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7 Tips For Locating Leaks In A Wall

Do you have a water leak in your home? It can be difficult to spot a leak inside the walls of your house. A wall leak may go unnoticed for months or years, damaging floors and ceilings as it spreads through your insulation and walls. Fortunately, there are ways to detect leaks inside the walls of your house so they can be fixed before they cause more damage.


According to plumber Brisbane North owner Charlie McCarthy, leaks can be extremely detrimental to the structure of your walls as well as for those living nearby, so you must be on the lookout for them at all times. Once you know how to detect a leak, certain steps must be taken and materials required to resolve the problem and prevent further damage from occurring.


Here are some tips on how to find those elusive wall leaks without tearing out drywall or cutting into the insulation.


Check for damaged joinery

One of the most common causes of leaks in new masonry structures like brick veneer is damage done during construction, such as broken mortar joints or unsealed intersections between masonry materials. This makes these weaknesses easy places to look for signs of water damage and where repairs should be made first. Damaged tiles around downpipes also provide good places to start looking for leaks.


Look for signs of moisture in brickwork joints 

As water runs down a wall, it leaves behind deposits that contain salts and other minerals from the bricks themselves or any staining on mortar joints can be an indication of a leak in a masonry wall. As soon as you see these stains, start your repairs there to ensure that all sources of leakage have been identified and dealt with.


Check for algae growth on exterior surfaces

Algae spores are everywhere and once they take hold, they start consuming oxygen present in water molecules which can result in poor quality mortar forming between bricks – this is another common problem with leaks in masonry walls. In most cases, it’s impossible to remove all the spores before you seal your new masonry structure so it’s important to check for signs of algae growth which can be an indicator of long-term problems.


Look for watermarks on the underside of exterior finishes 

Watermarks on the underside of exterior finishes provide another useful indicator that there is a problem with leaks in the masonry wall where they are seen. Watermarks are caused by trapped moisture moving downwards through brickwork or blocks beneath finished surfaces. It can even come from water falling onto roofs and passing through them, only to find its way down the wall due to poor roof design or construction. Watermarks generally indicate actual leaks, but can also show up on the wrong side of wall linings that are poorly designed or made from unsuitable materials


Look for watermarks on interior ceilings and fascias 

Another telltale sign of leaks in masonry walls is water marring on ceiling plaster – if you see these, it means there’s bound to be at least some sort of problem with your masonry structure. This happens because watermarks indicate that moisture is finding its way down through concrete blocks or brickwork beneath finishes. The only reason why they would appear on an interior surface would be if there were significant problems with blockages or cracks allowing this to happen. Even small cracks can allow very large amounts of rainwater into your new masonry structure.


Check for moss growing on exterior surfaces

Moss growth is another good indicator of leaks in masonry walls because the spores are like algae. They rely on moisture to survive and can quickly spread through bricks, concrete blocks or pavers if there is ongoing water seepage. Larger patches of moss should be removed by scrubbing with a stiff bristle brush and then treated with an appropriate fungicide before you try to seal off any leaks that it’s marking out.


Look for evidence of grouting around block work joins 

Another telltale sign that your block work sits too close together would be signs of past attempts at sealing – this could be any sort of caulking or grouting that has been applied around the joins of blocks. All this does is restrict airflow which can lead to moisture loss from inside the blockwork. If your interim repairs involve grouting, make sure you remove all traces when it comes time for a new masonry structure – this will ensure that all airflows are restored and you get better quality waterproofing or sealing in your finished structure.

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