an eye out for the following signs:
- Increased water use recorded by your water meter.
- Damp patches on carpet, walls or ceilings.
- Raised floorboards.
- Mould growth on walls.
- Tide marks on walls.
- Tiling grout that has changed colour.
- Low water pressure.
- Dripping taps or appliances.
- Damp areas in your garden or outdoor areas.
- Toilet continually running.
- Continuous flowing of your cold-water storage tank.
Any of these signs may indicate a water leak in your home and should be investigated as quickly as possible to prevent further damage to your property and belongings.
What to do if you suspect a water leak or have a burst pipe
If you suspect a water leak it is important that you call an expert for help as quickly as possible.
If you can actually see water leaking from a pipe, or worse still, it is gushing from your ceiling or another location, you should immediately turn off the water at the stop cock (where the mains water enters the property).
If water is leaking or flowing near an electrical appliance, turn off the electricity at the main circuit board as quickly as possible. Water and electricity can be a deadly combination, so it is important to take steps to protect yourself and others from electric shock.
Call Claim Management Group (CMG) to find and repair a leak.
Your next step should be to ring CMG who can be at your home within 24 hours of your call.
We use cutting-edge technology to locate the exact source of hidden water leaks and get repairs underway.
If you have home insurance, we can review your policy to find out if you are eligible to lodge an insurance claim for a water leak or burst pipe. We can also complete your claim paperwork, lodge it with your insurer and act on your behalf to negotiate a satisfactory settlement to help cover the cost of damage from a hidden water leak or flood in your home.
To find out more get in touch with CMG today on 1850 28 1850 (ROI) or 028 8224 9015 (NI).