Property Managers: Get ahead of water leaks before they sideline one of your leasable units. Learn the signs to look for, and how partnering with a restoration company for routine crawl space, attic and basement inspections can help. Prevent water damage costs from rising by stopping leaks and mold before it gets worse.
Emergencies come without warning. Managing a rental property means having to be prepared for water-related emergencies. A burst pipe or a seemingly minor leak could result in hefty repair costs, and you don't want to risk not having a plan in place.
For aesthetic reasons, the majority of plumbing pipes are located completely out of sight, between studs in both exterior and interior walls, running along floor joists in attics or ceiling joints in basements. his can make detecting and repairing leaks quite difficult. As a property manager, part of your role is ensuring the rental property remains in tip-top shape and retains its value over the long run. As such, you need to be able to quickly detect and stop any hidden leaks.
So, how do you find a leak before it gets to a leased unit? There are definitely tasks that you can do, but there is a list of items you should partner with a restoration company on ahead of time to help catch leaks before they reach a leased unit. Here are some must-know tips and tricks.
Things You Can Spot Yourself
Unfortunately, by the time the signs of a plumbing leak are evident, you will likely have damage to deal with. Dealing with this damage quickly and strategically is what will lower costs of repair, as well as minimize any uninhabitable time for units.
Signs You Have a Hidden Plumbing Leak
Water consumption is fairly predictable from month to month, even when dealing with tenants. For this reason, an unusually high-water bill may signal a leak in your building. There aren’t always obvious signs of a leak, such as damp patches in walls or water bubbling up out of the ground. In this case, it’s important to call a qualified plumbing technician to seek out the leak before any serious damage occurs.
- Wet drywall and blistering paint
A burst or leaking pipe may spray water onto the backside of the drywall, causing it to become wet over time. As such, it’s important to pay attention to wet drywall, blistering paint, and peeling wallpapers, as they may not always indicate tenant neglect.
- Black mold or black spots on ceilings
Mold thrives in wet, damp areas. When you’re dealing with mold, it’s crucial to bring in mold remediation experts to find the cause of the leak and take care of your mold problem.
Other related signs you may have a leak include a musty or wet smell in a particular part of the building. Periodically inspect laundry rooms, basements, and HVAC rooms for any signs of a leak or growing mold. Just because a room isn’t used often doesn’t mean the pipes behind the walls can’t develop leaks.
Dealing With Water Leaks
So, what do you do when you have an active water leak?
- Shut off the water and call a professional. If a leak is within the walls, the first step is to identify where the leak is and to shut off the affected pipes. A professional will assess the water damage and inform you on how best to handle the leak.
- Shut off electricity to the affected areas until a professional verifies that the wiring has not been exposed to water.
- Thoroughly document the damage, as this will come in handy during the insurance claims process.
Plumbing inspections can include water pressure tests or camera inspections. For instance, a pressure test involves shutting off the water to the building and filling the pipes with pressurized air. If the pipes fail to hold the desired pressure, then there’s a leak within your plumbing system. Pipes with high levels of corrosion could also indicate a leak and require replacement. That said, repairing leaks doesn’t always involve tearing out large sections of drywall. An experienced water damage restoration and repair company will find the best way to fully rehabilitate and restore the area impacted by the leak.
Things You Should Consider Partnering on With a Professional Restoration Company
We’ve established that getting on top of water damage as soon as possible is key to lower its negative impact. What if you could catch the problem before it ever reached a leased unit? By establishing a relationship with a professional restoration company, and scheduling routine inspections, it’s possible to catch many problems before they spread.
Some of the areas these restoration professions will take a look at for you include:
- Crawl spaces
- Exterior foundation
With their trained eyes, they can catch a leak early on, and help to help prevent water damage costs from rising by stopping leaks and mold before it gets worse.
Schedule a Building Assessment with STOP Restoration
A minor leak could cause undue damage to the property you manage and secondary problems like unhealthy mold growth. Work with trusted local pros to establish a preventative maintenance plan ahead of time and rectify any leaks before they cause further damage. STOP Restoration also offers free, visual mold inspections. Reach out to locate the nearest locally owned and operated STOP Restoration near you.