What Causes Water Leaks?
Home or business owners in Southeastern Wisconsin may not think that a leak can pose as much of a threat as a flood. However, the reality is that these are two different types of damage to a property with their own consequences. A flood is like the home equivalent of someone getting hit by a car, with massive, catastrophic damage. On the other hand, a leak is a bit like cancer, where it may not be detectable at first but left alone too long, and it can grow into something extremely serious.
So what causes leaks to occur in a property?
Corrosion In Copper
“Pinhole leaks,” as they are called in the trade, are tiny leaks that happen in pipes, usually copper water lines, as copper is a common pipe material. This occurs when copper corrodes and a single point of vulnerability, usually less than 1/8” in size, breaks through the pipe. Because of the small size, no more than a few drops of water can typically get through. However, given enough time, and if there is more than one leak, this can wreak havoc with a building.
Unfortunately, pinhole leaks are far more common in multi-story buildings, such as apartment and condominium complexes. This is because the higher water pressure required to move water to every unit in the building can sometimes exacerbate the corrosion process. With poor workmanship, pinhole leaks can appear in pipes within five years, sometimes as little as two.
This is by far one of the most common types of leaks for residential properties, such as single or two-story homes. When residential properties don’t have their roofing regularly inspected, the elements can weaken and exploit vulnerabilities. For example, storm conditions blowing off a few roof shingles here and there mean that with each rain or snowfall, unprotected areas of the roof are being exposed to water or, worse yet, the expansion of water during ice formation.
Given enough time, the elements can penetrate any weaknesses in the roof’s structure that aren’t caught and addressed. Once the water gets in, this can lead not only to leaks but possibly an entry point for wildlife to enter the building, in addition to potential water damage.
The majority of water in a building is used in bathrooms and kitchens. With quality craftsmanship, these rooms and their pipes, fitments, and other work remain watertight. However, poor work, shoddy installation, or other negligence can lead to early leaks. This can mean that every time someone takes a shower or runs water in the kitchen for food preparation, it contributes more water damage to the interior of the building.
Even with quality work, regular inspection and maintenance should still be done on these rooms as tiles can crack, sealant can wear away, or pipes may burst. The regular usage of these rooms means a system failure is always a risk.
If your home or business is suffering from leaks, we can help. Emergency Restoration Specialists, Inc. has over 30 years of experience right here in Cudahy, serving the Milwaukee area with leak detection and repair. Contact us 24/7 for a prompt, professional response.