Watch Out for the Sinister Pinhole Leaks!

water-dropletsThe big plumbing problems are what you think about when it comes to calling for a repair plumber. Busted pipes, overflowing toilet, clogged drains around the house, low water pressure, no water at all, sewage line back-up. Yes, those are all major problems and they need a fast response from licensed, professional plumbers.

But there’s another serious plumbing problem that sounds like it’s no big deal: pinhole leaks. Pretty innocent-sounding name, right? It’s anything but innocent when it comes to the damage it can do to your house and the costs it can rack up. Stopping pinhole leaks is an important plumbing repair, and we have some information for you to know about them.

How Pinhole Leaks Start

The name is self-explanatory: pinhole leaks are minute holes along copper piping that allow tiny drips to escape at a time. Sometimes they aren’t easily visible by a quick inspection. Usually, they show up as a spot of gray discoloration along the copper.

But this discoloration is the problem—it’s a type of corrosion called formicary corrosion that affects copper. You’ve heard that copper is corrosion-resistant. But that doesn’t mean it can’t corrode, and formicary corrosion is one of its weaknesses. The causes of formicary corrosion are not fully understood yet, but it’s likely connected to chemicals in the air of homes, such as formaldehyde, that come from common products and materials. Formicary corrosion weakens patches of the copper, allowing for the tiny holes to begin to appear.

Why Pinhole Leaks Are a Problem

It’s an old adage in the plumbing world: “There is no such thing as a minor leak.” Pinhole leaks are proof of it. The gradual accumulation of water behind drywall in the ceilings or walls is destructive. The water will lead to mildew growth, and mildew eats right through drywall. It also encourages mold growth inside closed spaces, and a house could be looking at expensive mold mitigation because of pinhole leaks. Keep in mind, mold can also be harmful for the health of the household. Because pinhole leaks are hard to detect early on, they can inflict major damage before anyone realizes it.

Recognizing Pinhole Leaks

How can you detect pinhole leaks if they’re small and often hidden from sight?

  • Regular leak detection services: Even if you don’t see signs of leaks in your plumbing, scheduling leak detection with a plumber every few years will catch hidden ones—and not just pinhole leaks. Many homes have hidden leaks, and they’re costly.
  • Discolored spots on walls and ceilings: Rusty-colored spots on drywall, even small ones, are indicating water damage that is slowly eating through the walls.
  • Any sign of mold or mildew: If you find mold or mildew growing in spots along the baseboard of walls or in places that aren’t normally humid, it’s something to have plumbers investigate.

We have the Pecos, NM plumbers to help you deal with pinhole leaks. Any kind of leaks! When in doubt, call us—we’re already on the way!

Why wait for service when you can get it EXPRESS? Santa Fe Express Plumbing & Drain serves Santa Fe, Espanola, Los Alamos, and Pecos.

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