Sneaky leaks irk homeowners
Little frustrates the patience of a homeowner more than the unexplained appearance of a slow water leak.
There may be no obvious source for this alarming occurrence which can leave the occupant agonising over the cause of this spreading dampness which threatens to invade the interior of the dwelling.
The fact of the matter is that water can travel a long distance and isolating a point of origin can be confounding.
It may be necessary to open some walls and work your way back until you can find the source. Before talking drastic measures, explore any roof spaces first and check for cracks or gaps into which water might be seeping.
There might be a simpler explanation. Water can sometimes pool at the edges of a bath. Check to ensure it is caulked and sloped into the tub. Examine taps, valves and shower heads for places where water could leak and run back into the wall.
Fill the tub to the top and make sure the overflow doesn’t leak.
Sometimes condensation accumulates on pipes above the bathroom and drips down.
The first and most logical place to look is on and under the roof. You might get lucky if you inspect rafters and the underside of roof sheathing by finding dark stains where water has leaked.
Perhaps have someone spray the roof with a garden hose, starting at the eaves and working up the roof. If there is an attic, look to see if and where, water is making its way in.
Similarly, if you suspect a window or door might be letting in water, have someone spray it from the outside while you check the outcome inside.
Hopefully, the rogue leak will not be an indication that you have a leaky home. Some homes built during the mid-1990s and later failed to meet the New Zealand Building Code. Unable to withstand New Zealand’s weather conditions, they allowed unwanted water to invade the house.
They were often built with untreated timber or contained design features like flat roofs with inappropriate cladding.
The chances are that a newly developed leak will not be evidence of a leaky home but it pays to be vigilant and have the house checked by a tradesman.
Signs of a leaky home include leaks, wall or ceiling sagging as moisture accumulates, rusty screws and nails, warped floor surfaces, mould, fungi or musty smells, swollen building materials, rotten or stained carpet, and large cracks appearing in the plaster.
Owning a leaky home can bring health consequences such as respiratory illnesses like asthma and colds.
Inferior exterior cladding that deteriorates over time can leave a house susceptible to leaks.