Builders, making repairs in apartments, houses and cottages, immure water, heating and sewage pipes in the walls or floors. Thanks to this it is possible to improve the appearance of the room, but there can be a problem – in the case of a water leak, you have to dismantle the entire masonry. Usually no one thinks about it during the repair, but then you have to regret the decision.
We all understand that hidden utilities – is the perfect norm. But only if the engineering lines of the modern type of cross-linked polyethylene. For various reasons, water leaks can occur during operation, which leads to flooding. Causes may be faulty utilities, installation errors or damage to water pipes.
Causes of water leaks
Quite often many people do not decide to replace old water pipes, based on the fact that the work to be done will cost quite a bit, and it is quite difficult. Others are guided only by their experience and try to replace the damaged pipes themselves. But not always such work can be successful. Basically, the process of replacing water pipes requires the use of specialized tools, as well as work experience.
Old water pipes that have been in service for decades without proper repair, in most cases are clogged with rust, slag and other deposits. Inside the pipe there is only a small gap through which the flow of water, and as a consequence, the pressure in the pipe decreases.
There is also another problem with rust on old pipes. Holes are then formed from which water begins to flow. In such places, the wall of the pipe becomes quite thin, and not withstanding the pressure of water, bursts. These places are quite dangerous and extremely vulnerable. These pipes can burst at any time and cause further damage and increased water bills.
Threats of water leaks
The most dangerous of these factors to human health is the occurrence of mold. Spending a large amount of time in rooms with high dampness risks your health.
The pathogenic spores of mold and fungus, which behave well in high humidity, have an adverse effect on the human condition. As a rule, the nidus of such bacteria are based in places with high humidity, respectively, also near the leaking pipes. Spores enter the human body through the respiratory tract, being absorbed into the blood. Then they destroy beneficial bacteria and suppress immunity.
In addition, mold also literally “eats away” building materials and affects their quality. Thus, you will need not only to take care of solving your health problems, but also to carry out repairs in this room, as well as to think about replacing the plumbing, if that is what caused the pathogenic bacteria.
Fighting mold is difficult enough – both on the level of treating your health and on the level of the repairs you’ve made. No medication in this case can help you until you eliminate the cause of mold and mildew. In that case, you will need to properly identify the cause of the pathogenic bacteria and eliminate it.
There are special remedies that can help combat mold and mildew, but it’s not easy to find a one-size-fits-all solution. Without trying several remedies in practice, you will not be able to determine the most suitable option for you. The best solution in this case is to periodically diagnose the plumbing for hidden leaks and the timely elimination of problems in its work.
Separate attention should be paid to destruction of foundations and brickwork in houses (sometimes it happens in apartments as well). Hidden leaks in this case symbolize those holes, corrosion or cracks that are formed in the pipeline. Water in such cases does not immediately come out, but travels underground, washing its way up to several tens of meters in some cases.
Thus, the water gets into the brick or concrete (depending on what material the house is built of), saturates it. It is worth noting that wet materials also give off heat faster, i.e., wet walls in the house will be colder than dry ones.
Wet materials also give off heat faster, meaning that wet walls in a house will be colder than dry ones.
How to find a hidden leak
Sometimes such leaks are almost invisible to the human eye. They can be identified by indirect signs, such as a drop in pressure in the boiler or wetting of any areas of the wall or ceiling. At first glance, it may seem like a fairly simple problem, but it will last until the leak shows itself 100%. As noted earlier, pipe leaks are dangerous with sagging or complete foundation failure due to soil erosion.
Detection of water leaks should be carried out with the help of specialized equipment. But in some cases, you can do without sophisticated tools. Initial inspection at sites with suspected leaks is carried out visually, examining the problem areas. Small or hidden leaks are quite difficult to visualize. The initial inspection of faults can only be done for severe leaks.
Specialists use the method of hidden leaks detection with building material moisture meters that measure humidity of bricks, concrete, screed, foundations and other building materials at different depths from 10 to 300 mm. Special construction moisture meters of conductometric and dielcometric types are most commonly used in construction. These are devices that are small devices for measuring the moisture level of materials for both internal and external works.
An alternative way to determine the problem places of the pipeline is the use of such a device as an acoustic water leak detector. These devices with high precision are able to localize the location of the leak. When water leaks, it creates an ultrasonic sound which is not perceived by human ear. A leak detector picks up this sound with an ultra-sensitive microphone and plays it back through headphones. The stronger the sound, the closer the leak is located. To search for leaks in underground utilities, in addition to a microphone (geophone), a shaping gas consisting of hydrogen (H2) is used. Hydrogen is pumped into the pipe system. Due to the fact that hydrogen is the lightest gas, it flows out of the pipe crack together with the water and is captured by the leak detector’s chemical sensor.
If you have any suspicions of household water leaks or you notice that some parts of walls, floor or ceiling get wet, you should contact a professional which provides services on hidden leaks detection. Our specialists, through the use of high-precision equipment, will help you find even the smallest leaks, which may require opening just a few tiles to fix.
Equipment for detecting water leaks in walls
Thermal imaging camera
A thermal imaging camera sees the temperature distribution on the surface of an object. Due to the fact that the moisture that is inside the wall differs in temperature from the other wall surface, it can be detected. This is one of the easiest and fastest ways to detect water leaks. But, it doesn’t always work. The water may not be at a sufficient temperature, may be at a depth, or there may be no visual access to the area being examined.
Another device for finding water leaks that determines the moisture level inside the wall. It is applied to various sections of the wall along the mains and identifies where the moisture level is above normal. On its own, this device is ineffective. Because it takes a large amount of time to find the leak – you need to gradually go through the entire main. And probably several times. It is most advisable to use it in combination with a thermal imaging camera: thermal imaging camera finds suspicious areas, and the moisture meter can check your assumptions.
This is a kind of analogue of the phonendoscope – a doctor’s device for listening to the lungs. It consists of headphones and a special sensor, which is also attached to the wall surface along the line and allows you to “hear” the areas where water oozes. Such a good quality device is very expensive, and its cheaper counterparts are not always able to detect leaks. In practice, a combination of thermal imaging + moisture meter will be enough to detect most water leaks in pipes.
Remember: All of the above equipment requires skill and certification to use. Depending on the condition, it is necessary to change all pipes or just the damaged section for a new one at the first opportunity. If you do not have the proper skills and tools, you can always enlist the help of professional water leak detectors.