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Assessing and Repairing Water Leakage In Your Pennsylvania Home

Pennsylvania is sneakily one of the rainiest states in the nation, sandwiched between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. This means a lot of leaks. Have you ever tried to find a water leak in your house? If so, you know it’s not as simple as going over to the rapidly-filling pot in the middle of the living room and looking up. Leaks are way more difficult than that. A leak that ends up running down a living room wall can start in the attic and wind its way around rafter beams, and even through drywall. Water takes the path of least resistance, which means finding the starting point so you can avoid it doing major damage to your home.

The good news is, with a few pointers, it’s actually pretty easy to assess what’s going on and find the best possible solution. There’s no need to let the Main Line’s inclement weather cause water leakage in your home this year – just get that leak stopped up, and Nolan’s team can take care of fixing up the wall for you. The first step is to figure out where your leak is coming from.

Our Pennsylvania rains can be beautiful. With a leak-free wall you can enjoy them without stressing about interior water damage.
Image: Flickr user Kris Gabbard

Plumbing Issues
If your water leakage is caused by a plumbing issue, it’s likely going to be from a leaky pipe or drain in the bathroom above the room that’s showing the water damage. The first thing to assess is whether the leak is coming from the pipe that supplies the water, or the pipe that drains the water. If you can see the leak is active, turn off the water supply above it, and if there’s a substantial amount of water, drill a hole in the drywall or plaster to get the water out. If it appears to be dry, but acts up occasionally, it could be a crack in the drain or soil pipe, or it might be from deteriorated caulking or grout around the shower or sink.

Exterior Leaks in your Roof or Siding
If you see the water damage expand after storms, it’s likely caused by an exterior leak. If your leak is coming from an exterior issue, you’ve probably got a hole in your roof or siding. If you have a shingle missing or a small opening in your siding, the water is only going to leak in after it rains. Once you realize that your leak is coming from the exterior, it’s important to assess whether the problem was caused by a one-time event – for example, a storm with strong winds from a particular angle, or a flow of water that’s shuttled in by an ice dam forming on your roof. If not, the leak is an ongoing problem.

Avoid an unsightly case of droopy drywall by getting your leak stopped up and repairing your paint job.
Image: Flickr user Nate Vack

Is the Leak Active? Clues and Measurements to Assess the Leak
An “active leak” is a leak that is still letting in water, causing further damage to your walls. It’s important to know if the leak is active or not before you begin repairing the wall. Repairing a wall with an active leak is like washing your car right before it rains. The work is going to be pointless as soon as things get messy again. If Nolan comes to your home to examine water damage, we can use a tool called a moisture meter to determine if your leak is active. It is actually placed into the water-damaged surface so that we can find out if you have an ongoing issue, and also find out how wet the wall is.

There are also some DIY measures that a homeowner can take to assess a leak. First, take a pencil and outline the stained area on the wall. Monitor the water stain for a few weeks. If the area grows beyond the stain, you have an active leak on your hands. If the leak is active, you’ll need to get in touch with a plumber or roofer who can fix the underlying problem. Once the leak is stopped up and becomes inactive, Nolan can get started on repairing that unsightly water damage for you.

Painting your colorful new interior is especially satisfying after stopping up the leaks from a rainstorm. A bright future is waiting for your Main Line home.
Image: Flickr user Susanne Nilsson

Fixing the Leak
If you’ve noticed a leak that’s causing water damage to the walls of your home, it’s time to take action before the leak becomes more severe or causes damage to the plaster or drywall. Nolan can help assess your leak and direct you to a plumber or roofer if need be, so that you can stop the immediate damage being done. After the leak is no longer active, our team can help you restore that wall to its original, silky smooth finish. Nolan has been painting homes along the Main Line since 1979, so our team has the experience and skills to handle whatever your home might need this season. Contact us today for a consultation!

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