Homeownership is a lot different from renting. When maintenance issues occur in your apartment, the repairs are free and the damage is not your problem. When it's in your own house, the repairs are costly and the damage can be too. Plumbing problems in particular are a big threat to homeowners because water damage accumulates with time and can lead to mold, rot, and structural damage. Even worse, water damage can be subtle and quiet, so you can live with leaks for weeks, months or years without knowing. Now that you own your first home, get into the habit of checking on your home's plumbing system on a regular basis. This routine is easy and can help you avoid serious damage from leaks.
Look Under the Sink
Run your hand along the big pipe leading out of your sink and into the wall. Feel for moisture and inspect the pipe for corrosion. Look for rust or long green water stains running up and down the length of the pipe. All of these signs indicate that the pipe has a leak.
Look under the sink at the floor. Warped floor boards, water stains and moisture are all obvious signs that your sink has a leak. Crusty bits of rust beneath the pipe are another sign that your sink's pipe is deteriorating. Run your hand along all surfaces beneath the sink, including the wall, to check for moisture.
Check the Toilet
There are a few ways that your toilet could be leaking. Open up the tank and put a few drops of dye in the water until it becomes whatever color dye you used, then give the water time to sit in the tank. Next, sit on the toilet and shift your weight back and forth to see if the toilet also shifts. If your toilet moves when your weight shifts, this is a sign that the wax ring under the toilet is deteriorating and your toilet could be leaking into the floor.
Put dye in all the toilet tanks in your house, then sit on the toilet seats and shift your weight on all the toilets. Once this is done, check all the toilet bowls for signs of colored water. If there's colored water in your toilet bowl, this is an indication that your toilet tank parts are leaking and need to be replaced.
Make a note of any sinks with water damage beneath them, and a note of any shifting toilets and toilet bowls with colored water inside of of them. Some of these repairs you may be able to make for yourself. If you're not comfortable making your own plumbing repairs, contact a certified plumber (like those at Warhold Mechanicals Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning) to help you.