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What Is A Gradual Leak & Why You Need To Care



Gradual leaks can occur in your home’s plumbing system at almost any time, although they tend to have been undetected for days, weeks, or even months. These leaks can occur anywhere in your home but are most commonly located in a pipe, valve, gutter, fitting or appliance. 

The most unfortunate thing about gradual leaks is that they are often subtle, leaving damage in their wake that goes undetected and can cause catastrophic damage to other areas of your home as water can trickle from piping behind drywall, wood, under the kitchen sink and cause significant structural or appliance damage.

When renovating your bathroom, you must ensure that any mould present in the bathroom has been properly removed (sometimes by a professional) before any bathroom renovation can proceed. If you don’t, the mould will continue to grow behind the scenes, negating any positive impacts felt by doing the bathroom renovation.

How To Tell If You Have a Gradual Leak?

If you think you may have a gradual leak in one or more areas of your home, here are a few key indicators:


You may first notice a faint (or prominent) smell of dampness or mould. Mould smells differently depending on the mould type, although you may initially smell a musty scent, like decaying wood or wet socks. If you notice this smell becoming more prominent, it’s time to look for visual clues.

Visual Clues

There are definite visual clues to mould growth. This includes discolouration of the surface on which the mould is growing. Pipe leaks often occur behind or underneath the surface on which mould is present. This can include the growth of green, yellow, brown or black spores on the surface. At this stage, mould will likely have become hazardous to your health and you will need to call in mould removal experts.

Financial Clues

Another clue that you may have a gradual leak is subtle changes in your water bills. If you’re noticing additional charges on top of your monthly water bill, you may have a gradual leak in your pipes, using more water than normal. If you’ve noticed these changes happening repeatedly for a few months, the previous few months were relatively similar, you may have a gradual leak. These financial hits may further encourage the decision for a full bathroom renovation.

Where Might You Find a Gradual Leak?

If you’re fortunate enough to have noticed the signs of a gradual leak, you’ll need to locate exactly where the leak is before you can call a mould removal expert to remove it. Gradual leaks sometimes occur at the apex of a pipe and fitting or at the apex of a ‘T’ pipe, where joints installed by a plumber have weakened or loosened over time due to old piping or poor fitting installation. If you want to install new piping as part of your bathroom renovation in Sydney, this may fix your pipe leaks and mould problems.

Does a Gradual Leak Require a Complete Bathroom Renovation?

Generally, gradual leaks can be fixed by re-plumbing the existing appliances. However, this may depend on the damage the leak has already done to your bathroom. If your bathroom floor beneath a leaky bathtub or shower has become spongy and soft, it may be time to rip it out as part of a bathroom renovation.

Or, if you notice that your walls are starting to smell funky, you may have a leak in the pipe behind your drywall. This may have gone undetected for several weeks or even months, so you may need to replace the entire sheet of drywall along with the piping. 

The worst thing about gradual leaks is that they can cause subtle damage that may require major bathroom renovations from licensed Sydney bathroom renovation professionals. 

If you’re noticing that your bathroom is dealing with persistent leaks and subsequent mould problems, it may be time to stop putting off that bathroom renovation and stop those leaks!

What Might You Need to Renovate to Stop Gradual Leaks?

When it comes to addressing gradual leaks in your bathroom, one of the key considerations is what, if anything, you need to replace. Let’s take a look at a few options and how Crystal Bathrooms can help.

Replace a Shower Unit or an old Bathtub

What might need to be renovated in your bathroom largely depends on where your gradual leak comes from. If you notice that your old bathtub is leaking or there’s mould behind the shower’s waterpipe, it may be time to tear out the old shower or bathtub and replace it with that shower/bathtub combo you’ve been eyeing for years!

How Can Crystal Bathrooms Help

In this case, Crystal Bathrooms will work with you to choose a gorgeous new shower, complete with tiling over the old wooden flooring or old-style, cheap linoleum. Brand new tiling with properly sealed grout can go a long way to sealing the floor of your shower from leaks. Combine this with brand-new plumbing and your shower will leak no more and will look gorgeous!

We can also help install a standalone bathtub like that gorgeous old clawfoot tub you see in your interior design dreams. Our bathroom renovation professionals can help you secure the area around your bathtub with brand-new flooring that’s waterproof (if not secured tile) to stop water from leaking between the seams.

Replace That Leaking Sink!

A leaky sink unit causing mould growth and wood decay to the vanity that came with the house can be another reason to renovate your bathroom and install a gorgeous new vanity with modern finishings and plumbing fittings.

How Can Crystal Bathrooms Help

If you’re experiencing a leaking sink that’s old and really should be replaced anyway, Crystal Bathrooms can help you tear that old sink out and replace it with a brand new sink and vanity. Metal sinks offer a new, industrial and more modern alternative to the traditional basin and wooden vanity. We can also help with bathroom renovations, including whole-vanity replacements, providing real wood alternatives that are varnished for water repellency and waterproofness. 

Leaking Wall Pipes

One of the chief reasons for major bathroom renovations is leaking pipes. Leaking pipes behind a shower, underneath the floor (for those with heated floors), bath pipes that run underneath the bathtub or an L-joint that goes to the taps from the main water circulation pipes. These leaking wall pipes can often cause mould growth in the drywall and will cause the entire drywall sheet or multiple sheets of drywall to be replaced. 

How Can Crystal Bathrooms Help

Leaking wall pipes that transform into huge financial headaches requiring multiple sheets of drywall replacement or a whole floor replacement? While these are unexpected headaches, these are among our bathroom renovation specialties! We offer demolition services for the old bathroom hardware, and then we’ll work with you to bring you a brand new bathroom floor, wall, or new appliances that are perfectly plumbed and leak-free!

Crystal Bathrooms has been servicing bathroom renovations in Sydney for years. We have the experience, connections and catalogue to create the beautiful bathroom of your dreams, getting rid of leaky pipes in the process. Contact us today!

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