Fixing Leaks Around The Home

Feb 15 2022
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Leaks are probably one of the biggest most damaging deals when it comes to being a homeowner. Hidden leaks behind vanities, behind walls etc. can literally cause thousands of dollars worth of damage before its even discovered. A couple of years ago (and maybe this year too) we had such an ice damn up on our roof from months of sever weather that, when it all melted at once, actually caused a leak in our workshop. Of course I initially panicked but, fortunately in that case, it was just the force of all that ice and snow and not something permanent – nor did it cause any permanent damage.

Living with a whole house on demand hot water heater, how much it costs to run, how easy it is to install and what its like to live with, with well water.
(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

Homes are leaky, but that doesn’t mean that you have to put up with your allowing water to ingress all the time. You can take action now to prevent it from happening.

In this post, we take a look at some of the common water leaks in your home and how you can fix them. Most leaks start off small and you hardly notice them. Unfortunately, they have a nasty habit of growing over time, to the point where you have to act or lose your home completely. 

Each water leak around your home is slightly different, though. Here’s what you need to do to manage them: 

Leaking Bath Or Shower Unit

If you have a leaking bath or shower unit, there could be several culprits. As such, you’ll need to check each of them, one at a time. 

If you notice the water level in the bath going down as you’re using it, it usually suggests a problem with the plug. Either it doesn’t fit the hole, or it’s become fatigued, in which case, you should replace it. 

If the leak is happening outside of the shower or bath area, it could indicate a problem with the pipework. To check this, remove the panel at the side of the bath or that surrounds the shower. Check that there are no potentially leaky pipes hidden in the wall. 

If leaky pipes in the wall are a problem, you will often see signs on the wall itself (such as damp streaks) or in the rooms underneath your bathroom. You may also notice that the silicone seal around the bathtub starts to degrade quickly, allowing moisture to seep through and cause more leakage. 

In some cases, such as faulty pipe work, you’ll need to hire a plumber. However, if it is just a seal or a plug issue, you can fix these yourself.

Leaking Toilet

Nobody wants to live in a home with a leaking toilet. It’s unsanitary and disgusting. Guests really don’t like it. 

Fortunately, there are some simple fixes for a leaky toilet you can apply quickly.

The first issue to check is the rubber seal at the base of the toilet. Sometimes this can degrade, allowing moisture to pass through. If you notice that your toilet starts leaking after you flush it, then stop using it. It usually means that the contents of the toilet bowl are leaking out over your floor. 

To clean this up, start by disinfecting the area. Then remove the rubber seal and look for any cracks in the enamel. If there are hairline cracks, then you’ll need to throw the entire unit in the trash. If the problem is solely with the rubber seal, then you can replace this with a new one to solve the issue. You can perform this repair by yourself. 

Of course, toilets may leak for other reasons. For instance, toilets can leak following damage to the ballcock and float. If these components don’t work correctly, water will continue to fill the cistern until it overflows. Worn feed lines can result in the same issue. 

If you notice either of these leaks, turn off your water at the mains first and then call a professional plumber to solve the problem. If you keep the water on, the toilet will continue to overflow. 

Leaking Water Pipes

Most modern homes have plastic water pipes which transport water from the tank to faucets around the house, and from drains to the sewer system. The great thing about plastic is that it tends to be both safer and cheaper than metal alternatives. However, it is still prone to leaks. 

If you spot a leak from a plastic or PVC water pipe, you may be able to fix it yourself. Often, the trickiest part is trying to determine where the leak comes from. It may wind up a long way from the source as it trickles down pipes. 

Start from the point of the leak and work your way backwards, looking for any obvious loose connections, cracks or chips. Once you find where the water is leaking, mark the pipe with a pen and then turn off the water at the mains. 

You’re then free to get on with fixing it, depending on how confident you feel. If you’re happy to proceed, you can cut out the old section of pipe and replace it with a new one. You may also be able to unscrew the damaged section and repair it, before replacing it back in its regular position. 

If you decide to repair the pipe, use silicone or rubber tape. Both of these are waterproof and tend to perform best under pressure. Don’t try to use convention tape — it won’t work. 

Leaking Roof

Roofs can leak for all sorts of reasons. For some, it’s just because they are old. For others, as roofing professionals Mr. Roof points out, it can be because of storm and hail damage. 

Whatever the cause, dealing with a leaking roof should be a matter of priority. Don’t leave it to fester. Deal with the problem quickly. If you don’t, you could wind up with water ingress, mold, damp and structural damage to your buildings. 

The first task is to find the source of the roof leak. Usually, you’ll want to look “uphill” from where it appears to be coming in. Like pipes, leaks can trickle down roof material first before they start to saturate the ground beneath them. 

Mostly, roof leaks occur where there are “penetrations,” – things that get in the way of a smooth array of shingle or tiles. Roof penetrations might include vents, chimneys, skylights, plumbing or anything else that appears to “stick out.” 

Check these areas thoroughly if you expect a leak. If inspecting from the inside, use a flashlight to help you see more clearly. 

In many cases, you shouldn’t attempt to fix a leaking roof yourself. Instead, you should go to professionals who can do so safely. Don’t attempt any fixes that require you to climb into the roof and perform work. Without the right safety equipment, you could be putting yourself in danger. 

Home improvement and maintenance Things In Your Home that Generally Need Your Attention After 7 Years. DIY Do it yourself, yearly work on your house updates

Leaky Radiator

Radiators are another common source of leaks around the home. What’s more, if left unattended, they can do substantial damage to your furniture and fittings. 

Radiators are problematic because they operate under pressure. When water gets forced through them, it magnifies any leaks. What’s more, most heating systems connect to a continuous supply of water, meaning that any leak can potentially continue indefinitely.

As with other leaks on this list, there are several causes of a leaky radiator. These can include: 

  • Leaking because of pipe corrosion
  • Leaking because of faulty pipe coupling
  • Leaking valves
  • Leaking valve spindles

If a leaking valve is the problem, tighten it up and then turn your heating system on. You’ve fixed the problem if the leaking stops. The same goes for the valve spindle. 

If you think the valve is broken, then replace it with a new one and try again to see if it makes a difference. 

For corroded pipes, the fix is a little more complicated. You may have to drain the entire system and replace the damaged sections. 

In most cases, you should be able to fix radiator leaks by switching off your heating system, draining it completely and then refilling it. You might also want to flush it out with a solution that cleans out all the gunk — corroded material that can sometimes build up in the pipes and stop the system from working correctly. 

If you can’t resolve the issue, then your best bet is to call a plumbing professional. 

Leaking Faucet

Leaking faucets are incredibly common — and annoying. The moment you hear that drip, drip, drip sound, you want to pull your hair out. 

Fortunately, you don’t need to go to such extremes — you can just fix the problem yourself. But how? 

Faucets fail for several reasons. These include: 

  • General wear and tear to the fitting over many years
  • Excessive force applied to the faucet
  • Debris inside the faucet
  • Failure of washers and O-rings

To repair a faucet, start by removing it from its mount and opening it up. You should find that most faucets simply screw out of position. 

Next take a look inside and inspect the washer — the component that stops water from spilling out of the tap and into the sink or bath. It should look completely smooth. If it doesn’t, then it’s a sign that you’ve found the source of your leak. 

If the washer isn’t the problem, check the rest of the faucet for debris buildup. Clean this away and then reinstall the unit to see if it eliminates the problem. 

In some rare cases, the faucet may have a severe crack. If it does, you’ll need to install a brand new one. Fortunately, though, they tend to be relatively inexpensive.


In summary, there are a range of leaks that can afflict your home. Fortunately, they all have solutions. As a general rule of thumb, don’t allow problems to develop. Deal with them immediately.

Leaks are probably one of the biggest most damaging deals when it comes to being a homeowner. Hidden leaks behind
(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

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