Sep 16, 2021
Of all the components of a commercial building that property managers must pay attention to, the waterproofing seal ranks as one of the most critical of all. The building envelope protects the inside of the building from damage caused by water intrusion. Knowing how to find a water leak in a commercial building and how to identify and correct issues sooner rather than later can significantly impact the building’s stability and the safety of employees and visitors alike.
Where Do Commercial Building Envelope Water Leaks Occur?
Routine inspections and professional testing and evaluations are critical steps in the building maintenance and management process. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimates that “asthma-related medical costs attributable to mold and dampness exposure add up to roughly $3.5 billion each year, and this figure does not take into consideration other health effects building mold causes.” As damage spreads, the problems will also increase in number and severity. So, building managers need to be aware of the critical places where moisture commonly occurs:
- Roof membrane seams and edges
- Connections and expansion joints
- Transition areas around windows
- Wall seams at floor lines
- Building façade and exteriors
- Ceiling seams at roof lines
- Incorrectly installed flashings
- Cracks that allow building water leaks
- Poorly maintained caulking and seals
- Access points for pipes and wires
- Weather-worn building faces
Water infiltration can cause premature deterioration of a building’s interior components, significantly depreciating the value and posing a severe risk to health and safety in extreme cases. Protecting against water intrusion with innovative services and building envelope restoration must be the primary focus of building management personnel at all times.
Trial by Water and Air: How to Find an Envelope Water Leak in a Commercial Building
Field inspectors follow a set of specific procedures established by industry standards and record the results of all onsite tests. They check for air, water, and moisture intrusion at various levels and locations in the building. Knowing where these potential problems areas pop up can help maintenance teams tailor inspections and follow-up efforts to focus on those vital spaces. These sorts of tests and assessments will demonstrate how to find a water leak in a commercial building and why building envelope water testing procedures keep buildings safe and structurally sound.
Actual Steps of the Repair
One of the first questions building owners and managers consider upon finding potential problem areas is, “does building insurance cover water leaks?” In most cases, the answer is yes, so long as specific criteria are met and every effort has been made to address and fix the issues. The five basic steps for repairing water leak issues to prevent further damage include:
- Step 1: Apply a Temporary Sealant – A quick seal put in place to prevent additional water from seeping in through the building’s exterior.
- Step 2: Water Testing to Check the Sealant – The building envelope and all seals will then get tested to check for additional problem areas.
- Step 3: Temporary Caulking When Needed – Additional sealing products can protect high-impact areas, such as around windows.
- Step 4: Photo Documentation – All visible water damage, active leaks, and notated test results need to be properly documented and recorded.
- Step 5: Next Recommendations – After considering all results and findings, the next steps for long-term preventative maintenance will commence.
Overcome Water Leaks in Apartments and Other Properties With the Right Building Service Partner.
The best way to deal with water leaks in apartment buildings, businesses, high-rise buildings, and other commercial structures is through routine inspection and regular maintenance of the waterproofing envelope and seals. When the envelope fails and water and moisture seep into the building, it can cause a host of problems and cause widespread damage that can cost a fortune to fix. Keep these problems from disrupting normal business operations with professional waterproofing and sealing services from Valcourt today.