How Likely is it That My Pipes Are Leaking?
Leaks can happen anywhere: toilets, kitchen faucets, laundry machines, and basement pipes are all victims of faulty plumbing. In fact, leaks are so common that US households waste 1 trillion gallons of water each year from preventable leaks.
45% of property damage insurance claims are because of water leaks, making it the most common source of property damage in US buildings, more common than fire and theft combined.
But water leaks are preventable, and if spotted quickly, can be easily repaired with minimal damage. But if they aren’t dealt with quickly, leaks can cause major problems for your home and your budget.
Leaking pipes can waste thousands of gallons of water, resulting in hundreds or thousands of dollars tacked on to your water bill each month.
If your building has more than one leaking pipe, the problem grows even faster. The American Water Works Association estimates that about 1 in 5 toilets is leaking at any moment, meaning a large multi-family apartment building could be wasting hundreds of thousands of gallons year after year. Worse still, if those leaks are in different units, it could be even harder to notice the problem in the first place, since each family only observes one part of the problem.
And all this is only the cost of water. Leaky toilets, if left unfixed, can bring water damage, mold, rust, and other problems that can cost hundreds to repair.
How Water Leaks Affect Your Building
Beyond the cost to your water bill, leaky pipes can wreak havoc on your budget if they aren’t handled quickly. Water leaks can lead to damage throughout a home, with each repair costing hundreds or thousands of dollars.
According to Fixr.com, the national average cost of restoring a room after a “clean” water leak is $2,700. A “clean” leak is one where the only problem is the water that escaped the pipe, but no additional problems— such as mold, mildew, discoloration, carpet damage— occur.
But even after cleaning and drying a room affected by a leak, mold can still grow. Depending on the size of the room, removing mold and restoring the room can cost
Don’t wait to address the problem until you see visible symptoms. The longer a water leak goes unnoticed, the worse the damage will be, and the more you’ll have to pay to fix it.
Here are some other costs associated with water damage:
Repair a damaged ceiling: $45-55 per square foot
Replacing drywall: $250-750 per room
Floors and Hardwood: $200-500, depending on the material
How to Prevent Water Damage
The best way to prevent water damage from leaky pipes is to keep a close eye on your plumbing. Catching a leak right when it starts can spell the difference between an easy fix and severe damage.
One reason leaks are so prevalent in US households is because leak detectors are invasive and expensive. Most leak detection solutions require a plumber to cut open a pipe and weld the sensor back in place, and a plumber might install a leak detector that appears more costly than the leak itself, so it might feel right to put it off. But there’s another way.
Aware has developed new sensors that are smaller, cheaper, and easy to install without hiring a plumber. These sensors process data on-site to monitor trends in your building’s plumbing and notify you when they notice a break from those patterns. And with their wireless cloud connection, Aware sensors can notify you any time of the day, no matter where you are, enabling you to catch leaks right at the start and stop them before they get worse.
These sensors are perfect for multi-family residential buildings, where monitoring an entire building is expensive and time-consuming. Regularly inspecting the appliances in each apartment can bother tenants, too, so automating your building’s leak detection process allows you to keep your costs down and your tenants happy.
Click here to learn how you can use Aware sensors to monitor your building’s plumbing for leaks and solve problems proactively.