Signs of an Underground Water Leak Outside
Underground water leaks are costly issues that can be difficult to detect because they’re not visible to the naked eye. Hidden beneath your driveway, backyard, or elsewhere under your home, a leak can go unnoticed for weeks or even months and create costly damage to your property.
Leaks and breaks in underground water supply pipes can occur when roots from nearby trees or lawns invade the pipe, when ground shifts beneath the pipes, or when freezing weather causes them to expand and crack. The key to proper restoration and a full recovery is identifying leaks as soon as possible after they occur. To prevent a broken pipe from wreaking major havoc on your home, be on the lookout for the following six signs you may be dealing with an underground water leak.
Signs You May Have a Water Leak Outside
Lower Water Pressure
A sudden drop in water pressure typically indicates a leak, clog, or erosion in your pipes. If you have recently noticed your shower or sink water isn’t coming out as strongly as it used to, take the time to investigate further. A simple way to test for low water pressure is to turn on your shower and then flush the toilet. Showers with low water pressure will simply turn off when the toilet is flushed.
Higher Water Bill
In the absence of other plausible explanations, a sharp increase in your monthly water bill is a sign of trouble. Leaks can occur without your knowledge and waste large amounts of water, skyrocketing your water bill essentially overnight. If your household is using significantly more than the standard 12,000 gallons per month for a family of four, reach out to a professional to find out if an underground water leak is the cause.
Cracks or Bulges in Your Foundation
Serious damage can occur as a result of a water leak seeping into your foundation or basement and creating cracks in the concrete supporting your home’s structure. This may result in wall and floor cracks visible inside the house. To avoid potentially compromising the structural integrity of your home, it is important to recognize cracks or bulges when they occur and address them promptly.
Puddles in the Lawn
When a pipe bursts and water begins to leak under your home, the resulting water excess makes it difficult for your soil to drain properly. In the event that this has occurred, you will notice swelling and puddling in the affected areas of your yard. Another telltale sign of a leak that you may encounter is a specific area of your lawn that is moldy, mossy, or overgrown.
Unexplained Water Sounds
If you ever notice sounds that resemble running water in your home when there are no faucets or other running water sources on, you probably have a leak somewhere. Underground water leaks can cause noises like whistling, dripping, hissing, or spraying.
Air or Dirt in Water Supply
When a pipe bursts or becomes damaged, your water supply immediately becomes vulnerable to countless underground contaminants that can enter in through the site of the leak. You may notice small amounts of dirt, unusual odors, or even a bad taste in your water if one of your pipes has been compromised.
What to Do When There’s a Water Leak Under Your Home
A leaking pipe underneath your home will only continue to cause damage if left untreated. When a pipe is leaking or damaged outside of your house, do not delay addressing it, as such problems can cause sinkholes in your yard and structural damage to your home’s foundation, as well as to its interior and exterior. If you suspect a water leak underneath your home, contacting a water damage restoration professional is the best next step.
When a professional team arrives at your home, they will use specialized equipment to confirm the presence of a leak and find its exact location. This may include tools such as sound equipment, infrared cameras, and probes. Drain and sewer repair experts may also use special leak detectors to pinpoint leaks in underground pipes by charging them with an inert gas. If a leak is found, the gas will make an audible hissing sound at the site of the opening, and then an amplifier and probe can be used to find the exact spot where the leak is occurring. After the leak is found, the restoration process will begin to resolve the source of the leak and repair any damage it has caused to your driveway, lawn, or other areas of your property.
Equipped with the right knowledge, you will be able to detect underground water leaks on your property before they cause extensive damage. In situations involving an active or ongoing leak, reach out to a water damage restoration professional who has the right tools to stop the leak in its tracks and restore the damage done to your property.