There are few things that are more damaging to a home than water. Just take a look at the pictures of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the damage it did to those homes in Texas. But hurricanes and storms are not the only causes of water damage. It can be as simple as a broken pipe or your upstairs neighbor who forgot to turn off the tub. So, what should you do if water leaks into your home?
Find the Source
When an injured and bleeding person is rushed to the emergency room, every thing takes second place to stopping the bleeding. The same holds true with water leaks. You need to find the source and stop the leak. Here is where you can look to identify water leaks.
Water Leaks under the Sink
If the water is seeping from under a cabinet, then the most likely source is the drain pipe. Most are made of plastic and over time they can wiggle loose at the trap. Feel the drain pipe and if it is wet then you have found your source. Just gently shove the pipes together and tighten the nut.
If it is not coming from the drain, then look further back and check the shut off valves for the hot and cold water. Over time these can fail. If the water is coming from there, you need to call your landlord or their agent right away to get it fixed. Do not try to fix it yourself, please.
Water Leaks from the Ceiling
If you have a tenant above you, then they are most likely the source. Before calling your property manager’s agent, head upstairs and see if your neighbor knows what’s going on. If they can shut off the source, then clean up might be the solution. Put a bucket under the leak to catch the drips. Once the water stops, point a fan at the ceiling to get it dry. If a mark remains, give your property manager a call and have them come take a look.
If you don’t have any upstairs neighbors, then either the roof is leaking or you have a water pipe in the ceiling who decided its time has come. Either one requires an immediate call to the landlord.
Water Leaks on the Floor
If you find water leaks on the floor, then start with the easy solution. Did Fido make the puddle? Did your toddler tip over the mop bucket? If not, then if the leak is near the fridge, check if the overflow pan in the back is full or if it went into defrost mode and dribbled on itself.
Follow the flow of water to see if you can identify the source. Water travels quite easily and may have come from a source some distance away.
Repair the Damage
Whether or not you can fix your water leaks depends a lot on the amount of damage. If the carpet was wet, then try to soak up as much water as possible. Then put a fan on the spot to dry it out. If the water leak leaves a mark on the drywall or ceiling, then you should let us repair the damage. We want to make sure that if water leaks into your unit, that the water is contained and that there is no chance that mold will grow. Waiting until you move out to explain the damage may mean that the cost of the repairs could be subtracted from your security deposit. So the sooner you let us know water is or has leaked into your unit the better. We will hurry out and make it right.