Pipes are meant to be sturdy, but sometimes they crack and break due to constant use. Leaking broken pipes can cause extensive, costly damage, commonly known as water damage. It is one of the most destructive things that can happen to a property. It can ruin the structural integrity and stability of any home or building. Even small amounts of water can cause widespread internal damage when left untreated. Unfortunately, water damage is also often difficult to detect until it’s too late and the problem has worsened.

Apart from damages caused to buildings, water damage is a health hazard too. Water seeping into walls can cause mold and other water-borne bacteria to grow. This causes long-term health conditions like asthma and other infections in immuno-compromised people.

If you don’t think you’re in imminent danger, it might be wise to keep this list handy and check off each sign every month or so.

1. Stains on walls

Water damage from broken pipes is not always obvious. Sometimes, it can be hidden behind walls, ceilings, and floors. The first sign of water damage is usually a discolored area or stain on the wall or ceiling. If you see this, there is a good chance of water damage inside your walls. You will typically see two kinds of stains: brown stains and black marks.

Brown stains are caused by iron or rust in the water supply. Black marks are caused by mold and mildew, which often develops from leaks in the basement or crawl space.

It still can be confusing because many other things can cause stains and decolorization of the paint. It is always best to get it investigated by professionals like https://pandlplumbing.com/residential-plumbing/ that have expertise in identifying early signs of water damage and provide instant repairs to stop the damage from snowballing.

2. Cracks

Many things can cause cracks in drywall or ceiling tiles, but they’re usually caused by too much moisture and humidity in your home or office building. If you see cracks in the ceiling or walls, there may be a leak from possible broken pipes somewhere else in your home or building that needs to be repaired immediately! The longer you wait to fix the problem, the worse it will become.

3. Musty Smells

Have you been noticing musty odors throughout the house or office building even when windows are open and fans are running full blast?

A musty smell indicates mold growth on drywall, insulation, and carpeting materials. Moisture and water in walls cause mold to grow and release a musty smell. Mold spores release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems such as asthma attacks in young children and allergies or lung conditions such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) in adults. Prevention is the key here and looking out for earlier signs of mold growth can protect you and your dear ones from such health concerns.

4. Standing Water

Standing water is a major indication of water damage inside your walls. If you notice standing water in places like your basement or garage, this could indicate a leaky pipe or other problem that needs an immediate check. Standing water could also point to some form of water infiltration into the building’s foundation, leading to major structural damage down the road if left unchecked.

5. Visible Wet Spots

This is usually an easy one for most people to spot as these spots become visible within 24 hours of recent water damage. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s not so obvious. For example, if you live in an older home and there’s been some seepage from outside through the foundation over time, there may not be any immediate visible evidence of a leaky pipe or roof. However, if there has been prolonged moisture seeping into your walls over time, there will likely be some wet spots on the wall that are visible when you look closely enough at it.

6. Loose Wallpaper or Paint Peeling Off

If you see this happening, it could be because there is too much moisture in that room, which causes the wallpaper or paint to peel off easily. In case it is just in one room, it may be due to a plumbing issue (such as a leaky pipe), but it could be more serious if it occurs in multiple rooms. Therefore, if this happens to you, call a plumber right away! You may have a much bigger problem than just one leaking pipe!

7. Sagging Ceilings

Sagging ceilings in one room or area of your home could be the result of excessive moisture inside your walls that has caused the mold growth and weakened them over time. When this happens, it’s important to eliminate the source of moisture as soon as possible before more serious problems occur, such as structural damage from sagging drywall panels and ceiling joists.

8. Wallpaper or Paint Bubbles Up

If you see small bubbles forming on your wallpaper or paint, this could signify that there is moisture between your walls and ceiling. This bubbling usually occurs near light switches and electrical outlets where condensation can occur easily due to air conditioning or close by heating vents.

9. Running Water Inside Your Walls

If you hear the sound of running water inside your walls during a heavy rainstorm or after a heavy snowfall, there’s no doubt there is a problem with your plumbing system including broken pipes. Whether it’s a leaky faucet or something more serious like a busted pipe behind your wall, there’s some kind of problem that needs consideration immediately before further damage occurs.

10. Checking water meters

Water meters usually show two numbers on them: one showing water consumption at any given time and another indicating how much remains unused in your meter box (also known as “residual”). If these numbers don’t match up, it could mean there is a problem with the meter itself or, more likely, that there is a water leak.

11. Higher Water Bills

Checking for sudden, unplanned increases in water use is one of the first things you should do when determining if there is a leak in your home. If your bill shows an increase from one month to the next without any changes in usage or climate conditions, the chances are good that there is an undetected leak somewhere in your home.

12. Rusty Water

Rust stains on sinks, faucets, and fixtures can also indicate a slow leak from broken pipes that has been going on for some time.


Water damage and broken piles are expensive disasters that can damage your house and possessions. They can even render the property unliveable. Dealing with flooded areas and water damage is not easy to handle the task. The cleanup process, drying out the area, and repairs will be a challenge you want to avoid if you don’t have any experience in this field. Therefore it is wise to call a professional water damage restoration company with the necessary experience and expertise to address such issues correctly. The sooner you deal with these issues, the lower the cost of correcting them and restoring your home to its former state.


In case you have any architectural, structural, and MEP design including fire sprinkler design requirements, or need to design your home renovation project including structure, and HVAC design, feel free to contact us.  We provide you with the full permit set design + T24 for your request.