Water leaks are an unfortunate reality for many people who work in or manage commercial buildings. Oftentimes, a water leak isn’t detected until it has caused damage or led to bigger issues. There are typically two main ways that a water leak is detected: high water bills or physical signs of leakage.
A high bill indicates that somewhere, something is leaking and is impacting your spending costs. Physical signs of leakage include things like wall damage, discolored ceilings and walls, mold, musty odors, and water dripping from the ceiling. All of these take time and money to fix, which affects your bottom line. Therefore, doing all you can to detect leaks early on is essential.
Commercial buildings, while they might serve different industries and have different purposes, have some commonalities in the types of leaks that occur. Here are a few of those areas.
Roof leaks pose a serious structural and safety risk for commercial buildings. However, they can often go unnoticed for a long time until visible water damage or mold is detected. Roofs can leak due to bad weather, poor materials, missing flashing, unsecured piping, improper skylights, and clogged gutters.
Toilets are an area of commercial buildings that are used frequently. That means that there is more wear and tear on toilets than other types of plumbing in the building. If left unfixed, these leaks can lead to high water bills and additional damage.
Broken water pipes and corroded or damaged sewer lines are some of the most common types of leaks found in commercial buildings. Pipes can burst in cold weather, or old systems might deteriorate over time. These types of leaks can also be some of the most costly and affect both the interior and exterior of the building if not found and addressed in time.
Commercial buildings tend to have multiple floors, so if a leak starts on the top floor, it can drip down and cause damage to the floor below. This can cause mold and wet patches on the ceiling as the water moves downward, along with structural damage. These repairs are often some of the more time-consuming and costly.
Basements often have a large number of water lines and pipes going through them and sometimes aren’t designed to hold the water systems that they do. Poor concrete, inefficient waterproofing, and other problems like clogged drains and uneven construction can lead to leaks in the basement. These can be dangerous if left untreated, as the basement provides support and structure for the rest of the building.
Another key area where leaks can occur is in the cooling lines of your data systems. These are extremely hazardous and dangerous leaks, as they can damage your data center and IT equipment, which can pose a risk to the security of a business and make your essential equipment unusable. These leaks can come from many different locations along your cooling lines, so having a system in place to detect these leaks is absolutely necessary to protect the integrity and security of your business.
If you are relying solely on manual methods of leak detection, you might not notice a leak until it is too late. To prevent serious water damage and prevent leaks, you need to have a water leak detection system installed in your building.
There are many different types of leak detection systems, such as water sensing cables that detect moisture, spot detectors for specific areas in a building that might be at high risk, controller kits to monitor the flow and usage of water in the building, and non-sensing cables that also help you monitor water in your building and ensure that it stays where it needs to be.
One of the biggest benefits of having a leak detection system in your building is the cost savings that it will provide for you in the long term. Water damage is expensive to fix and can require serious remodeling and construction in your building. Having a water detection system in place beforehand to prevent these leaks will help you avoid physical damage done to the building, save on your water bills, and avoid accumulated costs for the owner.
Flooding, which can result from burst pipes, is a large bill that the owner will need to pay. In addition, a burst pipe or flood can cause damage to other buildings in the area, which compounds the cost. Other benefits from a leak detection system include safer working conditions for employees, a reliable water system, and better environmental impacts from not wasting water and using less of the water supply.
Depending on the type of system you use, the cost of a water leak detection system will vary. Individual sensors can range within a few hundred dollars apiece, but an entire leak detection system will cost more, likely several thousand dollars to install an entire monitoring and detection system. However, this is much less than the cost of repairing water damage in the event of a leak or flooding issue.
The short answer? Yes. While a water detection system might be an upfront investment, the long-term benefits it provides make it well worth the cost. It allows you to be proactive and avoid expensive problems down the road caused by water damage.
To learn more about water detection systems, visit the Veris water leak protection category page and see what products are available for you today to help protect your building and reduce costs.