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Escape of water an issue during lockdown

Escape of water could be an issue for commercial properties during lockdown 

It is estimated that water damage costs the UK taxpayer an estimated £800m every year, costing insurers an estimated £1.8m every day.

One in five claims made on buildings and contents insurance is caused by water damage due to an escape of water, and when it comes to structural damage, the presence of a water leak can be as catastrophic as a fire.

With many UK businesses leaving offices unoccupied at the moment, it’s important to ensure that they identify the potential risk of leaks and take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their business operations.

What causes water damage?

Nearly all buildings are at risk of water damage caused by an escape of water in some way due to the fact that most are fed with a mains water supply. Mains water is distributed by interior pipework and usually supplied at a very high pressure. As a result, if the integrity of the pipework is compromised there is a high likelihood of a leak occurring.

In recent years, it has also become more much common for commercial properties to have air conditioning systems fitted. These units traditionally use a mains water supply as part of the cooling mechanism, meaning the potential for leaks, once again, depends on the reliability of pipework.

Since pipework for water transportation is depended upon heavily within buildings, it is crucial that best practice is adhered to during installation. However, this is not always the case. Poor standards of installation and the use of incorrect or ill-fitting materials can all contribute to the increased likelihood of unreliable pipework increasing the risk of leaks. General wear and tear can also contribute to an increased risk.

Our Recommendation

While you can’t avoid all leaks, you can take steps to reduce the risk of significant damage.

A leak detection tool triggers an alert if there’s a leak, which gets sent to you on a mobile app, giving you a chance to take a look and see if it’s something you then ask an expert to confirm and repair.  The time and money a leak detection tool could potentially save you makes them well worth the small, initial investment, many insurers are stipulating that commercial premises – particularly those susceptible to flooding – have to have leak detection systems in place.

Other than that, you can look for visible signs such as, a drop in water pressure, damp patches and the smell of mould or mildew. You also want to look out for cracks or uneven surfaces,

Repairing an escape of water

Innovation is key for successful leak detection. Using specialist technology such as electro-acoustic ground microphones, tracer gasses or thermal imaging cameras we would locate the source of the leak quickly and effectively with the least amount of damage as possible

After finding the source of the leak and fixing the problem we can then restore the damaged area in the most cost effective way possible, restoring where we can with one eye on sustainability and the impact on the customer.

If you are interested in finding out more please get in touch with our specialist team