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Question DetailsAsked on 6/26/2014

I have a wet wall in my family room. Who do I call to find out what the problem is

The pipe running up to the upstairs bathroom is right behind this area but no water is visible around it in the basement where this comes out. I just have a damp wall so I will need drywall replaced and find the source of the water

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3 Answers


I do not know how old your house is or what type of water pipes or drains you have but a plumber might be the one to call. It could be a screw through a pipe that finally rusted through or a bad run of copper drain pipe that is corroding along the seam. You could call a handyman service and some may be able to everthing including the patching of the drywall and paint. It is possible that it is even a bad flashing on a roof vent that is following the pipe down to your wall.

Most of those that help here would need more info to be of much more help.


Answered 5 years ago by ContractorDon


I had a similar problem in my 50+ year old home just last year. I first called an HVAC contractor because I suspected water condensation from a duct nearby. That was a waste of problem found and I was charged for the service call. I called a plumber next and he told me he would need to tear out wallboard near the damp areas to determine where the water was coming from. After cutting several holes in the surrounding area he found a leak in a drain pipe coming from the kitchen sink...the pipe ran horizontal through the ceiling, then took a 90 degree turn into the damp wall, then a 90 degree turn to go down to the floor. The place where the water damage was the worst was about 15 ft from the source of the leak. So I would recommend calling a plumber; this guy knew what he was doing I believe if he had suspected it wasn't a plumbing problem he wouldn't have opened up the wall the way he did. He was very precise in locating the holes to increase probability of detection. In the end I filed a claim with my insurance company. They paid the portion of the plumber's bill that accounted for his troubleshooting/tearing out wallboard, but not the cost to repair the pipe. All other cost of contractors to replace walls, flooring, ceiling, painting was covered by my policy.

Answered 5 years ago by Guest_9128160


Since the plumber will have to track the source, you can do the same thing for free.

Method one - best for insulated walls - because you know the pipe runs up the wall there to the upstairs, I would drill a small finger-sized hole in the drywall over the pipe near the top of wall - will tell you if leak is above or below there. If below, open to hand size and reach down in as far as you can reach to find top of wet zone. If lower down, so same thing about knee height to find exact leak location, then open a hole there about a foot squre to fix it, or to have plumber fix it. Of course, if wet at top of wall, then assuming pipe probably goes through floor joists to bathroom fixtures, open up enough of a hole in ceiling to see in with strong flashlight to look for leak in pipe.

Method two - good for uninsulated interior walls and wood floors, can work in insulation but you have to fight it through the insulation and of course can't see more than a fraction of an inch. Use a fiber optic camera - about $70 at Amazon or Harbor Freight or such if you want to keep for future use, or rent at tool rental places and some Home depots and some auto parts stores. Some Home Depots now also have thermal infrared cameras that can show leaks without opening up the wall - picks up temperature difference of wet zones through the wall materials. Something like $25 half day, $40/day as I recall - new program so not all stores may have them yet. Avoids poking holes in wall except where highest point of leak is, though may still have to poke hole in ceiling to locate, as leaks can travel a long way on horizontal pipes before they drop down.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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