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A plumbing leak in your home, even one that seems small, can quickly lead to a costly repair and can potentially cause hundreds to thousands of dollars in damage. The plumbing in your home – whether it be under your kitchen or bathroom sink, behind the shower, or within the walls – is a relatively simple and efficient system. However, like all other parts of your home, the plumbing has to be maintained in order to work at peak efficiency. This may include hiring an experienced plumber for emergency assistance, such as repairing a leak to prevent any damage to your home.

Signs That You May Have a Water Leak

Signs of water leaks include damp or wet patches on your walls or floors, spongey walls, puddles of water, and mould or mildew growing. The main sign that most people notice is an excess water bill. 

An excess water bill is often the first sign that people notice that something may be wrong. Meter reads can occasionally be automated and may provide an estimate that is higher than usual. If you feel that this may be the case, rather than having a leak, you can have your meter re-read. For information on how to read and understand you water bill, visit ICON Waters website. https://www.iconwater.com.au/my-home/my-account/understanding-your-bill.aspx

If you have any signs of a water leak, call an experienced professional to locate and repair the leak before it becomes a larger problem.

Leak Locations                                                                  

If left alone, a plumbing leak can cause a large amount of damage to your home – including structural damage as well as damage to your belongings. In some situations, you may not have just one leak – it is common for a leak to show in multiple locations. 

There are several places around your home where a leak could cause costly damage:

When the pipes behind your walls leak or burst, the water will eventually make its way through your walls and produce damp, spongey, or wet surfaces. Over time, if the leak is not repaired, this can lead to mould growing which is not only bad for your home, but also bad for yours and your family’s health. 

Water Leak behind Wall

Replacing sections of your walls can quickly become costly depending on the size of the area that the leak has affected. Replacing sections of your wall averages (dependant on the size of the section) from $500 to $1200. You will also have to factor in the cost of painting the area. Safely having mould treated and removed from your home is also a costly exercise. Mould treatment and removal can range from $400 to $4000.

If you have noticed wetness on your walls, or it is starting to smell musty, call in a professional as soon as possible to locate the leak as well as carry out any repairs that are required. 

Your Floors and Fixtures

Another area of large concern – and also potentially of high cost to repair – is water leaks under your floors or behind the fixtures in your home. As water flows downwards, leaks causing damage to the floors of your home is a possibility – especially in your bathroom and your kitchen. In your bathroom you may notice loose tiles – primarily next to your bath, shower, or toilet. You may also notice puddles of water on your floor that have seemingly appeared out of nowhere.  In your kitchen, be on the lookout for loose tiles, or warped and discoloured floorboards – especially near your dishwasher or fridge water line. Leaks can also cause damage to fixtures, such as sink taps. These signs of leaks in your kitchen and bathroom can also be applied to elsewhere in your home, it is best to constantly be on the look out for any changes that you may see. 

Warping Hardwood Floor due to Leak

Replacing your tiles can be a relatively inexpensive task. The cost of tiles can range from $13 to $80 dollars per square foot. However, if the leak has caused damage to the subfloor of your bathroom – or other parts of your home – the cost of the repairs can quickly build up. 

Replacing floorboards throughout your home will cost you approximately $25 to $30 per square metre – depending on the types of floorboards you have. Depending on the severity of the damage that the leak has caused, you may need a cabinet maker to repair or replace your cabinets. 

If damaged, fixtures may cost you anywhere from $100 to $500 to replace, dependant on the brand and style of fixture you wish to replace it with.

Your Driveway

Whether your driveway is made of pavers, concrete, or asphalt, having a leak underneath it can quickly become an expensive task to repair. You may notice damp patches or puddles of water on your driveway, or even patches of moss or mildew. These are both signs that you may have a leak in your mains. The exact location of the leak can be difficult to locate as the signs may not necessarily show themselves directly above the leak. 

An experienced plumber will have the right equipment to locate where the leak is originating from and will be able to provide you with the best solution to either repair or replace the section(s) of pipe.

On top of the cost of repairing the leak itself, will also come the cost of replacing your driveway. In some circumstances, your entire driveway will have to be removed to gain access to the area, in others, only sections will have to be removed. If your driveway is made out of concrete, it will cost from $40 per square metre to replace. If it is asphalt, the average cost to replace your driveway is $30 per square metre. A brick paver driveway will cost between $70 and $90 per square metre depending on the company you go through.

A Simple or a Complicated Repair?

The extent of the repair of your water leak is dependant on the location of the leak as well as the existing infrastructure and age of your home and pipes. 

Different Types of Pipes

The type of pipe in your home depends on the area of Canberra you live in. Older homes, such as those in the Inner South (Forrest, Yarralumla, Griffith, etc.), have a large amount of gal, Weston Creek pipes are usually copper, and homes built in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s have PVC. The type of pipe in your home plays a role in the cost and ease of repairing the leak. 

Although an experienced plumber may be able to repair the leak, there is always the possibility that another leak may show itself in a different location. 

A Costly Leak in Chapman, ACT

In 2018 Canberra Plumbing and Drains attended a home in Chapman, ACT, for a water leak. The owner of the property suspected a leak in the vanity of one of her bathrooms.  After attending and providing our leak locating services, it was found that the cold-water loop behind the washing machine in the laundry had a leak. Canberra Plumbing and Drains managed to re-attend in a timely manner and carry out repairs to the laundry leak.

Unfortunately for the owners of the Chapman property, their situation was a prime example of a leak being repaired and then another leak presenting itself in a different location. 

The second leak was found to be in the cold-water supply, underground in the laundry. To carry out repairs, our technicians installed a new cold-water loop and installed a pressure reduction valve at their garage to help prevent leaks. 

A third leak was also detected after the second leak was repaired. This leak impacted the cold-water supply to the downstairs component of the home. Our technicians were able to locate the location of the leak which was also in the cold-water supply – this time, behind brick work. To rectify the situation, Canberra Plumbing and Drains installed a new main feed cold water supply diversion services and fitted a new fixed and in-wall cold insulated water service.

The work at this property amounted to over $20,000 in repairs. The cold-water supply leaks in this Chapman property is an example of a high-cost repair. Other water leaks can be simpler and less costly to repair – for example, a leaking tap can cost up to $500 to repair depending on the type of fixtures you have in your home and your personal preference in tapware. 

The cost of the repair, as mentioned previously, depends on the infrastructure and age of the home, the location of the leak, as well as if any further leaks present themselves.

Have you noticed some signs of a leak but cannot identify its exact location? Have you found the location of the leak and are unsure of how to repair it? Canberra Plumbing and Drains can help! Our technicians are able to arrive at you home in a timely manner, locate the leak, provide you with the best solutions for you and your property, and repair the leak in an efficient manner. Call our friendly team on 0474 488 899 to book in your leak locating and repair appointment today.