Some of the more difficult cases of water damage our ServiceMaster Restore® experts have handled could have easily been prevented. Business owners should be vigilant to check for water leaks. Things as simple as faulty appliances, aging toilets, or broken fixtures can lead to problems. Water entering your building from more complex situations like a leaky roof or failed window seals can progress to severe damage even more rapidly. We’ve compiled the following tips to help you stop water leaks before they become something more serious.
Spotting Signs of Water Leaks
Water can find its way to places where it’s not wanted in many different ways. Obviously, roof leaks and faulty plumbing are two of the more common causes, but it’s important to take a universal approach when looking for signs that water is leaking into your building. These eight places to look can help you stop the drips before they cause more damage:
- Keep tabs on your water bill. If it’s higher than usual or steadily increasing, odds are you have a leak.
- Look for discoloration on walls and ceilings in and around bathrooms or kitchen areas. Be sure to check directly under these rooms as well if your building is multi-story.
- Stains or peeling paint on walls and ceilings adjacent to the roof are reliable indicators that water is getting in from above as well.
- Check for odd smells from all drains. These may mean you have a sewer leak.
- Listen for running toilets. Constant running is a good sign of a broken flapper or other issues.
- Look for corrosion on the supply lines that lead to fixtures or appliances, which is a sign they are damaged. Be on the lookout for stains underneath them lines as well. These may mean they are dripping water.
- Watch for warped or discolored flooring. This is a signal that water has pooled there, possibly due to a leak.
- Inspect pipes and joints underneath sinks. Any moisture should be investigated further.
Taking Action If You Find a Water Leak
The good news is that many water leaks are easy to fix. A faucet may require only a new O-Ring. A toilet might only need its flapper replaced. Often a quick trip to a hardware store and a few minutes work will resolve the problem. Unfortunately, some leaks are more complicated. If you cannot identify a solution or are not qualified to handle the repair on your own, call a professional as soon as you can.
Profressional Help is Required
Even if professional help is required, there are things you can do to help the situation. The most important is to shut off the water supply to the leak. Most appliances and fixtures have a local supply, so you won’t need to turn off the water to your entire building. Here are some of the more common spots you can find the shut-off valve:
Sink: This will be under the sink, adjacent to the supply lines. There are usually two valves, one for hot water and one for cold.
Dishwasher: The dishwasher shut off is also usually below the sink and should be close to the other valves.
Toilet: The water line almost always comes from a supply on the wall, close to the floor. A shut-off valve should be conspicuous.
Refrigerator with Water/Ice Dispenser: There will be a supply tube going into the back of the appliance, likely from the wall behind it, though sometimes from a nearby sink.
If possible, soak up, mop, or dry any standing water. However, if the leak has been going on for a while, there could be mold. If you spot any mold or suspicious dark spotting in the area, do not attempt to handle the situation on your own. Proper mold remediation should only be dealt with by experts.
The professionals at ServiceMaster Restore are well trained in a wide variety of water damage cleanup methods. Whatever your situation, we’re here to address the problem to efficiently get your workplace backto normal. Give us a call at (888) 289-4539.