19 Feb Why Are My Walls Damp? Plumbing Emergencies You Won’t Notice
Having read the title, a question might pop into your mind, like: “Hey, if I’ve noticed my walls are damp, then it’s potentially a plumbing emergency I have noticed, isn’t it?”. Well, astute reader, you’re absolutely right about that. The goal of this brief post is to help you differentiate between walls that are damp because of weather and walls that are damp because of plumbing problems, and how you might spot plumbing problems before they make your walls damp. Let’s dive in.
Here in Winnipeg, we experience all flavours of weather. In the wintertime, you may notice wet patches and dampness on your walls, especially near your roof or basement. That may be from all the snow that’s accumulated and melting – when your roof isn’t properly pitched and your yard isn’t slanted to drain properly, that water has nowhere to go but your home.
In the summertime, things aren’t necessarily better; our massive prairie thunderstorms can cause water to accumulate very quickly, and though it’s not often that we get flash floods, this precipitation can find its way through cracks and crevices into your home. This, once again, leads to wet spots and dampness.
You might also experience a lot of humidity in your home; this is especially common in some newer homes, where high-quality insulation can make it difficult for moisture that’s created when showering or cooking to escape to the outside world. In these cases, a dehumidifier is often the answer.
All this to say, when your walls are damp, but they dry out shortly afterwards, and the dampness seems to occur when there’s inclement weather, it’s probably not a plumbing problem. When your walls are mostly damp near the roof or basement, and multiple walls are damp at the same time, it’s again probably not a plumbing problem. This isn’t to say it’s definitely not a plumbing problem – stranger coincidences have happened.
When looking for plumbing problems, however, it’s often better to try to spot issues with water flow. Are you not getting as much water pressure as you normally would? Are things draining slowly? Do you hear hisses, pops, or other strange noises? Is all of the dampness concentrated in one area? All of these are indications of plumbing problems – when dampness doesn’t go away after inclement weather or the use of dehumidifiers, it’s a sign there’s a problem with your plumbing.
When you’re not sure if it’s a plumbing problem or not, it’s often best to be cautious and call a plumber after looking into the causes described above. Plumbing leaks can cause serious damage to your home and they create a breeding ground for mould and bacteria. Winnipeg plumbers will be able to tell you whether or not there’s a leak very quickly. Then, if there is a leak, they’ll be able to get it all fixed up, tell you what the cause was and if there are preventive measures you should take.