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  • Perceptive Things Team

How to Prevent Leaks in Commercial Buildings

Updated: Mar 12

High-rises surrounding water

Leaks are never fun to encounter, but they are even less fun when they happen in a commercial building.

Not only can a leak potentially ruin your equipment, it can also cause structural damage, which might result in the building being unusable while repairs take place. Luckily, there are many ways you can take action to protect your commercial building from damage.

In this post, we will share the top 5 methods for preventing leaks in commercial buildings. From installing leak sensors to ensuring that your building is properly maintained, we cover everything you need to know!

Preventing Leaks in Commercial Buildings

Leaks can cause massive damage if you don't detect them early enough. That is why it is crucial to have multiple people and tools in place to help prevent leaks before they happen.

Having the correct people in place can be great for prevention because they can often spot the warning signs of damage before they become a big problem. Some easy to spot signs of leaks would be cracks in walls or water stains.

Of course, people cannot spot everything! That is why tools will be key for spotting leaks that may not be easily visible or that take place in low-traffic areas.

With this in mind, here are the top 5 things you can do to prevent leaks in commercial buildings:

  1. Invest in a property-wide leak sensor solution

  2. Caulk openings and other potential water entry points

  3. Install and maintain weatherstripping around doors and windows

  4. Perform regular maintenance on your plumbing systems

  5. Educate your employees on what to look out for

The good thing about these solutions is that they are often affordable. Not only are they cost-effective, but you can typically implement them quickly — possibly even in a single afternoon.

Let’s explore each of these items!

1. Invest in a Leak Sensor Solution

A leak sensor is a device that you place in an area where water leaks are likely to happen. The sensor will detect any moisture or excessive humidity and send an alert to the building owner or manager so they can take action to prevent further damage.

This is the most effective method for stopping water leaks before they cause irreparable damage. While you can certainly prepare apparent openings and vulnerable appliances, these sensors enable you to have visibility into all areas of your building.

Droplet Pro Leak Sensor

The Droplet Pro is an industrial-grade leak sensor that uses a 3-meter rope to detect moisture along its entire length. This is one of the most popular leak sensors that Perceptive Things offers because you can custom-order lengths up to 100 meters long!

Check out this video to learn how the Droplet Pro is able to prevent leaks in commercial buildings.

2. Use Caulk to Seal Cracks and Openings

Caulk is a waterproof filler and sealant that can be used to close small gaps. This will help to prevent water from seeping through the cracks and causing damage.

It is important to note that there are many different types of caulk and they all have different uses. You will want to find a caulk that is waterproof if you are trying to prevent leaks, which means your best option will probably be one that is made of latex or silicone.

3. Install Weatherstripping Around Doors and Windows

Similar to caulk, weatherstripping is a material that you can place around a door or window frame to create a seal. This will help to keep both moisture and air from leaking into the building.

Weatherstripping is a good choice when the components you need to seal are moveable. You will also have many different materials to choose from, which will have different sealing capabilities and price ranges.

Another thing you will want to pay close attention to is how durable the material is, as well as how easy it is to install. Alignment, frequency of movement, and exposure to the elements are all important to consider when choosing the proper weatherstripping material for your commercial building.

4. Have Regular Maintenance Performed

Having regular maintenance checks might be an obvious leak prevention step, but people often overlook it. Have a professional regularly inspect your plumbing system to ensure everything is working properly.

Additionally, you will want to check whether there is any other equipment in your commercial building that might be leak-prone. Have those regularly inspected, too. Common causes of leaks in commercial spaces include ice machines, toilets, sinks, and more!

5. Educate Your Employees

One of the best things you can do to prevent leaks is to educate your employees on what to look out for. They should know how to spot potential problems and report them to you so you can take action to prevent a leak from happening.

Showing them what cracks in a seal look like and making them aware of potential problem areas can go a long way toward preventing leaks in the first place.

Even with regularly scheduled maintenance, it is still a good idea to ask your employees to keep an eye out for any potential issues. As commercial buildings can be large, even regular maintenance may not be enough to prevent leaks.

Your employees can help you be proactive about fixing potential issues, while a leak sensor can alert you to potential issues in less visible areas.

Prevent Leaks to Mitigate Your Financial Risk

You will notice that many of these things on this list are affordable to implement and will likely only take an afternoon or so to complete.

These prevention methods are an upfront investment in protecting your company and yourself from potentially dumping thousands of dollars into a lengthy repair.

To refurbish the property, you may have to hire a water restoration company to fix the leak, sterilize the building and ultimately rebuild the damaged sections. Plus, depending on your business, you may have to replace merchandise or tools.

Additionally, who wants to navigate the bureaucratic labyrinth that is commercial insurance? Though it might cover certain kinds of leaks, your coverage might vary depending on what caused the leak in the first place. Or worse, your insurance may drop your coverage due to a water leak.

Check out this blog from The Hartford for a deeper dive into the commercial insurances you may need to cover water damage repairs and the subsequent loss of income.

Final Thoughts on Preventing Leaks in Commercial Buildings

Taking these steps to prevent water damage should be a part of your business plan.

It is always a good idea to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to protecting your commercial building from damage. Having a leak prevention plan in place will save you the mental and financial stress of dealing with this kind of disaster.

By simply investing in a few key tools and educating your employees on what to look for, you can prevent leaks from happening and save yourself thousands of dollars in just one afternoon.

Do you have any tips for preventing leaks in commercial buildings? Let us know in the comments below!

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