You might need to look around in order to find some hidden bathroom plumbing leaks.
In case bathroom water leaks are left untreated, they can cost you a lot of money, especially if they result in serious damage to paint, flooring and walls. Here are some subtle signs that you should look for in order to determine if there is a need for you to hire a plumber to fix the leaks before they get worse.
Mold or Mildew
It doesn’t matter how often and how well you clean the bathroom, mildew or mold can appear if you have hidden water leaks. Mold thrives on the moist and dark areas and pipes that are usually hidden under flooring or in walls. Hidden leaking pipes provide perfect starting points for mildew or mold.
While it is normal for little mildew to appear wherever water accumulates, for example in the corners of a shower, mildew or mold on the non-shower walls or in the corners of bathrooms is a very clear sign that the water is leaking from somewhere and it is finding its way to these areas. Leaking pipes provide a lot of moisture, so if it takes you more time to detect the leak and then fix it, the faster and easier it will be for mold to grow.
Damaged Wallpaper or Paint
Walls with blistering wallpaper or paint is another sign of the bathroom leaks.
In the majority of cases, the steam from occasional hot showers should not cause wallpaper or paint to come loose. When the moisture and water get between the paint and the wall, they weaken the bond and start separating the two. This causes the paint to release from wall and fall off in the pieces. Same is the case with wallpaper. The adhesive used for bonding the paper to wall quickly becomes less sticky and wallpaper starts coming loose.
Walls that are stained or warped for no reason are a clear sign that there is a plumbing leak in the bathroom.
When the drywall is exposed to water and moisture, it gradually becomes soft and it starts to bubble. Ultimately it warps and breaks into pieces. In case the leaks reach the ceiling, they cause the ceiling to sag and to possibly leak some of the accumulated water.
In order to fix the leaks, often the plumbers have to tear out drywall. Patching and painting work is required after the plumber completes the work.
Stains on Ceilings
In case there is a bathroom located on the second floor, you might spot leaks in the ceiling under the bathroom. Carefully check the ceiling of the room that is directly located beneath a bathroom for the stains and signs of water damage. Remember that the water can travel long distances, so it is possible to find the water stains on ceilings farther away.
Occasional wet flooring in the second story bathrooms wouldn’t cause enough seepage to damage the ceiling underneath it. Copper, brown or dark stains on a ceiling are signs of pernicious water leaks in the ceiling. Sagging ceilings are an indication that the water from leaks is reaching this area.
Bathroom floors rarely suffer water damage. The only two reasons why there can be water damage to the bathroom floors is either you purposely let the water sit on the floors or there is a leak. In case the bathroom floor is cracking, buckling or starting to stain for no visible reason, there is high probability that water leak is the culprit. This water could be leaking from a pipe located directly underneath flooring or it might have traveled from some other area.
The moisture can make the flooring of your bathroom soft or spongy. Tiles might lose their adhesion and they can become lose. This will result in you being able to remove a tile piece easily and possibly expose moisture or water underneath it. You’ll also often find a damp sub-floor.
Smell from old, accumulated water
In case, after you thoroughly clean the bathroom, you can still notice an earthy or musty smell, it is likely that there is a hidden leak. As the water is in a hidden area, it doesn’t get a chance to dry. If you suspect there’s a bathroom leak, seek the assistance of an expert plumber.