DMV Fire and Flood

How To Find a Water Leak Inside a Wall

Sometimes water damage can occur without you even knowing it. And because water damage isn’t always obvious, it can cause considerable damage before it is detected. A slow leak may lurk inside the walls of your home before any damage is visible. So how do you fix a problem you can’t see?

Learn how to determine if water is leaking behind the walls and what you can do to fix it and mitigate the damage.

Step 1. Inspect Visually

The first step in this process is a thorough visual inspection. This initial assessment involves closely examining various aspects of the walls and ceilings for signs of water damage or leakage.

Check for the following to spot a water leak:

Discoloration: Look for any unusual, difficult-to-remove stains or marks on the walls or ceilings, as these can indicate a slow, persistent leak.

Peeling paint or wallpaper: Water leakage often causes paint or wallpaper to peel, bubble, or warp.

Mold and mildew: Visible mold or mildew growth, often appearing as black, green, or white patches, suggests prolonged exposure to moisture.

Warped or buckled walls and ceilings: Warping or buckling of the surface can be a result of water damage.

Step 2. Check Adjacent Areas

The next step in finding a water leak inside a wall involves carefully inspecting adjacent areas. The aim here is to trace the path of the water from any visible signs of leakage back to its source. This could involve examining nearby rooms, floors, and ceilings. Checking these areas helps identify if the leak is localized or part of a larger problem, such as a plumbing issue affecting multiple areas. To effectively check adjacent areas, consider the following:

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