How to Handle Water Leakage in Your Workplace?

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Your workplace may take a great financial hit if water seeps in and causes damage. It can cause damage to equipment and documents, along with the need to repair and clean up, and all of this can disrupt your day-to-day operations. You will probably have to close your business for some days if a major leak occurs. However, with prevention, early discovery, and swift intervention, you can make all of this avoidable, so follow the steps below to learn how to handle water leakage in your workplace.

Image by Daan Mooij

Warning signs

There are some common signs of water damage in the workplace. For example, when you go to work one morning, you notice that there’s a pool of water on the floor or water dripping from the ceiling tiles. Other indications that are not so easy to see can cause a delay in addressing the issue, such as water spots, rust stains, and wet or discolored patches on ceilings. You could also feel a musty odor in spaces like closets or storage rooms. If you notice any of these changes, you should work swiftly to find the right experts for further instructions.

Common causes

Pipes

Water freezing inside a pipe causes the pipe to expand, which can lead to fracture or even a bust. Even a small hole can let hundreds of gallons of water out every day, which can cause a huge problem if left untreated. This is why you should contact a pipe lining specialist who can help you treat this issue and address it precisely and efficiently. They will also use modern technology like video cameras to locate plumbing problems in your building with pinpoint accuracy. This way, you can get an accurate diagnosis quickly, which means less downtime and less money spent on repairs. Plus, your building’s plumbing system will last longer and work better.

Roofing

At any time of the year, clogged gutters can damage water drainage from the roof, causing it to leak when water collects in one place. The formation of ice dams is a leading source of roof leaks during the winter. In this case, water is forced to flow under the shingles and into the structure. The chances that ice dams will form on the roof are bigger if there is no proper ventilation and insulation, and if the gutters are unclogged.

HVAC

When condensation pipes become blocked, they can lead to overflowing water from your HVAC systems. Also, boilers, cooling towers, and humidifiers can all cause major leaks that can lead to huge damage to your business property if you don’t address them properly and on time.

Foundation issues

Structural deterioration can cause major water infiltration in your foundation, but this can also happen if the drainage around the building is not right. Moreover, a sump pump that doesn’t work properly or is not properly placed can cause basement flooding, all of which can be quite dangerous for your commercial building’s structural strength. 

Weather

Heavy rains can easily cause roof damage and overflow drainage systems, leading to flooding your building. Also, when the snow melts, it can cause leaks and other types of damage. Natural floods or increasing groundwater levels are another major cause of water leakage.

Immediate action

As soon as you notice a leak, disconnect the power to make sure no one gets electrocuted. Switch off the main water supply to halt the flow of water, especially if you have problems with bigger leaks. Bring buckets, towels, or paper towels to catch the water; even the most modest effort can help. Immediately call the experts like building maintenance or facility management to help you resolve the issue.

Detection systems

Active detection systems use moisture sensors. As soon as an issue is detected, a proactive system will immediately cut off the water supply to the building. On the other hand, passive systems are cheaper, and they sit on a flat surface. They will make an audible and visual warning if the moisture sensor detects an issue, but the operator needs to cut off the water supply once they hear the siren.

Photo by aamir dukanwala

Preventative measures

If you want to prevent any major damage to your business, you need to implement certain preventative measures. For example, you need to inspect the plumbing, roof, and any other systems that might leak regularly before they turn into major problems you cannot deal with easily. Also, you should properly install gutters, downspouts, and landscaping to make sure that water flows away from the structure. 

Another important thing you can do is to train your staff to recognize the warning signs of water leaks and to respond appropriately if anything like this occurs. An educated workforce can make this early problem detection much easier. 

Make a note of all damages

Remember that you should document the damage by taking high-quality photos and videos, as if you want to file an insurance claim, all of this will serve as a great piece of evidence to maximize the compensation. Document everything that happened, including the time and date of the incident, the places that suffered the most damage, and what the results of the repairs were. Also, don’t forget to save all invoices and receipts for all the supplies, labor, and other repair costs. 

How to clean the area?

Of course, you must do your best to clean the area after such a big problem occurs. You can use dehumidifiers and fans to dry the space completely and to stop mold from growing. The right disinfectants will make sure you kill any germs or mold that may have settled there. If the drywall, ceiling tiles, or flooring are damaged, you should consult experts about whether to replace them. This is also the case with furniture and other office equipment that you notice is damaged and needs some repair. A comprehensive cleaning process must ensure a dry and safe working environment, so don’t skimp on this task and do your best to make your workplace safe for everyone.

Water leaks can cause huge damage and a lot of headaches, as they come all of a sudden and are very difficult to deal with. However, taking the steps we have provided here can help you lessen the harm and protect your staff and, after all, your business property.


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About the author, YSAMPHY Staff

This article is written by our staff to provide tips and advice on a variety of topics including business, finance and investment. Opinions expressed do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of Samphy Y.

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