Naturally, there are the easy to spot continued drips from a tap that can have a damaged thread or tap but it’s the unnoticed leaks that, more frequently than not, will cause the most Problems and cost the most apropos lost water, money and inconvenience. These undetected leaks will, over time, cause structural damage as well as lead to mold expansion.
There are all sorts of reasons for unnoticed leaks : maybe damage was unintentional such as a nail or screw being pushed thru a pipe when hanging a picture. Perhaps plumbing joints have not been sealed correctly or pipes have simply corroded with age. New buildings have a tendency to ’stretch’ during their first few years too, that may cause unjustified stress on fixed plumbing. At least Problems with new houses are usually covered by a builders guaranty.
The 4 straightforward to spot giveaway appearances of a unnoticed leak are wetness ( especially on walls ), small pools of water on the floor, a sour smell and or mold.
Mold can cause serious health Problems and will spread quickly if it isn’t dealt with properly, becoming more expensive to fix as it does so.
Moistness on walls typically means that the structure of your house is being degraded fast. Structural damage to non load-bearing walls is normally not so big an expense to deal with but damage to load-bearing walls and structures can be very expensive to repair not to mention involve a major upheaval in living agreements so the earlier that Problems are identified, the better.
If you need to spot any of the indications of without detection issues, you must call in a pro at the earliest possible time. Any qualified plumber or home inspector / surveyor should quickly be able to confirm the existence of any major problems and even if no Problems are spotted, paying a tiny call-out fee to a plumber has got to be worth the assurance it will bring. If you have home insurance, the cost of any repairs due will routinely be covered and if you are a tenant, your landlord will be responsible for the expenses of fixing, which are possibly also insured anyway.
On a last note for potential house buyers, it is always worth paying a little additional for a full structural survey, where potential plumbing issues should be identified. Making an investment in such a rigorous home inspection nearly always pays dividends in identifying possible issues.
My Dallas Plumber has been in the field of Plumbing for a long time and maintains a website about Plumber Dallas where you can get answers to the rest of your questions.