Updated: Dec 18, 2019
Its not uncommon to go weeks or even months without even thinking about your hot water heater. In many cases they are tucked away in a closet or corner of your garage that is not an area you would typically frequent. Unfortunately these appliances can and do fail overtime. On top of potentially losing the hot water throughout your home it is not uncommon to also experience damaged drywall, baseboards, carpet or stained floors. Mold is also a common side effect of a hot water heater leak do to the fact it often takes awhile before the leak is discovered. Although there is no true way to completely eliminate the risk of a hot water heater leak, here are a few preventive measures and tips to help reduce the chances of this happening.
Adding a Pan and Drain:
The best way to mitigate the chances of a hot water heater leak creating water damage is to add a pan and drain underneath the hot water heater. This simply catches any water that could leak out of a defective unit and distributes it to an area that will not create damage to the home. Although this doesn't prevent the heater from failing, it does often prevent the resulting leak from creating damage.
Check Your Supply Lines:
Supply lines are a common area of failure throughout your home. Although the supply lines leading to your hot water heater are usually built more robust than some of the smaller versions found in areas such as your sink and toilet, they can and do fail from time to time. Giving them an inspection periodically and replacing old or damaged lines can save you from a huge headache.
Inspect Your Plumbing:
Plumbing leaks can happen to any home or structure. Luckily the plumbing leading to your hot water heater is exposed so it is easy to give a visual inspection. If strong corrosion is present, water is seen in areas where it shouldn't be or the plumbing appears to be damaged, this is something that should be addressed sooner than later. Damaged or corroded plumbing could be a ticking time bomb.
In the event a hot water heater leak does occur, it is not always the most obvious issue to spot. These types of leaks often result in a slow leak that is not the most easy issue to notice. Here are a few things to look for that could help you catch a leak before it becomes a bigger issue.
An easy way to spot a leak is by noticing damaged drywall. This can include damaged seams, sagging, discoloration or rapid degrading of the drywall. If any of these things are noticed it is a good idea to take a deeper look because water damage could be the cause.
Since water will find its way to the lowest spot, baseboards will almost always be affected in the event a hot water heater leak occurs. Some things to look out for include swelling, discoloration, and baseboards peeling away from the wall.
Although you don't always get this luxury, sometimes wet concrete or flooring can be an immediate indication of a hot water heater leak. If either of these situations are noticed it is advised to track the water and determine where the leak might be coming from.
Unfortunately many hot water heater leaks can go on for days or even weeks before they are discovered. Mold can be an unwanted side effect that will set in if the leak extends for an extended period of time. If you suddenly notice mold growth this is usually an indication of water damage and it is advised to get a professional in the evaluate the situation.
If a hot water heater leak does occur in your Gilbert home or business, contacting a professional such as Good Times Restoration would be a smart move. Water damage restoration requires a specialized skill set as well as specialized equipment and it is not recommended to attempt this type of repair without the proper experience.