The dangers of ignoring a dripping outside faucet are many. In addition to saving water, fixing a dripping outside faucet protects the property and the plumbing system from harm. If you ignore a leaky outdoor spigot, you run the risk of experiencing a wide range of inconvenient problems.
1. Higher Utility Costs
Constantly dripping water directly contributes to higher water bills because of the increased water consumption. The wasteful water also drives up the cost of sewage and wastewater treatment expenses. Furthermore, property damage and expensive repairs may ensue from leaks that persist for an extended period of time. All in all, a leaky outdoor spigot can cause your monthly utility bills to rise by as much as 20% or more.
2. Bug Infestations
Insects and other pests will flock to a dripping outside faucet in search of moisture. Some of the most common pests that thrive in damp environments include termites, cockroaches and flies. Ants also love wet places, and standing water provides a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which can be dangerous to humans. Infestations of these pests have a detrimental effect on the cleanliness, stability and general health of the house. Fixing a dripping faucet as soon as possible is key to getting rid of these pests.
3. Compromised Structural Integrity
Constant water exposure leads to wood rot in structural components like decks, framing and siding. The leaky faucet also leads to a higher probability of settling problems as the soil around the foundation erodes. A home’s foundation can even shift or crack as it settles. Moisture near the home’s exterior can damage paint, stains and other finishes, accelerating deterioration. Preventing these structural difficulties and protecting the long-term stability of the house requires fast action when an exterior faucet leaks.
4. Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes are more likely to occur in areas with a leaking outside faucet, especially during the winter. As a result of the constant trickle, water pools around the faucet and its connections. When the weather becomes cold, the water inside the pipes might freeze and form ice jams. If the ice expands, it can lead to burst pipes. Problems like burst pipes can ruin a home’s structure and possessions, requiring expensive repairs. If you notice a dripping outside faucet, fix it right away to prevent frozen pipes and damage to your plumbing system.
5. Mold Formation
Mold thrives in damp, dark places, which is exactly what happens when an outside faucet leaks. Accumulated moisture will seep into neighboring walls and ceilings, fostering the growth of mold. People living in homes with mold have an increased risk of developing allergies and respiratory problems. The mold problem can cause structural damage and noxious fumes that permeate the home’s interior. Fixing a dripping faucet as soon as possible can stop mold growth and make your home healthier to live in.
6. Slip and Fall Hazards
If you ignore a dripping outside faucet, you greatly increase the risk of a slip-and-fall accident. There is an even higher chance of mishaps if water pools around the spigot and spreads to other areas, like walkways or entry points. The dripping water causes outdoor surfaces like sidewalks to become slippery, which can make walking on them very hazardous. Concrete, tile and ceramic sidewalks are especially slippery when wet. The situation becomes much more perilous when the weather turns chilly and ice patches appear as a result of the leaking water freezing. Fixing the leak quickly is the easiest way to minimize these hazards.
7. Waterlogged Landscape
When outdoor faucets leak, it saturates the soil, which leads to waterlogging and poor drainage. Excessive wetness can be detrimental to plant roots, leading to root rot and impacting the overall health of plants. Waterlogged landscapes also invite pests and fungal growth. Structures in the area may be in danger of foundation damage and mold development if the clogged drains spread to other areas. Fixing a leaking spigot as soon as possible is crucial for avoiding waterlogging. It also protects plants from harm, helps avoid property damage and keeps the outside area looking nice.
8. Increased Humidity
A leaky outdoor faucet affects a home’s indoor humidity in several ways. For starters, water infiltration can penetrate walls, causing dampness and raising moisture in the home. If there are any cracks or openings in the house, the leaking water can easily seep inside and create a musty atmosphere. Basements and crawl spaces are particularly vulnerable to the effects of high humidity. There’s also a higher risk of condensation on doors and windows in homes with excess moisture. High humidity poses multiple risks, such as mold growth, musty odors and potential damage to the home. This is why it’s best not to ignore a leaky outdoor spigot.
9. Decreased Property Value
A dripping exterior faucet can negatively affect a home’s value in three main ways. A buyer can get the impression that the home is in poor shape due to persistent leaks, which indicate a lack of maintenance. Secondly, the property’s value will drop even further if leaks cause structural damage. Thirdly, the home’s exterior might deteriorate due to the continual dampness, which reduces its curb appeal. Fixing a dripping faucet immediately —and any damage it may cause — is essential to preserving or increasing a home’s value and appeal to prospective purchasers.
10. Utility Equipment Damage
Water from a leaky faucet can cause the parts of utility equipment to corrode, which decreases the safety of their electrical components. In irrigation systems, a leaky faucet leads to water loss and pump fatigue. Utility boxes and meters near the leaky faucet may provide inaccurate readings. Fixing the faucet will help prevent expensive repairs to outdoor utility equipment.
11. Legal Issues
The constant flow of water from a leaky outdoor faucet poses several risks to nearby homes, which may lead to claims for repairs and property damage. If the leak gets bad enough, it can cause foundation damage, structural deterioration, mold growth, landscaping damage and soil erosion on neighboring properties.
12. Paint and Stain Damage on Interior Walls
Water will accumulate significantly on the wall connected to the dripping spigot if nobody fixes it. This can cause the paint and stain finish on the inside of the house to eventually fade as the moisture seeps through the walls. Over time, wet walls weaken structurally and eventually peel, discolor and develop ugly stains. Promptly fixing the leak helps the interior wall remain both aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound.
Best Way to Prevent Outdoor Faucet Leaks
Outdoor water fittings called frost-free or freeze-proof hydrants avoid freezing in cold weather. They feature a unique shut-off valve below the frost line, usually several feet below the earth. Turning off the hydrant removes water from the above-ground part, avoiding freezing. This design keeps the water supply from freezing, making frost-free hydrants ideal for colder climes.
The experts at Half Moon Plumbing can prevent outdoor faucet leaks. We provide plumbing repairs, drain and sewer cleaning, water heater installations, water filtration and more in Tulsa, OK. Contact us now to get your outdoor leaky spigot fixed today.