I Hear Dripping in a Wall but There Is No Evidence of a Leak

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Water can cause wood to swell and expand.
Water can cause wood to swell and expand. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Water dripping from a leak somewhere inside the walls of your home can be a symptom of a serious problem that could lead to expensive repairs and even endanger your health if it is not remedied promptly. If you can hear a leak in your home, it is crucial that you find it and have it properly repaired before it causes mold to grow and the structural features of your home to decay due to moisture.

Things You'll Need

  • Hacksaw
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Safety gear (gloves, eye goggles)

Pay attention to when you are hearing the dripping noise. Is the drip consistent or are you hearing it only while you are running a specific faucet, flushing a certain toilet or running the washing machine or dishwasher? If you hear the leak only during certain times, for example, while it is raining, it is a sign of leak in the roof or wall itself. Dripping while plumbing is running is a sign there is something wrong with the plumbing system and possibly the plumbing of a specific item if you hear the drip only when you flush the upstairs toilet, for example. Narrow the location of the leak as much as possible.

Examine both sides of the wall carefully for any signs of moisture or soft spots that would indicate the potential location of the leak. Remember, evidence of a leak can include soft spots on the wall, paint flaws, paint discoloration or even soft spots on the floor near the wall.

Remove the wall or part of the wall to get a look at the interior and find the leak. Depending on the structure of your home, you may be able to remove panels by removing the trim and unscrewing them or you may have to cut directly into the drywall with a saw.

Look for the leak and identify its cause, be it a leaking pipe or a flaw in your roof or siding. Call in a professional licensed contractor to repair the problem or to find and repair the leak if you are unable to find it yourself.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you do not want to risk damaging your walls, you can contact a company that does professional thermal imaging and can evaluate your walls and find the leak without damaging or cutting into the walls.
  • Wear safety gear, including a breathing mask, when opening the wall to avoid inhaling molds that may have developed due to the moisture from the drip.

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