Water leaks in your home are something we all dread, but a hidden water leak multiplies that issue 100 fold. When dealing with any leak, the critical aspect is getting to the source of the problem as quickly as possible. This is relatively easy if you have a leaking radiator or tap, and you can see exactly where the water is coming from. But what if the source of the leak is a mystery? The cost to repair one of the most common types of leaks from the bathroom into the ceiling below could be anywhere between 1,000 to 2,000 pounds. A more significant leak where the kitchen cupboards and tiles need replacing could run to between £10,000 and £15,000. With a hidden leak, the cost could be many times more because there is no limit to the amount of damage that could be caused before the problem even becomes apparent.
The First Steps You Should Take If You Suspect A Hidden Water Leak
In most cases, although you might not see the leak, you will have an idea that there is an issue because the water bill will suddenly increase. As with any water-related matter, speed is paramount – do not be lulled into a false sense of security just because you can not see any obvious signs of damage or dampness. Most people assume that they should call a plumber; after all, that’s who deals with leaks, but this may require more specialist knowledge when it comes to hidden water leaks.
The Issue Lies Not With Fixing The Leak But Rather Finding It In The First Place
As a landlord, it is critical to have a Rolodex of trusted tradespeople at hand who you can rely on and trust. One of the most important contacts you should have is a leak detection specialist. Leak detection is a relatively new industry. The home interior design industry has magnified the problem. New homes, in particular, are designed to provide a certain ambience, which pipes and cabling would destroy. Pipes are now hidden behind walls, which might look fantastic, but it also makes finding the source of a leak infinitely more challenging.
A leak detection company has special tools and trained technicians who can track down a leak within your property regardless of its location. They use a range of different methods to search for the source of the leak, something that a plumber will not do.
What Methods Does A Leak Detection Company Use To Find The Source of Your Leak
A specialist leak detection company will use various methods to identify where the water is leaking from. These will include
Tracer Gases: Have you ever drunk a glass of carbonated water or other fizzy drink? The air or fizz rises to the top of the glass as it is lighter than the liquid, and this is, in essence, the same philosophy used in this method. The engineer will force a specific type of gas into the pipework. This gas, made from a combination of Hydrogen and Nitrogen, seeks out the weakest link in the pipework, which is inevitably the source of the leak. This gas has a specific smell detected by specialist equipment, instantly identifying where the leak originates.
Thermal Imaging Cameras – If you have ever watched a night-time helicopter police chase on the television, you will have seen how accurate their thermal imaging cameras are. When a suspect takes a footstep, the heat is left behind on the ground, and this is essentially another option that a leak detection company can employ. As the water escapes, it is at a different temperature than the air in the room. Thermal imaging cameras can work through walls and floorboards, which means that the leak can be found without the need to cause unnecessary damage, potentially saving you extra money as a landlord.
Acoustic Listening Tool – Another tool that is a good option is the acoustic listening tool. Sound tends to travel much greater distances which most people will have experienced if they have ever laid in bed listening to a leaking tap. These engineers’ acoustic listening tools can hear any sound up to 2.5 meters away.
Your property is your business; any damage caused to it by water leaks could, in the worst-case scenario, invoke a lot of expense and an unhappy tenant. If you suspect a hidden water leak, our advice is to call in the specialists as quickly as possible. Many landlords have discovered to their cost the error of failing to take action quickly. Don’t fall into that trap; identify the specialist leak detection company of your choice and save it on your speed dial – it could potentially save you thousands of pounds in expense.