Water Leaks: Considerations When Buying or Selling Your Home 


Water Leaks: Considerations When Buying or Selling Your Home 

Dealing with water leaks can be a frustrating and costly experience, especially when buying or selling a house. 

Hidden internal plumbing leaks and leaking water mains lead to extensive damage if not repaired. 

Water leak detection expert Adrian Morgan from ADI Leak Detection provides advice on how to spot the signs of water leaks when you are selling or buying a house and reveals a very simple test you can do to discover if a property has a water leak. 

Understanding Water Damage in Homes 

Common Causes 

Water leaks can occur due to various common causes, such as: 

  • Water mains pipes which have failed with age then split or burst under pressure. 
  • Corroded heating pipes rupture and leak slowly over time. 
  • Incorrectly fitted push fit plumbing fittings allow water to slowly seep from pipe joints. 
  • Failed grout and sealant in bathrooms and showers. 

Water intrusion can result in significant structural damage to your home. 

Impact on the Property 

Unnoticed water leaks create an environment conducive to mould growth due to increased moisture, especially within walls and under flooring. This not only affects the aesthetics of a home but also poses serious health risks for the occupants of a property. 

The presence of excess moisture from water leaks can weaken wooden structures in your home over time. For instance, prolonged exposure to moisture may lead to warping or rotting of wooden floorboards or support beams. Excessive moisture within walls can compromise the stability of drywall plasterboard panels, causing them to swell or crumble. 

The water from internal plumbing leaks will seep into the sub-flooring and cause long-term problems such as mould growth and rotting wood. 

A damaged roof will allow rainwater to penetrate through the attic and ceiling, eventually causing extensive damage to insulation and drywall. 

A leaking water mains allows for a substantial volume of water loss leaking to potential sinkholes, subsidence and even damaging the structural integrity of your home. 

Signs of Water Leaks to Look For 

Visual Clues 

There are several visual clues you can look out for. Stains or discoloration on ceilings, walls, or floors could indicate a leak. Peeling paint or wallpaper is also a common sign of water seepage. Another visual clue is the presence of mould or mildew, which thrives in damp environments. 

Look for warped or buckled walls and flooring materials, as these can result from prolonged exposure to water. If you notice any unexplained musty odors in a property, it could be another indicator of hidden water leaks. 

Inspecting visible plumbing fixtures such as pipes and radiators for any signs of corrosion or rust can help you detect potential sources of leaks early on. 

There are several common signs of a water leak to look for: 

  • Sudden increase in water bill. 
  • Damp or wet spots on walls or ceilings. 
  • Mould or mildew growth. 
  • Musty odour in the house. 
  • Low water pressure. 
  • Sounds of running water when no fixtures are in use. 
  • Water marks on the inside of roofing felt in the loft, indicating a potential roof leak. 

Identifying and Repairing Leaks Before Selling 

When selling your home, it’s important to repair any known water leaks before putting your property on the market. Not only can leaks deter potential buyers, but they can also lead to costly repairs down the line for yourself if the property fails to sell. 

You can test if your property has a water leak on the mains or plumbing pipework by carrying out a water meter leak test. The test will reveal if your property is using any water with all taps closed and water using appliances switched off. If your water meter continues spinning throughout the test, then you have a hidden water leak. 

Addressing the source of the leak is key to preventing further damage. Whether it’s a leaking pipe, a roof issue, or a structural issue, identifying and repairing the source of the leak will not only enhance your home’s appeal but also save you from future headaches. 

By fixing leaks and water ingress problems before selling, you are providing buyers with peace of mind and ensuring a smoother transaction. 

Effect of Water Damage on Resale Value 

Impact on Price 

When water leaks are present in a home, they can significantly impact the resale value. Price is one of the key factors affected by water damage. Potential buyers may perceive water damage as a major issue, leading them to negotiate for a lower price. 

Water damage can decrease your home’s value by thousands of pounds. For example, if there are visible signs of water stains or mould due to leaks, potential buyers may use this as leverage to offer a lower price for your property. 

Leaking flat roofs are a common reason for negotiation on price. A roof leak detection survey can prove if a flat roof is leaking or not. 

Perception and Buyer Confidence 

The presence of water leaks can also affect the perception and confidence of potential buyers. When buyers see signs of water damage, it raises concerns about the overall condition and maintenance of the property. This could lead to fewer offers and longer time on the market. 

Buyers might fear that hidden issues related to water leaks, such as structural damage or mould growth behind walls, could be lurking within the property. These fears often result in decreased interest from potential buyers. 

Need Legal Advice for Buying or Selling a Property? 

Here at Bookers & Bolton, we provide legal advice when buying or selling a property. We can provide independent advice on what to do if a property you are selling or buying has been affected by a water leak or has water damage.  

Bookers & Bolton Solicitors is a Conveyancing Quality Scheme accredited firm providing residential property services to clients in Alton, Hampshire and across the UK. We can provide expert conveyancing services if you are buying or selling a freehold or leasehold property. 

We understand that the procedures involved can appear complicated. Our team will cut through the jargon and explain the processes involved every step of the way. 

Conveyancing Solicitors Near Me 

For legal advice from experienced conveyancing solicitors, please contact us on 01420 82881 or email enquiries@bookersandbolton.co.uk. 

Find out more about how we can help here.