Hidden Toilet Leak
Mold & Water Damage Due to Leaking Wax Toilet Ring
Dealing with a water leak as quickly as possible is your best option. Unfortunately, it's not always as clear that you have a water leak. It is quite possible you will NOT come home to find your ceiling sagging, wood floors covered in an inch of water or your carpet all soggy. It is very rare here in Southern California that a pipe will just rupture, releasing gallons of water per minute into your home. Occasionally a joint in the plumbing installation will fail, but these are not the most common causes of water leaks and damage.
More often then not, in our area these water leaks are slow and can go unnoticed. Nevertheless damage can be catastrophic. You will see what I am talking about looking at these leaky toilet photos. This leaking toilet was due to a faulty toilet installation, no doubt done by a homeowner at some point in time. The wax ring was crooked and leaking toilet bowel contents every time the toilet was flushed. This toilet had probably been leaking for about 5 years when the current homeowner purchased the house. They had never replaced this toilet. When the toilet was lifted it was clear what the problem was (picture not included).
The water that was slowly seeping out with each flush did not show up anywhere until a laminate flooring in the hallway started bubbling up many feet away and the floor felt a bit squishy. How long the bubbling laminate had shown itself is not clear, but it wouldn't have mattered if it was yesterday or a year ago in this case. The sewage water had already traveled a great distance. There was no smell, no wet spots, not even around the toilet.
Using leak detection equipment we were able to zero in on the leaking toilet. Testing for moisture in the walls showed elevated moisture levels. We poked a hole in the wall near the floor and exploration began. Mapping out water saturation in the wall, dry wall removal was begun after containment fields were put in place. Continuing down the hallway, tearing out all of the laminate flooring. The padding below was saturated and black with mold.
The containment fields and air scrubber prevent mold spores from spreading through the rest of the home. The damage was so significant and so wide spread that the family had to move out until we could get everything cleaned up and dried out.
Insurance would not cover the damages in this case due to the length of time the leak was active even though it was not clear that there was a water leak in the first place.
It important to act quickly as a homeowner if you suspect any irregularity in your home. Investigate! It might cost a couple $100, but insuring you are not experiencing a water leak can make all the difference in whether it costs hundreds to repair or it costs thousands.
Leak Star fixed pipe leaks in my home on two different occasions and were awesome! They did a great job with minimal intrusion through the drywall - in other words they found the leak before they started cutting! Trustworthy, nice guys who clearly know their stuff!! I would highly recommend them. Vicki B. in Rancho Santa Margarita, O.C.
Highly recommend! Timo came to the rescue on a weekend when other plumbers failed to identify the leak in our pipe. He found with precision and minimal dry wall cutting. Friendly and very professional. Service was reasonably priced at a flat rate and worth every penny. I have him on speed dial now as he is also a plumber! Tina C. in Carlsbad, CA.