Buying a house can be quite a struggle, especially with the pandemic still going on, and not to mention that you have to do a lot of processing and documentation in buying a new house. However, probably the most hassle you’ll have when buying a new house is the inspections.

From faulty wiring to mold issues, there is a lot you should check on a house before buying it.

One such thing to check on is gas leaks. Gas leaks are dangerous as not only do they make your house prone to explosions, they also pose serious health risks to you and your family. As such, how should you know that there are gas leaks in the house you’re buying or the very house you’re currently living in?

Here are telltale signs that a house has gas leaks.

Unhealthy Houseplants

Gas leaks mean that there is a lack of oxygen around your house. Carbon monoxide does that, and it can be seen in your houseplants. If the plants are dying or looking very unhealthy even though you are taking good care of them by watering them and letting them out in the sun, it might be carbon monoxide poisoning.

Be careful, though, as small traces of gas leaks don’t affect them too much. This sign only shows when there are moderate to severe gas leaks in the house. If you see your plants dying without any reason and you have a suspicion that it’s because of gas leaks, then you should call the professionals already.

Unpleasant Smell of Rotten Eggs

Neither liquid propane or natural gas [1] has odor and color. However, companies give them additives with a highly distinctive color and smell that anyone could smell right away during a gas leak. The additive is called mercaptan or methanethiol. This additive smells pungent like a rotten egg or rotten cabbage for some. That said, if you smell this particular odor in a house, then there is a big chance that the house has a gas leak.

Hissing Sound

Let us preface this by saying that when you hear an unexplainable hissing sound in your house and you have the suspicion that a gas leak causes it, then you’re in a very dangerous situation. A hissing sound around a gas appliance means that there are large quantities of gas escaping.

And as we all know, gas leaks are prone to explosions, especially when near flammable material. Don’t try to investigate it yourself but instead, call the help of a professional or the utility company to send someone to check it out.

Do a Bubble Test

If you want a way to test whether a house has a gas leak, then you can perform a bubble test. This test can also be done with pressurized gas like tires, propane tanks, and inner tubes. The first thing you need to do is to mix a small amount of dish soap in a large water container.

Once the dish soap is settled in, you can then put it in a piece of cloth or sponge. Then you can apply this mixture in a place where you suspect gas is leaking. When bubbles form, it means that air is escaping, and if it is from a gas appliance, it should be gas.

Always Be on the Lookout

If you suspect a gas leak is present in your home, you need to stay calm and carefully investigate it with caution. That is, unless there are already obvious signs, then you need to call for help. Remember that inhaling concentrated gas can be harmful to your body. This can lead to asphyxia, which is a potentially fatal situation where your body is deprived of oxygen.

Once you determine that there is a gas leak in your home and it is already out of your control, the first thing you need to do is to gather your family members and pets outside your house. Upon leaving the premises, keep the windows and the doors open. You can then call 911 or your local fire department for immediate assistance. Be sure to call outside your home as it has a chance of igniting the gas.

A certified inspector will then arrive at the scene, investigate the matter, and see if the furnace gas valve or some other parts of your boiler or any appliances needed repairs or changes. Once the inspector told you that it’s safe to go inside, make sure to air out the whole house to eliminate the carbon monoxide traces.

Final Thoughts

Gas leaks are dangerous as not only do they pose a serious threat to your health, they can also destroy a house by an explosion or setting it ablaze. If you’re looking for a house to buy, make sure that the gas line is properly maintained and taken care of by the previous owners. Gas leaks, sadly, are one of the most common causes of residential fires due to the improper maintenance of gas appliances and HVAC systems. Don’t let this happen to you.