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The Cost of Ignoring Water Leaks: Financial and Environmental Implications

Ignoring water leaks may sound like a good idea when you think you can’t afford a plumber. However, it’s a good idea to think long and hard before you make that decision. The costs of ignoring a water leak can be substantially more. Let’s explore some of the financial and environmental implications of ignoring water leaks in your home or business.

Higher Water Bills

For Americans who have well water, this might not be as much of an issue. For the rest of us, though, who pay for water that is metered, it can be a much larger issue. Communities throughout the country have their own costs associated with water, and it is generally based on a metered system. Households that use more water pay more for the privilege, while those who are conservative in their water usage pay less. If you have leaks, you could find an unpleasant surprise on your water bill in the months to come – especially if the leak worsens over time.

Strain on Community Water Supplies

Something as simple as a dripping faucet can waste 3,000 gallons of water per year. That’s just a few drips an hour. Can you imagine how much water is wasted by a larger leak under your home or behind your walls? Clean water is not an infinite resource. Even though we often take it for granted, there are cities in the U.S. that struggle to provide clean drinking water to the larger community. Getting leaks under control can help to reduce waste, saving clean water for leaner days ahead.

Contamination to Community Wastewater

The average household has three types of water.

  1. Clean water. Typically, the water coming into the home to be used for drinking water, cleaning, bathing, etc. is clean water.
  2. Greywater. This describes water that has been used for things like washing dishes, washing clothes, and even taking baths and brushing your teeth.
  3. Blackwater. This term usually refers to sewage water that is contaminated with all manner of bacteria and not safe to handle.

Leaks from black water, for instance, can cause an ecological nightmare if it gets into the local water supply or runs off into streams or rivers near your home. Depending on where the leak exists, addressing the problem may be a larger emergency than you realize.

Repairing Damaged Pipes

While the costs of repairing damaged pipes might be the problem or the reason you’re ignoring the problem, the fact is that those costs are only going to rise over time. The force of water flowing out will only exacerbate the problem, creating larger leaks and causing other problems over time. Addressing water leaks promptly is the way to go.

Repairing Damage Caused by Water Leaks

Water is one of the most destructive forces on the planet. It doesn’t take a lot of water to do massive amounts of damage. A simple leak ignored long enough can do major damage to the foundation of your home, drywall inside your home, your flooring, floor coverings, ceiling, and more. A slab leak, for instance, costs an average of $3,100 to repair. That doesn’t even include the cost of replacing personal items damaged or destroyed by water leaks. The bottom line is that the cost of a plumber at the first sign of a problem would have been far more palatable in comparison to the costs of all these other repairs.

Mold/Mildew Remediation Costs

The elephant in the room when dealing with water leaks is mold. You don’t need a lot of water or a lot of time for mold to become a problem when leaking pipes are involved. The longer you ignore the problem, the larger it becomes. Since mold remediation costs an average of $2,230, it is not something to simply overlook or dismiss. It can be a substantial amount for the average U.S. household – especially when the damage could have been prevented.

Medical Bills and Missed Work Associated with Respiratory Issues

The final bit of bad news when it comes to the costs of ignoring water leaks is that they can take a toll on your health, which comes in the form of unpleasant medical bills (plus missed time from work). Respiratory infections are the primary culprit, but these can easily intensify into full-blown health emergencies if mold continues to live in your home. The longer leaks continue, the greater the risks of mold and mildew in your home become. Once that happens, mold remediation is the only way to address the problem fully so that you can prevent health problems related to mold.

Simply Leak Detection understands the challenges of dealing with leaking pipes. It’s what we do for a living. We can help you detect and identify water leaks, so you can make prompt repairs and avoid the high costs of ignoring water leaks for your home or business.

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