Water damage can be a devastating problem for home and business owners when left unchecked. Not only does it lead to costly repairs, but it could also cause other damages, such as mold, wood rot, and destruction of personal property for those living in the space. If you’re starting to suspect a leak in your home, taking proactive measures is essential to avoiding serious destruction from water damage. Below, we dive into what signs to look out for if you think you have a potential leak in your residence or commercial building and how to address them before they become an even bigger headache.

1. Discoloration or Stains on the Walls and Ceilings

Among the first things that will alert you to a potential water leak is any discoloration or stains that have started forming on the walls and ceilings of your home. If you notice any signs of dampness, yellowing, or brown patches, this could indicate that moisture is reaching your wall cavity from a hidden pipe.

Additionally, if you see any bubbling or blistering on the walls and ceilings, this is also a clear indication that there could be a water leak in your home. When water seeps into the wall cavity, it can create pressure that will cause bubbling and blistering of drywall or other wall coverings. This can be dangerous because it can create a weak spot in the wall where water could pool and cause even more damage.

2. A Spike in Water Bills

If you start noticing a sharp spike in your water bill, this could also indicate a leak somewhere in your home. If this is the case, it is best to check with your local municipality or water utility to double-check any potential discrepancies and review their current usage records. If they tell you the increase isn’t due to additional usage or other fees, you may have a hidden water leak somewhere in your residence.

Among the things that you should check is your water meter. This will show if the water meter runs even if the faucets and showers in your home are off. If it’s still running, this could indicate a leak somewhere in the system.

3. The Smell of Mildew or Musty Odors

Nobody wants to walk into their home and smell a musty or mildew odor. This could be another indication of water damage in your residence, as the dampness from a leak can often lead to mold forming behind walls, floors, and other areas where moisture builds up. If you start to notice these odors in specific areas of your home, this is something to address before it becomes an even bigger problem.

When addressing water damage, it is important to remember that some cases are more severe than others. Depending on how long the issue has been present and how much damage has already been done, you may need to bring in professional water restoration services to repair the issue correctly. At John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical, we can help you restore your home or business to its pre-water damage condition.

4. Warping or Decaying Floorboards

If there has been standing water on the floor of your home for an extended period, this could lead to the warping, rotting, or decaying of the wooden floorboards. If you notice any areas in your home where the flooring is starting to look warped or soft, this could be a sign that there is some water damage present and should be looked into immediately.

Carpeting can also become damaged due to standing water on the floors, as it will cause mold and mildew to grow in these moist environments. If you start to see any discoloration on the carpets or an unusual musty odor coming from them, then this could indicate that there has been a leak underneath for quite some time, and it should be inspected.

5. Low Water Pressure in Fixtures

It can be very irritating when you are trying to shower or do the dishes and the water pressure suddenly drops. While this issue could be caused by something else, the low water pressure could be due to a leak in your plumbing system.

It may be difficult to trace back where this leak is coming from without the help of a professional plumber. Still, it is worth exploring if you notice unusually low water pressure throughout your home.

6. Water Pooling in Areas of the Home

Pooling is one of the most obvious signs that there may be a water leak in your home. Suppose you start to see puddles of water forming, especially in areas where water isn’t usually present. If so, you need to take action and inspect the area for signs of damage.

7. Pest Infestations

When there are water leaks in your home, this can create an environment that is very attractive to pests. This could include mice, cockroaches, or other unwanted visitors. If you start noticing an increase in pests around your residence, then this could be a sign that there is a hidden water source that needs to be addressed before it causes any more damage.

Pests are not only annoying, but they can also cause damage to the structure of your home and create health risks for you and your family. If you notice any signs of a water leak in your residence, it is important to address them immediately before the problem worsens.

8. Rusted Metal Fixtures

Rust can be a serious problem in any home, but it is especially concerning when it starts to form on metal fixtures. This could be anything from faucets to pipes. Rust can also cause serious health issues if it starts to form on any fixtures that come into contact with food or drinks. If you see any rust starting to form, this is a sign that there is water damage present.

9. Noisy Water Pipes

When water starts to leak from your pipes, it can cause them to vibrate and make a strange noise. This is especially true if the water pressure is higher than usual. If you hear strange noises coming from the walls or pipes in your home, this could be another indication of a water leak. You may also hear the sound of dripping water when all fixtures are off, which means a leak somewhere in the plumbing system needs to be addressed before more damage is caused.


Signs of water leaks in your home can not only cause significant damage, but they can also be dangerous to your and your family’s health. Knowing the signs of a water leak is important so that you can take action immediately if you notice any warning signs. At John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical, we provide a wide range of residential and commercial heating, cooling, plumbing, indoor air quality, and duct cleaning services in Lincoln and the surrounding areas. Contact John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical today for more information about our services and products.

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