A water leak is an extraordinarily common household problem. Whether it’s a dripping faucet, a burst pipe, or a leaking appliance, water leaks create headaches. But when does a water leak become an emergency? Read on for a checklist that will help you determine whether you need professional water damage restoration or mold testing.


Assess the Scale of the Water Leak

A minor faucet leak or a small leak under a sink is not an emergency. Naturally, as soon as you learn of the leak, it should be repaired. What is more important is evaluating what, if anything, was damaged by the water. Is there a small puddle that you can clean up? Or is the wall underneath the sink wet? Small puddles can be cleaned up.  Fans can help dry walls.  But, if you smell mold or mildew, you may wish to call a mold testing company to ensure that mold isn’t growing inside the wall of your home.

By contrast, a burst pipe is a full-scale emergency. Gallons of water can quickly be released into your home damaging furniture, carpets, flooring, and walls. If you experience a burst pipe, it is essential to turn off the water as soon as possible, and then call a water damage restoration company.  


Consider the Location of the Water Leak

If the water leak is in an area that is isolated or easily contained, such as a basement utility room with a floor drain, the leak is probably not an emergency, but you should contact a plumber as soon as possible. On the other hand, if the leak is coming through the ceiling, or spreading throughout the floor, you should treat the situation as an emergency, as the water can damage the structural integrity and safety of your home.  


Try to Identify the Source of the Leak

Wherever possible, you should try to identify the source of the water leak. Is your basement flooding because of a crack in your foundation? Is the attic wet because of a hole in the roof? Or is your toilet running nonstop? If you’re able to determine the source of the leak, you’re in a better position to decide if it is an emergency.  Water running from a toilet or washing machine can generally be turned off, preventing significant damage.


Assess How Much Water is Leaking

A small leak from a faucet into a sink is unlikely to cause damage. However, other small leaks, such as water slowly coming in around your windows present the perfect opportunity for mold to grow. Mold can be hazardous to your health, resulting in respiratory conditions. Those with weakened immune systems, and sensitivities to mold may experience severe illness. So, although a slow leak in a faucet, or minor condensation on the insides of windows may not be an emergency, per se, it is very important to have the problem repaired to prevent mold growth.


Err on the Side of Caution

If you’re not sure whether a leak is a bona fide emergency, remember that it is always better to be safe than sorry. Moreover, if you smell a musty, mildew odor it is in your best interest to call a professional mold testing and removal company, to protect your health and safety.


Mold Testing, Water Damage Restoration, and Mold Removal in Southern Oregon

If your home has sustained water damage, or you’ve found a leak and suspect you may have mold growing, ProKleen is here to help. ProKleen provides full-service emergency restoration services, mold testing, and mold removal. For 24/7 emergency service call 541-857-1818. If you prefer you may send a message.