Most homeowners are aware of the destructive problems that can result from a leaking pipe. Unfortunately, damp drywall, soggy soft furnishings, and mold are not the only issues that a leaking pipe can cause. If you have noticed insects or other pests inside your home, it could be that they are attracted to a leak.
Moisture Loving Pests
Have you ever thought about why rodents and insects are often found in crawl spaces or unfinished basements? The answer is moisture. These areas are prone to high levels of moisture, and some pests love a moist environment. This means that if you have leaking pipes or plumbing features, they may be creating a welcome beacon to lots of pests.
There are a number of pests that love damp, moist conditions including termites, rats, mice, cockroaches, silverfish, camel crickets, book lice and carpenter ants. None of these creatures will be a welcome addition to your family, so it is important to be alert to potential problem areas.
Areas to Inspect and Repair
It can be a challenge to spot a leak, but there are some key areas that should be regularly inspected. These areas are particularly vulnerable to leaks and can easily attract pests.
Leaking faucets are fairly simple to spot, and you may even be kept away by a steady, slow drip. You may also have unseen leaks under the fixture where the pipe connects. The supply and waste pipes for sinks are usually placed in a cabinet under the fixture, so it is important to check under your sinks for any sign of leaks regularly.
Another common problem area is the basement. Most plumbing runs through the basement of the home or in a crawl space. You’re likely to see pipes running along the ceiling. Additionally, if your basement is unfinished, the higher moisture levels will already create an environment where a pest infestation could flourish. Look for condensation or water leaks on the pipes, as this will add to the moisture levels and increase the infestation risk. If your basement is finished, keep an eye on brown stains on the walls or ceiling that can indicate a leak.
It is also important to check your water using appliances. Dishwashers, washing machines, and even water heaters have gallons of water passing through them every day. If your appliance is older, has malfunctioned or developed a clog, a leak can easily occur. Look out for puddles of water forming on the floor near your appliances that can indicate a problem has developed.
A leak and the resulting water damage is hard enough to deal with, so adding a pest infestation into the mix can make this situation even more stressful. Fortunately, by being alert to leaks and taking quick action to resolve the problem, you can not only reduce the risk of water damage, but you may prevent those nasty pests from being attracted to your home. If you suspect you have a leak, it is always a good idea to call in a professional plumber
who can check your system and resolve any issues.
By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.