Angie's List: Spotting a costly leak

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Angie Hicks of Angie's List says water can be your home's worst enemy.

Leaving leaks unattended can lead to serious damage to your home. For example, a leak behind a wall could require drywall repair. A small drywall repair job can cost as much as $400, not to mention if you end up with mold. For example, a mold remediation job can be anywhere from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars.

It's always best to tackle plumbing leaks immediately.

"Easy signs of leaks in your house could be the fact that you have stains on your walls, if you have wallpaper that's buckling, or even a wooden floor that's buckling, or if you just smell a musty smell you need to have that investigated," Hicks said.

There are a couple of simple ways to check if your toilet is leaking. Place a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank and wait 15 minutes. If the food coloring has entered the toilet bowl without the toilet being flushed, you know you have a leak.

Another thing you can do is lay toilet paper along the base of the toilet and flush.

"If it's leaking you'll begin to see the water wicking into the tissue paper," said Plumbing Contractor, Justin Dorsey. "Or if it's dripping from the tank it will drip down and hit the toilet paper and you'll see it."

It's also common to lose water through dripping faucets or hoses that are left on. It's important to know where your water shut off valve is located in your home if you do have a leak. If you can't locate it, a reputable plumber can help. You'll want to make sure they have a specific plumbing license.

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