Finding a Hidden Water Leak in Your Bathroom


This guest blog is written by Damian Wolf, an experienced DIYer and blogger.

The old saying declares that it is better to be safe than sorry. This especially makes sense when there’s a problem with the pipes inside of your house. If unattended, it can cause severe damage, such as damage to walls that will have to be rebuilt as well as damage to the foundation. Being the room with the highest concentration of water-supplied facilities in a rather tight area, it’s important to look after your bathroom regularly. You can have hidden leaks for a prolonged period of time, and if you are uncertain if you have leaks, go through these tips just to be sure.


Usually the most reliable indicator that something is not quite right, walls can provide you with crucial information, if you know what you are looking for. If you notice that the wallpaper in your bathroom, tile or paint is bumpy, and looks as if it will fall off, you have a leak. The trouble with a leak is that it isn’t necessarily right behind the water stain. Water can find its way, and the place where a pipe has burst can be a few meters away from the stains. In any case, it would be wise to call a plumber who can perform all of the work needed efficiently and quickly. But, if he needs to “dig out” the problem, some patching and repainting will be required, and this is acceptable, in comparison to how much damage you have avoided by fixing the leak.


Unlike walls, floor better “hides” leaks or bursts. Unless you step on the tile, and notice it is moving, or is wobbly, you wouldn’t know otherwise. In addition, the flooring in your bathroom needs to angle slightly towards the draining system, so the water won’t stick around long. Although flooring usually doesn’t suffer any particular damage from floods, depending on the pavement material and the structure, it can be weakened if left under water for a prolonged period of time. If you have a flooding situation, react fast to avoid costly repairs.


Quite a common sight in every bathroom, these microorganisms can provide key information. To be clear, mold and mildew are indicators that there is moisture and humidity. The primary places where it develops are tight spots and corners. If you see mold on a flat wall, then directly underneath it lies a problem. Try to scrub it off, and if it appears at the same spot again, you have a problem.


If you have several floors in the house, check the room directly beneath the bathroom. Sometimes leaks go downwards, instead of surfacing. If your bathroom is on the ground floor, check the basement, if you have one; or if you live in an apartment, ask your neighbor if he has spotted anything unusual.


Wet soil has a characteristic, heavy and damp smell. You can test for this by ventilating the bathroom well and then closing the window. If you notice the smell right away, then you have a problem. The smell is coming from “trapped water” that cannot evaporate. This is particularly dangerous, because you may not spot any other signs, and it can stay pretty well hidden.

Taps and Faucets

Usually, these can’t induce much damage if there is a leak. The one thing you do lose is the money. An unattended and worn-out faucet will require repairs, especially in the longer run; so fix it up as soon as you notice that there is a problem. Hiring professional help is strongly recommended.

With all of these tips in mind, make a list, and go through the bathroom. And one other thing: don’t ever delay repairs. The more you wait, the worse it gets.

Damian Wolf is a writer and a passionate home improvement DIYer. He loves to write about personal DIY projects and give tips on different ways of fixing common malfunctions at home. Recently, Damian started volunteering at an emergency plumbing company located in his neighborhood.

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