Published On: Wed, Aug 18th, 2021

What You Need To Do When There Is A Leak In Your Home

Water damage can cause expensive and even catastrophic damage to your home. Even a minor leak can cause a lot of damage over an extended amount of time. It is crucial to fix any leak that you see on the interior or exterior of your home as soon as possible. Every homeowner should have a plan in place before they see a leak. If you find the leak early and act quickly, the repair may not cause too much anxiety. Below we will outline what you should do when you have a leak in your home and, hopefully, this will help you act quickly if it does happen.

Perform An Initial Assessment

The first thing that you should do is inspect the leak itself and the area around the leak. Don’t spend too much time on this first inspection, the purpose of this is to identify the severity and the risks of the situation. You can do a more extensive evaluation after you ensure your safety.

Stop the Water

During this initial assessment, you should determine the severity of the leak and take action to control the water. If the leak is small and coming from a pipe, you can put a bucket under the leak to catch the water while you find a solution. Of course, if the leak is big enough, you should turn off the water for the area or the entire house.

Some leaks are not a result of faulty plumbing but instead of a foundational issue in your home. Water can penetrate your walls and floors for a variety of reasons and these leaks can be more difficult to diagnose and contain. These issues typically require a foundation professional to remedy.

photo/ Alexandra / München via pixabay

Protect Your Belongings

No matter what the cause, your next step should be to move any furniture or belongings away from the wet area. This will clear a space for you to inspect and protect your possessions from further damage. Additionally, do not use any appliances or electronics that are near the leak. This can create a dangerous electrocution or fire hazard.


Once you have cleared out the area, you can begin to determine the source of the leak or intrusion. If the water is coming from a pipe in the ceiling or the wall, it will be pretty obvious. Typically you will see the wet spots and be able to determine the location of the leak.

Often, especially in basements, you may find that water is seeping in from the outside. This will typically happen after or during periods of rain but it can happen at any time. These types of water intrusion can be difficult to find and repair. Typically, you will need a professional foundation repair company to inspect and repair these issues.

Possible Causes of Water Intrusion

When water pools up next to a structure, it will usually find a way to get into the house, often through the foundation. The following are a few reasons that water gets in and some measures that you can take to protect your home.

Clogged Gutters

Gutters are designed to lead rainwater away from your home so that it can’t pool up and penetrate the foundation. Gutters often get clogged with debris, which can cause water to collect and eventually work its way into your house. The water may not penetrate immediately but, if the water is allowed to stagnate for a long time, it will eventually get through the foundation.

You should inspect your home’s gutters regularly to make sure that they are not clogged with debris or in disrepair. Keeping your gutters clean will allow them to direct the water away from your home.

Window Wells

Wells protect your windows from premature decay. Like gutters, they often get clogged with dirt, weeds, or other debris. When they become clogged it causes water to collect and push against the windows. This will eventually cause leaks that can be small or large.

Determining whether the water in your home is due to clogged window wells can be easy to diagnose. If the window wells fill up with water after rain, you most likely have found the issue.

Improper Grading

Ideally, you would like the ground next to your home to slope away so that rainwater drains into the yard. If the soil around your home is pitched toward your house, it will build up and push against the foundation. This can cause cracks, warping, and a host of other issues within the foundation.

There are a few possible solutions to improperly pitched ground. The first way is to change the pitch of the area around your house. Changing the slope of the ground around your home is a labor-intensive project. However, if done correctly it will keep outside water from penetrating your foundation. Another option is to install a waterproofing system that “catches” the water and drains it away before it can get in. These systems can be complicated to install and many homeowners opt for professional installation.

How Much Damage Can Water Cause?

Long-term water damage can cause:

  • Mold and mildew growth
  • Structural faults
  • Destroy drywall
  • Weaken wood in floors and walls

Water damage can cause a multitude of issues that will make your home less safe. If you find a leak, you should address the problem immediately.

The Best Ways to Handle A Leak in Your Home

If you have a leak in your home that is from a broken or malfunctioning pipe, a professional plumber is likely the best way to get the problem fixed quickly.

Water intrusion from the outside indicates that there may be an issue with your home’s foundation. This could present a major, and expensive, problem in the future. You can look to fix the problem yourself but many foundation issues require the services of one of the leading foundation leak detection services in Orange County. These professionals can use their experience to discover the source of the water intrusion and fix the issue. Water damage can cause major problems in your home and it is best to handle water intrusion issues as soon as possible.

Author: Brenda Vollman

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