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How a Simple Water Leak Can Cause Major Damage

Feb 9 2023
a broken pipe causing a water leak

Small water leaks in your plumbing system are the first signs of catastrophic damage to your home if left unrepaired. It starts by water being absorbed by the floors, walls, and other areas of your home. And you guessed it, flooding is a possible consequence. Water damage is detrimental to beloved property and any other precious items in your household.

In fact, a leaky pipe dripping at the rate of three small drops per hour will release a litre of water into your home. By the year’s close, water leaks will have resulted in a loss of 104 gallons per year. Not only will that cause your water bill to jump exponentially, but it will result in some significant water leak damage behind your walls, under your sink, or in your ceiling/flooring. When it comes to plumbing, out of sight does not mean out of mind.

Gradually, the damage could turn into structural damage, rather than just an aesthetic one. Let’s take a closer look at the chaos caused by water leaks.

Common Causes of Water Leaks

Before we discuss how water leaks can wreak havoc in your home, let’s rewind a bit to see what exactly causes them.

Here are the most common causes of household water leaks:

Clogged Water Lines

A clog may sound insignificant, but severe clogs can lead to pipe bursts. This includes obstructions in air handler drain pans or in gutters. The best way to prevent pipe blockages is to maintain the cleanliness of your home’s gutters and HVAC system.

a homeowner upset over exposed walls due to water leak damage from a hidden pipe

Excessive or Uneven Water Pressure

When the pressure gets too strenuous to handle, it could strain your pipes and eventually trigger a burst. To know exactly what amount of pressure your household pipes and faucets can handle, book an appointment with a specialist to have the water pressure measured.


Sometimes, the problem is age. As time goes by, your plumbing system wears out and gets plagued by rust and other types of corrosion that cause extreme damage to the pipes. Once you notice discolouration or warping in the pipes, it’s time to call your trusted plumber!

Damaged Pipe Joints

Pipes connect in order for the water to flow in one seamless direction. The points wherein they connect are usually the weakest links in a chain of pipes. Given that you cannot see the pipe joints, look out for ticking or banging noises when you turn on the hot water.

Tree Root Overgrowth

Tree roots that grow beyond their natural habitat can enter water lines and cause moisture to trickle into your yard. A prominent giveaway is sinkholes or wet patches in the yard.

How Minor Water Leaks Can Turn Into Major Plumbing Issues

How can a minor water leak turn into a major plumbing issue? Let us count the ways!

Health Issues Tied to Water Leaks

Water leaks can also result in health issues because where there is moisture, there is often mildew and mould. It doesn’t take much for tiny mould spores to form; and once they do, they will quickly spread, leading to potential respiratory problems for everyone in your home. Keep in mind that hidden leaks are just as capable of producing mould as the ones you can see.

For most people, the presence of mould leads to an allergic response similar to hay fever, but for some people with certain conditions such as asthma, sinusitis, or COPD, mould exposure can lead to severe allergic reactions. Mould can also lead to skin infections for those who have impaired or immunosuppressed immune systems.

This is why most water leak damage restoration companies also offer mould remediation services, increasing the costs of treating water leak damage. At this point, the price of paying a plumber in Ontario to fix a small leak is highly appealing.

Exterior Damage to Your Home

It is important to note that leaking pipes are not the only way water can slip into your home. Small cracks in your foundation or outdoor plumbing pipes can also lead to water leak damage if left unaddressed. The Greater Toronto Area is known for some crazy summer storms and harsh winters, which means that a tiny leak can quickly lead to a great deal of water leak damage inside your home.

a burst pipe outside the home
Fixing an outdoor plumbing issue or calling a plumber that offers sump pump installation for your basement will save you a great deal of money over time. The simple truth of the matter is there is no such thing as a small leak because every type of water leak has the potential to lead to high costs for homeowners. Proactive homeowners appreciate this fact and call for expert plumbers the minute they suspect an issue, so they don’t have to deal with flooding or water leak damage down the road.

Extended Damage to the Structure, Interior, and Furniture

Even the smallest of water leaks can trigger critical damage to your home’s hardwood flooring, ceiling, carpet, and overall structure. If a leak occurs within the walls, it could go undetected for months to years. As time passes by, the leak grows, eventually damaging the structure and insulation of the wall in the process.

The aftermath of a leak this severe goes beyond mere aesthetic repair.

How to Fix a Water Leak

It is of utmost importance to be eagle-eyed about potential water leaks at home. Aside from the time-consuming hassle that water leaks pose, they also come as a package deal with costly repairs and extensive property damage.

If you ever detect a leak, turn off the water supply, immediately clean up any puddled water, and call a plumber to provide professional repair services.

At 1st Rooter, we render top-tier plumbing services at reasonable rates. No matter how big or small the water leak damage may be, the team at 1st Rooter can handle all your plumbing emergencies.

Give us a call to learn more.

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