How do I find out where a leak is coming from?

Drip, drip, drip.

It’s a sound that strikes fear in any building manager’s heart. The mysterious puddle or dripping ceiling tile is a sign of bad things to come unless it’s taken care of immediately. And that involves tracing it back to the source.

We’ll show you how.

Exterior Leaks

Roof leaks can be challenging because the water has a tendency to travel away from the original problem area.

Checking for roof leaks is easiest when a storm is going on. Take a walk around the building and look for problems. If you come across a leak, mark it with tape. It can be hard to find the wet spot after it dries.

In a commercial building with a dropped ceiling, you may see a leak on the ceiling tile. You’ll need to get above the ceiling tile to find where it’s coming in. Then figure out the relative location on the roof and scout around it. Do a close inspection both inside and outside with a strong light—don’t trust your naked eye alone.

Leaks don’t tend to happen in the middle of a run. They usually occur on seams or penetrations through the roof. Check those first, then go to the less likely sources.

Interior Leaks

Most interior leaks will be due to plumbing. Keep an eye out for leaks that occur when there’s no weather outside that could be responsible for it. Those most likely have an internal source.

Puddles, wet carpets, warped panels, or moldy gypsum board can be signs of a plumbing issue. Look near the pipes and plumbing fixtures first. Pipes in the walls are less likely than fixtures to get loose and create a leak, so check places like toilets, sinks, and valves.

Sometimes a leak won’t be apparent unless you turn on a valve. Turn them on and off and watch for leaks, and if you see a likely area, try putting something underneath so you can leave and look for drips if it’s a slow leak.

Getting Professional Help

If you have a leak in your building, the best way to find it is to get professional help. JK Industries deals with leaks, waterproofing, and all sorts of issues like that—let us help you. Contact us today.