How do I find a water leak in my commercial building?

Are you worried about unwanted water in your building? Not sure where it is coming from? Commercial buildings require a unique leak detection approach because of their scale and construction materials. Here’s a look at how to find water leaks in a commercial building.

Initial signs of a water leak

If you’re researching leak detection, chances are you’ve already seen something to indicate you have a leak. Common signs of leaks in commercial buildings include:

  • Moldy or musty smells
  • Wet areas in the flooring, ceiling, walls, or anywhere where water is not supposed to be
  • Bulging walls, blistering paint, or crumbling plaster
  • Loose tile or gaps in the grout around the tile
  • Spongy floors
  • Visible mold
  • Uncharacteristically high water bills

If you’ve noticed any of these issues around your building, it may be time to get a leak inspection. 

Leak detection for commercial buildings

Leak detection is not a one-size-fits-all process. The type of leak and the type of building will both play a role in detection. Many leaks can be detected with infrared thermography. This involves a special scanner that analyzes moisture content and temperature changes within the wall. 

Leak detection is sometimes a process of elimination. If there are valves accessible that can turn off water access to different parts of the building, the plumber may be able to narrow down where the leak occurs. 

Acoustic leak detection systems identify leaks by locating areas of sound variation within the pipes. This is not ideal in all circumstances, but it is another approach to commercial leak inspections. 

If you’ve noticed leaking fixtures, such as a faucet or toilet, the leak may be easy to resolve. Replace the fixture or repair the component that’s causing the leak. For more complicated leak repairs, such as a leaky pipe inside your walls, you may need a more complex repair solution from a licensed plumber.