BILLINGS - Have you ever gotten a water bill that seemed unusually high? You could have a leak. The Angie's List report tells us how to find your money just dripping away.
We often don't think about the plumbing in our homes, until something goes wrong.
"Water can be your home's worst enemy," said Angie Hicks, who is the founder of Angie's List. "Leaving leaks unattended can lead to serious damage to your home. For example, a leak behind a wall could require drywall repair. A small drywall repair job can cost as much as $400, not to mention if you end up with mold."
Mold remediation can cost you anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.
"One of the things we find is a lot of homeowners do not go into their crawl space or their attic," added Justin Dorsey, who is a plumbing contractor. "Sometimes, just a routine inspection of someone going into the crawl space and following the plumbing pipe and checking those pipes often is one good way to do that to find a leak."
It's best to tackle leaks immediately, even small ones.
"Easy signs of leaks in your house could be the fact that you have stains on your walls, if you have wallpaper that's buckling, or even a wooden floor that's buckling, or if you just smell a musty smell, you need to have that investigated, " Hicks suggested.
A simple way to check if your toilet is leaking is to place a few drops of food coloring in the tank and wait 15 minutes. If the food coloring is in the toilet bowl without a flush, you know you got a leak. Also, you can lay toilet paper along the base of the toilet and flush.
Dorsey added, "If it's leaking, you'll begin to see the water leaking into the tissue paper. Or, if it's dripping from the tank, it will drip down and hit the toilet paper and you'll see it. That's one way to tell if there's even the slightest leak."
Always remember, make sure to hire a licensed plumber.