Theres no doubt that water leaks can be costly. But the effects of postponing or ignoring these repairs can result in more than just a bigger water bill.
I recently repaired a water heater leak in Phelan, CA. While making the repair i wore a breathing mask to protect myself from mold that spread around the water heater. I recommended mold remediation to the homeowner. Although he was mildly concerned about the price to clean up mold and replace drywall, he was less worried about the health risks of mold.
As a plumber I’ve noticed hot water leaks tend to spread mold to a greater degree than cold water leaks. I believe this has to do with steam spreading into the enclosed space and accumulating on surfaces. In any event, mold is unhealthy to come in contact with or breathe. Children and the elderly should especially be protected from this funky fungi.
Aside from mold, water leaks cause safety hazards and structural damage. People slipping on water is rare but possible, so is falling into a sinkhole caused by a neglected leak. But a more common consequence of water leaks can be structural damage. I have seen a home’s foundation partially collapsed because of a slab leak ignored, and the inspector deemed the house unlivable.
Water leaks; priced low to high
In general, a sprinkler leak may cost under a hundred dollars. A bursted pipe in a wall may cost between a hundred and two hundred dollars, while a leak in the ground can run you a few hundred dollars (depending on where its at).
The repercussions of water leaks in the high desert go beyond your personal or business costs. The Daily Press reported that the Sheep Creek Water Company’s water supply is “dependent entirely on rainfall and snowmelt, and officials have struggled in recent drought years to meet the demands of customers.”
While i dont recommend a water saving toilet or taking shorter showers, i would suggest fixing any water leaks as soon as possible , not least because we live in the desert, but also to spare your wallet, the health and safety of others, and our local economy.
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