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Leaks and plumbing problems can cause water damage in your home, but it may be hidden from view. Houses are filled with empty spaces in the walls, floors and ceilings. Water that leaks from plumbing fixtures or from the roof can collect in those areas and cause damage that may not be seen right away. There are, however, some tell-tale signs that you have an issue that requires further investigation and repairs.

Evidence of a Hidden Leak
Small leaks under a sink are easy to miss, but there is a simple way to tell if a pipe is leaking. Turn on the water and let it run down the drain. Then look for a leak under the sink. If you find a leak, even a small one, get it fixed.

If a pipe inside a wall leaks, you may not see signs of damage right away, but you may eventually notice that drywall is soft or stained or that paint is peeling. The weight of water can cause drywall or ceiling materials to become deformed and to droop, buckle or even collapse. Have a plumber inspect the affected area, and have any needed repairs made. If the drywall can’t be thoroughly dried or is severely damaged, you’ll have to replace it to prevent mold.

Water may seep into areas under the floor, resulting in wet carpet, warped wood or damaged tile. If the damage is severe, it may be necessary to rip out and replace flooring materials.

Mold can affect the air quality in your home and can cause a host of health problems for members of your family. Stagnant water allows mold to grow. Any visible mold is a sign of a water problem. Even if you only see a little bit of mold, spores may have already spread throughout the house. A musty odor is a tell-tale sign that mold is present, even if you can’t see it.

You might not see or smell signs of a water leak in your home, but you may see evidence in your utility bills. If your family’s water usage has increased significantly for no discernible reason, there may be a leak somewhere in your house.

Don’t Ignore Water Damage
A water leak can cause major damage to your home, and problems are often easy to miss. Check your home periodically for any of these signs of hidden water damage. If you notice any, don’t assume it’s no big deal and ignore it. The problem may be much worse than it appears, and letting it go unaddressed will only lead to more damage and higher bills later. Contact a professional, and have your home inspected and repaired right away if you suspect a problem.