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  • Perceptive Things Team

How to Find a Water Leak in a Large Building

Updated: Apr 18

aerial view of downtown skyscrapers

Locating water leaks in large buildings is a complex challenge that demands both precision and expertise. Given the extensive plumbing systems and multiple water usage points, identifying the source of a leak can often feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. 

This article aims to demystify the process of finding water leaks in large structures. We will cover the most effective techniques and tools used in leak detection, from visual inspections to advanced technological solutions. Understanding these methods is crucial for property managers and maintenance teams to prevent potential damage and maintain the building's structural integrity. 

What Are the Signs of a Water Leak?

Detecting water leaks early is crucial to prevent water damage in large buildings. Here are common signs that may indicate the presence of a water leak:

High water bills

An unexplained or sudden increase in the water bill without a corresponding increase in water usage is a clear indication of a potential leak. Promptly inspect all the plumbing and fixture to see if you can identify the issue.

Damp or discolored walls and ceilings

Water leaks can cause discoloration or dampness on walls and ceilings. Stains may appear as dark patches, and the affected areas may feel wet or soft to the touch. Perform a thorough inspection of all walls and ceilings. Take care to look behind furniture or any wall hangings since the leak may not be in plain sight.

Musty odors

Damp environments can produce a musty smell. If you detect an unpleasant odor that you can't trace to a specific source, it may be worth investigating for water leaks. Once you narrow the smell down to a specific room or area, take care to check all the walls, ceilings, and floor areas carefully. It may be necessary to open cupboards or check closets and drawers, too.

Mold growth

Excessive moisture from leaks can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. Look for visible signs of mold on walls, ceilings, or other surfaces, particularly in damp or dark areas. Signs may appear as dark patches, spores, fungi growth, discoloration, or an odd texture. You will need to get rid of these molds to avoid health risks and unsightly, costly damage.

Sounds of running water when no fixtures are in use

If you hear the sound of running water when no faucets, appliances, or fixtures are in use, it may indicate an underground or concealed leak. This can be especially relevant if you notice the sound during periods of inactivity, such as late at night. In this case, it may be necessary to open up a wall to check for leaks.

Warm spots on the floor

In the case of hot water pipe leaks, you might feel warm spots on the floor. This can be indicative of a leak in the hot water supply line beneath the flooring. As the warm water escapes its plumbing, it heats the surrounding floor area. While the idea of a heated floor sounds nice, you can be sure this is a major cause for concern.

Utilize Technology to Prevent Water Leaks in Large Buildings

Preventing water leaks in large buildings requires a combination of proactive measures and advanced technologies. Check out the video below to see how our water leak sensors utilize advanced technology to provide comprehensive detection across large buildings.

You need to install water leak detection systems in the right locations inside your large building. The leak detection systems will notify you via a text, email, or phone call whenever there is a water leak, allowing you to prevent the leak from escalating further.

If you are having a hard time choosing a perfect water leak detection system for your building, worry not. At Perceptive Things®, we have a vast range of sensors you can utilize to prevent water leak in large buildings:

Droplet Pro™ by Perceptive Things®

Droplet Pro™ Perceptive Things® water leak sensor

Droplet Pro™ Perceptive Things® is our best water leak sensor that utilizes advanced technology to detect water leaks inside large buildings. It is IP-67-rated, meaning it can withstand water immersion for up to 30 minutes.

Its body is designed with internal magnets. This makes it easy to install on beams and other iron surfaces.

It comes equipped with a 3M rope. This allows you to detect potential leaks along its whole length. Its battery can last for 4-5 years, offering reliable, long-lasting performance.

Droplet Duo™ by Perceptive Things®

Droplet Duo™ Perceptive Things® water leak sensor

Droplet Duo™ Perceptive Things® is a duo-probe water leak detection system, with each probe having a separate wireless alerting system. It is getting two leak detection systems at a cost of one!

Installing our Droplet Duo™ is easy, as it comes pre-configured for your large building.

It also includes 3M adhesive pads, which allows for secure mounting onto surfaces.

Droplet Solo™ by Perceptive Things®

Droplet Solo™ Perceptive Things® water leak sensor

Droplet Solo™ Perceptive Things® is IP-67-rated, meaning it can be immersed in water for around 30 minutes. It comes with a built-in audible buzzer alarm. This will alert you as soon as there is a water leak in your large building.

You can also integrate it seamlessly into any space in your large building, thanks to its unobtrusive design.

Droplet Solo™ comes with a CR24505 battery that can last for 4-5 years.

How to Conduct an Initial Investigation

Here are some of the key things you should do while conducting an initial investigation to locate a water leak in a large building:

  • Check all visible pipes and fixtures: Look for water stains, drips, or pooling water. Also check for hairline fractures on pipes. Corners may have been cut on materials used in the original construction of older buildings.

  • Monitor the water meter for unusual activity: If the meter is registering water usage when no one is actively using water, it may indicate a hidden leak.

  • Review past water bills for unexplained increases: A sudden spike in usage may point to a hidden leak within the building.

  • Inspect areas with known vulnerabilities: Concentrate on basements, utility rooms, and bathrooms. These spaces are more prone to water leaks, and thorough inspections can reveal hidden issues.

Engage Professionals to Quickly Detect Water Leaks in Large Buildings

Engaging professionals to swiftly detect water leaks in large buildings is crucial for effective and timely water damage restoration.

Hire a licensed plumber and leak detection specialists with the necessary expertise and qualifications. Licensed individuals are trained to adhere to industry standards and regulations, providing a higher level of reliability.

Factors to consider when choosing a professional service provider

When choosing a professional service provider for water leak detection and resolution, it is essential to take into account several factors to ensure you make an informed decision. Here are some key factors to consider:

What is their experience and expertise?

Choose a professional service provider with extensive experience and specialized knowledge in leak detection and resolution when it comes to large-scale buildings.

What technology and equipment do they have?

Choose professional service providers that use advanced technologies, such as acoustic listening devices, infrared cameras, and moisture meters. This will translate to enhanced accuracy when they're trying to find water leaks in your large buildings

At Perceptive Things®, we believe that an ounce of protection is better than a pound of cure. Therefore, if you are interested in installing an early detection system, please reach out to us at to learn more about our water leak sensors for large buildings.

What is their response time?

Choose a professional service provider with a quick response time. Swift detection and resolution of water leaks will help minimize the damage and potential disruption to your building's occupants.

What is their availability?

Water leaks in large buildings can occur at any time. Choose a service that offers 24/7 emergency services. This ensures that assistance is available whenever a leak occurs in your building, even if it's at a very inconvenient hour of the day.

Is the service provider reputable?

Research the reputation of the service provider. This can be done through reading reviews and testimonials. You can also seek recommendations from your peers and colleagues to gain insights into their reliability and overall customer satisfaction.

Requesting references and verifying credentials

We highly recommend requesting references from the professional service provider and contacting previous clients. Feedback from others who have utilized their services can provide valuable insights into their performance.

Verifying the credentials of the plumbers and leak detection specialists ensures that they are properly licensed, insured, and certified. This helps guarantee the quality and professionalism of their services.

If you are having a true water leak emergency and don’t have enough time to browse countless pages of reviews, fear not, as there are many high-quality water leak restoration companies in Dallas.

Best Preventive Measures for Water Leaks in Large Buildings

Preventing water leaks in the first place is the best way to ensure your costs related to damages remain low. Here are a few preventive measures you should consider taking.

Regular maintenance of plumbing systems

We recommend regularly inspecting pipes, fixtures, and other components to identify and address potential issues before they escalate into leaks.

Installation of water leak detection devices

Invest in advanced water leak detection devices and systems, such as smart building sensors, alarms, and smart monitoring systems. They will help you to quickly identify spots of intrusive moisture and alert you to potential leaks, facilitating a rapid response.

These water leak detection devices should be installed in the right location inside your large building to be the most effective.

Educating occupants on water-saving practices

We highly recommend conducting awareness campaigns and educational programs to inform your building occupants about water-saving practices. Encourage responsible water usage, the prompt reporting of leaks, and the proper use of plumbing fixtures.

Prompt repair of any identified leaks

Among your building's occupants, encourage a culture of reporting leaks promptly. We also recommend ensuring that maintenance personnel are equipped to respond quickly to minimize any potential water damage should a leak issue arise.

Proactive Leak Detection: A Key Strategy for Large Building Management

Finding and addressing water leaks in large buildings is a critical aspect of property maintenance. Employing the right techniques and tools is key to not only identifying leaks but also preventing potential damage and conserving water resources. 

Property managers and maintenance teams must stay informed about the latest detection technologies and best practices in water leak management. Proactive leak detection and timely repairs can save significant costs and maintain the health and safety of the building environment.

What challenges have you encountered in detecting water leaks in large buildings?

Are there any innovative techniques or tools that you've found particularly effective for water leak detection in large structures? We'd love to hear about your strategies and successes.

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