Water Leaks in Your Building? Here’s How to Find Where They Are
Water leaks in your building have the potential to turn into a disaster. Even smaller leaks can cause damage to equipment, important paper records, merchandise, or the structure of the building itself. Here are some ways to locate two of the most common types of water leaks that can occur in a commercial or industrial context.
1. Roof Leaks
Roof leaks may be an issue only under specific circumstances, but a serious leak during a storm or heavy dew can cause substantial damage within your facility. Even the cumulative effects of one or more small leaks can add up to major problems. The origin of roof leaks can be difficult to identify. Even if you can visually detect a spot where it looks like water is coming through the roof, the actual origin of the leak may be somewhere else. Some of the following techniques can help you find water leaks in the roof.
Check for signs of roof leaks: The most obvious sign of a roof leak is water that you can see coming through the roof. The second most useful telltale sign is water puddles or wet spots on floors, equipment, material, or structures. When you locate a leak, especially one over an industrial-style floor, use tape or another method to mark the spot directly underneath it. Once the water dries up, it can often be difficult to go back and identify the exact spot where the leak occurred.
Look for leaks when the water is still dripping: If possible, take the time during a rain shower or storm to visually locate leaks. If you are particularly troubled by water leaks in your commercial building, it may require visiting the facility in the middle of the night, or instructing overnight security or maintenance personnel to give leak detection a high priority.
Do a close inspection: Do a close physical inspection of the area where the water is exiting the ceiling. This may require removal of ceiling panels or tiles to get access to the area in and around the roof deck. Use a strong light source to illuminate the area and help isolate leaks.
Find the origin point of the leak in the roof: Water can travel several feet after coming through the roof, so it is important to find the place in the roof where the water is getting in. Look for signs of the water’s path and determine where on the roof the water is coming in. Roof penetrations, drains, chimneys or exhaust pipes, or other areas are often likely origin points. Once the interior origin has been identified, go on the roof and confirm the damage or hole that’s causing the leak. The spot around a leak source will often stay wet longer than the surrounding area on the roof.
2. Plumbing Leaks
Plumbing leaks can be just as damaging as roof leaks, but thy can occur even when it’s sunny outside. Keep an eye out for plumbing leaks in the following ways.
Look for signs of water leaks: Visually inspect for signs of plumbing leaks, such as small puddles of water on the floor, wet carpets, water-damaged furniture or equipment, wet or warped paneling, or water stains near pipes or fixtures. If you think the leak may be deep within the plumbing system, you may need a professional plumber’s help.
Test faucets, toilets, and other fixtures for leaks: Turn on faucets, flush toilets, and run water through plumbing fixtures to see if they are creating any leaks. Look for leaks around handles, toilet tanks, areas where toilets are bolted to the floor, and connections to water supply and drain pipes.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection, and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial, and Residential settings. For more information on how to locate water leaks in your building, or to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!