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Walking into a room and feeling a drip of water is always alarming, even more alarming if you notice that it is coming from the ceiling. If you notice water dripping from the ceiling, your very first move should be to call a Richmond, VA plumber. After you do that, you need to start thinking about what is causing the leak. Finding the source of the leak is the first step towards stopping the water flow. While you may need a plumber to fix the leak, it is up to you to get the water turned off so that you don’t suffer major water damage.
The fact that your ceiling is leaking indicates that there is probably already some water damage to your ceiling and the flooring of the second floor. However, the longer the leak is allowed to continue the further the damage will spread. If you notice water leaking from the ceiling and the room above is the upstairs bathroom, it is time to do a quick check of all your fixtures. If you figure out the leak source, you can get it temporarily stopped until the professional comes. Depending on the situation, you may be able to stop the leak and avoid an emergency plumber call by simply avoiding the offending fixture until the professional can get to your home.
Start with the Toilet
Toilets are notorious for leaks around their seal. The seal that goes in between your toilet and the floor is known as a wax ring. When installed correctly this simple ring protects your flooring and keeps water away from the subfloor. However, over time the wax ring can start to wear down or even break. When this occurs, you may notice that water starts to leak out around the toilet every time that you flush it. Outside of noticing water on the floor around your toilet, you may also notice a sewage smell in your bathroom. If you are noticing that it is not going away and is worse around the toilet, it may be your culprit.
Luckily, replacing a wax ring is not an expensive project, but it will be if you don’t get a plumber out to do it. While the wax ring is cheap, water damage is not. The longer you wait to replace the wax ring, the more water will seep into your subfloor and drip down your ceiling creating a larger repair bill. Keep in mind that depending on where the wax ring is worn down, you may not always see the water pool around the toilet. Therefore, just because you stop seeing water does not mean the problem has gone away. It’s possible that your toilet is still leaking into the subfloor and the damage hiding under the flooring is much worse than you could imagine. Getting a Richmond, VA plumber into your bathroom is the only way to know for sure.
Take a Good Look at the Shower/Bathtub
If the leak only occurs when the water is running, then there is a good chance that it is isolated to your shower or bathtub. However, it can be difficult sometimes to figure out where the leak is coming from. Oftentimes a plumber will discover the issue is linked to a damaged tile or a problem with the faucet that is hidden behind the wall. If the shower is dripping out of the fixture that is hidden behind the shower wall, you would be unaware until the ceiling starts to drip.
However, if you notice that the leak continues even once the shower is turned off, then there is a better chance that the water supply pipe is responsible for the leak. Paying attention to your ceiling to see if the leak continues or stops once the shower is turned off will give you a good idea of where the leak is coming from. If the leak is coming from a water supply pipe you will need a plumber‘s help, because these pipes are usually hidden in the wall or the subfloor and you don’t want to tear apart your flooring or walls searching for a leak. Plumbers have special tools that can help them detect where the leak is so that the removal of any flooring or drywall can be kept to a minimum.
Investigate Your Bathroom Sink
Finally, if it doesn’t appear to be coming from the shower or toilet, the only major fixture left in the bathroom is the sink. Sinks have a tendency to link, so finding a leak is not too surprising. Most leaky sinks can be attributed to a worn-out washer or gasket. Check the assembly first and look at the gaskets to see if there is any damage. Then check the washer to see if there is any damage. All it takes is slight damage or cracking for water to start to leak out. This is because the gasket and washer are meant to seal the pipes, and as they wear the seal becomes compromised.
Outside of looking at the obvious points in the sink fixture, you also need to look at the connection points between pipes. This will require you to look under your sink, so if you have shelving under the sink you will need to move items out of the way to get a better look. If you happen to notice any damp items under the sink, this can be a sign that the leak is in fact coming from under the sink bowl. Look at all of the connections and seals and tighten any connections that appear loose to see if that stops the leak. If it doesn’t it’s time to wait for the professional to investigate further.
If you have a leaking ceiling in your Richmond, VA home, you need a plumber to immediately come check out the issue before it gets out of control. bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of Richmond, VA is an expert plumbing service. Give us a call today and we put an end to leaks before they cause serious water damage.