Dripping or leaking faucets are a common plumbing problem for most homeowners. Unfortunately, despite being a serious concern, they are often ignored or overlooked. While the few drops appear harmless and not a big deal, dripping faucets cause more harm. A leaky faucet is not only annoying. It can also lead to significant damages, including mold growth, ultimately leading to needing water damage repairs.
Dangers of a Leaking Faucet
The continuous dripping of water from a leaky faucet is incredibly annoying. However, beyond this, below are other dangers of ignoring a leaking faucet:
- Mold Growth
A dripping faucet can promote mold growth in your home. Mold grows exceptionally well in warm and damp environments, typically found under kitchen and bathroom sinks. Black mold patches in your home are unattractive and pose serious health risks. Therefore, suspect mold growth if you start noticing stains around the leaking faucet and dark patches on the floor and wall.
You should also suspect mold infestation if there is a musty smell in your kitchen or bathroom and start developing respiratory problems and skin irritations. Call professionals for mold inspection and remediation if any of the above signs are present.
- Water Wastage
Water wastage is an important environmental concern of dripping faucets. Most homeowners find creative ways of conserving water and energy in their homes. Surprisingly, you can easily underscore the effects of dripping faucets in your home. A dripping faucet can lead to significant water wastage.
For instance, a faucet dripping approximately 4000 drops daily can lose more than one liter. Based on this, you’ll experience significant water wastage if multiple faucets leak in your home.
A leaking faucet will certainly affect surrounding surfaces. Rotting wood shelving, countertops, cabinets, and damaged floors are clear indicators of prolonged faucet leakage. Over time, wooden surfaces begin warping, cracking, and rotting. Warping and rotting wood are not only unsightly but also very dangerous. Wooden cabinets become weak and can’t support the weight of stored items. Rotting surfaces inhibit basic functionality and decrease property value.
Metals don’t interact with moisture well. If metal surfaces are exposed to water from a leaking faucet, rust can quickly build up inside and outside the piping. Rust builds up inside steel pipes and plumbing lines, which clogs faucet valves over time. If not handled immediately, rust grows significantly into large surfaces.
As rust continues building, the faucet starts developing weak points and cracks, causing more leaks. Depending on the nature of metal, rusting pipes can burst, causing extensive water damage and necessitating expensive repairs.
- Pest Infestations
Cockroaches, rodents, and other in-house pests like moist environments. Flooded kitchens and areas under sinks caused by leaks provide ample conditions for breeding these pests. The presence of pests in your house poses serious health risks; sensitive members of your family can develop serious allergic reactions and breathing problems. Some pests also give fatal bites.
Other Common Plumbing Problems That Lead to Mold
Interestingly, your house doesn’t have to be swampy or highly humid for you to be concerned about mold problems. Apart from a dripping faucet, below are other plumbing problems that can cause mold infestation:
- Dripping Shower
Like a dripping faucet, a dripping shower is an annoying plumbing problem that can cause mold growth. While drips falling from your shower are not significant to cause water damage, they increase the humidity levels of your bathroom, encouraging mold growth. High humidity levels in your bathroom encourage mold growth anywhere, including in the walls and ceilings.
- Toilet Leaks
The toilet can spring water leaks as well. Toilet leaks that cause mold growth can occur due to various reasons. If such happens, it is best to identify the source of the water leak, be it a crack on the porcelain surface, a bad toilet seal, or a faulty water supply line. Condensation on the tank can also increase humidity.
You should replace the entire system if the toilet leak is from a crack. If condensation is the issue, your plumber can suggest adding another valve to the supply line with hot water. This evens temperature difference that mostly causes condensation.
- Leaking Drains Under the Bathroom Sink
Most homes have enclosed vanity that hides the drain under the sink. While they hide the unsightly drain, they can cause water leaks that are difficult to discover. A loose connection in the tap can also create a small leak, especially after using the sink.
Since water leaks from the drain occur only when the sink is used, there is minimal water flow, making it difficult to notice. However, the floor underneath and wood in the vanity continues soaking up, rotting, and increasing humidity in the room. If you rarely inspect the vanity, you’ll be surprised by the extensive mold growth in the vanity and walls behind.
Maintaining functional bathroom plumbing is key to avoiding mold problems, pest infestation, and water damage. You should inspect bathroom plumbing for common causes of leaky faucets, such as corroded valve seats, poorly installed washers, damaged faucet components, and changes in water pressure.