How do you stop a water leak in a building?

Water is the nemesis of commercial buildings everywhere. It rots wood, spalls concrete, and leaves unsightly stains. It can tear a structure apart like an eggshell given enough time, corroding steel beams and buckling floors and ceilings. So when you see a water leak, it’s not just a little problem: it’s a ticking time bomb.

How do you stop a water leak?

Finding the Water Leak

You need to find the leak first. You might have a water leak if you see:

  • Dripping water on ceilings or walls. A dead giveaway. There can be other causes than an actual leak (for example, condensation from climate control systems), but either way, dripping water is a bad sign.
  • Mold or moss. These organisms like to grow in moist areas, and if you see them in an area that shouldn’t be wet, it’s a dead giveaway of a leak.
  • Efflorescence. Heavy white deposits on brickwork. These are a sign of moisture leaching through.
  • Peeling/bubbling/cracking paint. This can mean water is coming through underneath the surface or soaking through cracks in the paint job.

These small signs can turn into something much worse if left untreated. You need a regular maintenance schedule with walkthroughs to make sure warnings like these don’t go unheeded.

Stopping the Water Leak

So now that you know you have a leak, how do you stop it?

That depends on what kind of leak it is.

If it’s an internal leak, such as plumbing or HVAC, you’ll need to get a repairman out to fix the problem with the pipe, then assess the area around the leak.

If it’s an external leak, it becomes a bit more complicated.

Most external leaks come from specific areas: the edges of the roof, areas where pipes and wires go through the roof, perhaps walls and other tie-in spots. It’s almost always a joint, not something in the middle of the structure.

Each repair will be different, and you will want to have an expert on hand to both assess and repair the situation. Contact us, and we can help you fix your building leaks and keep your structure safe.