Before we take you through the various facts of water leakage in commercial offices, we should first understand the synergies between the core three verticals in any organization, who are responsible for property acquisition, it’s Fit Out & routine maintenance.
- Real Estate team 2. Projects team 3. Facility management team
IF the correct property is sourced, THEN the Fit Out will be smooth without any service flaw & office maintenance issues at later stage & Vice Versa.
IF any probable water leakage source is known during the sourcing stage, THEN necessary precautions can be taken during Fit-Out stage & there will be NO maintenance issues at a later stage
IF the required external water leakage sources (if any) are not closed properly during Fit-Out stage, THEN it becomes an expensive maintenance affair for the facility management team
IF, the property is Old/heritage but clear property & NO gaps during Fit Out stage, THEN the property to be maintained & kept in excellent condition
The term “Water Leakage” is often discussed in Offices as soon as Monsoon arrives. Although every corporate take utmost precautions while selecting the premise, doing Fit Outs & office maintenance to plug all the gaps leading to any water leakage in the Office premise but still there are few areas which are either undisclosed to the concerned officials or impacted by external factors over a period of time.
Property sourcing stage: It becomes the responsibility of the property owner to disclose any threat to the property prone to any water leakage at the initial dialogue of acquiring the property on lease else he would have been involved in all such root cause analysis. Subsequently, the corporate should also get the market survey done along with structural survey carried out by any professional agency & take certified report before signing off the lease to avoid wastage of time, effort & money.
Probable source of water leakage areas:
- Basements: The leakage can be attributed to many factors such as – poor waterproofing systems, low quality concrete used, uneven slope, broken pipes, rise in ground water level or any sewage pipes going under/side of the floor. The structural integrity of the basement will be seriously compromised by the high moisture level, as the chloride content of the concrete will rise above the threshold level resulting in severe corrosion problems.
These issues can either be taken care by the property owner at the time of leasing out this property to any occupant or can be seriously dealt with required solutions during Fit Out stage. If any of these areas are overlooked than the facility maintenance team will have tough time to tackle these issues.
- Leakage from true ceiling: A leaky roof is a serious structural problem that poses a number of safety risks and can easily result in significant commercial water damage. Consistent leaks from the roof can cause concrete spilling that may lead to the false ceiling collapse & may lead to any accident.
- The roof may be too old (most flat roofs start to deteriorate about 15-20 years after installation) and become vulnerable to water leakage
- If there is a residence above your office premise than there may be a water leakage from the washroom area floor (in case it is not being maintained properly by the occupant) which would slowly seep inside your true ceiling & then damage your false ceiling & leak from there. Your customer service may get impacted due to this
- The roof joints (if any) may not be sealed well, that allow rainwater to seep through those joints & leads to water leakage
- Pipes, drains, cable alleys, clips etc that puncture the roof’s membrane may not be secured properly, opening a way for rainwater into the building.
- Improper installation of skylights or the Insulation along its edges may decay over time, allowing water to leak inside
These things can very well be controlled at the initial level in consultation with the professional experts. The repairs will cost a lot and might require shutdown of office activities during the restoration period or else it needs to be done on holidays.
- Balcony/Window leakages: Balconies are an integral part of any multi-story commercial buildings that make them exposed to damage and turn them into one of the most common sources of water leaks in a commercial facility. If we do not take care of proper waterproofing at the time of construction, make inadequate drain water slope, shed/awning or may be its design then collectively these attribute to water leakage. If ignored than it may pose a security threat to the building structure too
On the other hand, water leakage may occur from the window panes, glass insulation rubber, improperly closed, broken handle/lever thus a routine maintenance to be carried out especially “Pre Monsoon check” in consultation with professional expert services
UNUSUAL PLACES OF WATER LEAKAGES IN THE OFFICE PREMISE: You may find them quite unusual & weird too :-
- If you are a financial institution such as Bank, NBFC or any Jeweler & having Locker in the basement than just see that the holes through which the outgoing AC piping passing through should be properly sealed, else the water/rainwater may travel through these pipes till the end & may damage the structure, create dampness on the walls & moisture leading to corrosion of valuables kept in the locker. The seeped water may leak out from any opening or through the Locker/Vault edges which are grouted in the floor. Being basement, it may lead to seepage stink & remain there for longer time resulting into customer dissatisfaction
- If there is a cold storage above your office premise, than your office area true ceiling might have moisture on it, that will convert into water droplets & affect your false ceiling. This will not only damage your false ceiling but also leave stinky unhealthy air to breathe for your staff. This will never stop unless fixed at cold storage end
- In case of high rise building: Leakage through plumbing shaft. In case it is passing through your internal office premise then there are chances of water leakage through Inlet/Outlet pipes
- Sudden water leakage from the floor, skirting, walls, etc occur due to leakage in pipes passing through raceways or loose joints. These can only be identified & closed properly once you have the Structural drawings/wires & pipes diagrams in place.
The above reasons are quite common in nature nowadays. A proper treatment, preventive maintenance & pre-monsoon vigil is required to tackle them. The synergy between property owner & Infrastructure team should be in sync to avoid such water leakage issues.
Team – Collars Connect