Have you noticed warning signs that there might be a leak in your home? If so, follow these five steps to try and catch the issue early, reduce the impact on your home, and get rid of the water once the problem has been solved.
Step 1: Investigate where the leak is coming from
If you suspect you have a leak, then it goes without saying that there must be some sort of sign to suggest water is entering your home. This could be anything from a visible leak, dribble of water, a dripping sound, puddles on the floor, or even damp or brown patches on the walls or ceiling. By effectively tracing back the water’s journey, you will be able to ascertain where it is coming from. Common causes of leaks can be damaged or loose pipes, toilet, sink, and so on, a faulty boiler, an issue with your roof or guttering, or something accidentally overflowing in the flat above.
Step 2: Ascertain the cause
If it is due to running water, turn off your water mains. If it is from rain, or can’t be determined, try and catch as much as you can in a bucket. If you can see water stains and damp, but cannot find any physical leaks, it might be that the moisture is not down to a leak, but from the water rising up into the walls instead. This should, of course, be prevented by a damp proof course (DPC). However, some buildings do not have a DPC built in, and thus may be susceptible to this kind of water damage.
Step 3: Protect your belongings
Move any precious belongings away from the water source to reduce the risk of damage. If you can’t move bulky items of furniture, a plastic sheet might help to protect it until you have managed to fix the issue.
Step 4: Call in the professionals
There is only so much you can do yourself to stop a leak, and if left unchecked it can lead to larger issues in your home. Depending on where the leak is originating, call your local professional specialising in that area. For example, if the leak is in the attic, get the help of a roofer. Whereas, if it is clearly due to pipework, a plumber will be your port of call.
Step 5: Dry out the affected rooms
Once you are sure that the problem has been resolved at its source, you can begin to dry out the affected areas. The best way to do this is to use mops and cloths to wipe up any puddles – or even use a portable water pump if it’s more like an indoor pond! After, open your windows to let air flow through your home, and turn your heating on to warm up the circulating air, speeding up the drying process. Electric and desiccant dehumidifiers can also draw the moisture out of the air, so it doesn’t just condense on the external walls and perpetuate the damp problem.
With these five steps in mind, you will have the knowledge and guidance needed to weather a leak in your home. And remember, you don’t need to do it all alone – the professionals are there to help you with any kind of leakage, no matter how large or small.