The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.

Melisa Rana
Melisa Rana


Unconventional Ways Your Home Is Signaling That You Have Plumbing Problems

 January 8, 2024 |  Home Maintenance, Cleaning Tips, Home Inspection, Safety |  ceiling, walls, mold, plumbing

When discovering that any of your home’s key systems aren’t functioning as they are supposed to, some signs of damage or failure are more obvious than others. With that said, homes constantly signal to their homeowners that issues are cropping up just beneath the surface. Most people, unfortunately, are unaware of these common signs and what they mean.

Homes are designed to satisfy a large number of needs in order to function as they should, but one force that architects constantly battle while designing homes is water. Water intrusion can spread rapidly to other home systems, damaging high-ticket appliances and electronics while also potentially leading to health problems for families. Plumbing leaks are certainly a major issue for homeowners, but you may not want to wait for a pipe to burst in order to take action.

Instead, keep an eye out for these unconventional signs that your home is having plumbing problems!

1. Your Lawn is Too Green, Too Thick, and Too Wet
It may be surprising for some, but one way to discover plumbing issues within a home is actually through looking at its exterior landscaping. Healthy lawns should grow evenly, but homes can spring leaks in their drainage systems, which leads to discharged water escaping into their lawns. Excess water released along the main drain through a break or through degradation will actually send tons of nutrients that greatly enriche the lawn - but only to a limited area.

This leads to uneven thickness, inconsistent color, and in some cases, even pooling water or sunken areas. Property inspectors or plumbing professionals can perform sewer scan inspections that help identify the cause of a break within these lines, as well as an approximate location to determine the extent of damage. Repair or replacement of these buried sewer lines requires excavation of the lawn, so confirming damage and locating the source of the break helps limit cost and duration of these repairs.

2. Your Wallpaper and Paint are Bubbling or Peeling
Wallpaper and paint can peel or bubble for many reasons, including humidity and moisture accumulation. A home’s plumbing system involves an intricate network of piping and supply lines that run throughout the house. This means that sinks, toilets, and showers that have insufficient or eroded caulking can lead to water stains on the ceiling for the floor beneath, and corroded or leaking pipes can cause moisture build-up within the walls.

Ceilings and walls can also develop brown flecks of mold due to moisture from plumbing or roofing leaks. Signs of mold can mean a major issue within the walls as well, and considering the possible health repercussions of overexposure to mold, these sorts of leaks should be addressed as quickly as possible. Read more on the dangers of mold from experts over at Healthline!

3. You Find Some New House Guests
Few people want to share their spaces with unwanted rodents or insects, but animals endlessly search for shelter and food throughout the year, and if they can gain access into the home, they will take advantage of that opportunity. Broken sewage lines can draw mice and rats to a home, and these critters can have an easier time creating access points into a home if there are areas already weakened by water damage.

When setting traps, hiring an exterminator, or otherwise dealing with home invaders, it’s important to correct the source of intrusion so that new guests don’t take their place. Learn more about countering pests right here!

4. Your Wallet Is Getting Lighter
Plumbing issues can be identified by knowing where to look and understanding how a home’s systems work overall. However, sometimes a home can have plumbing issues that are tough to spot and difficult to hear. To a homeowner, some plumbing issues can be practically invisible, until they get their water bill.

Running toilets, leaky faucets, and appliances that aren’t functioning properly will reduce water efficiency in a home, and leaking pipes can cause a dramatic jump in costs. Homeowners that see a sudden change in their utility bills should take a closer look at all of their appliances and listen for sounds of running water to start to identify the issue.

At National Property Inspections, our expert property inspectors are trained to seek out any issues with all of a home’s key systems. Book an inspection with your local NPI home inspector today!

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