Roof Leak Testing – Old and New

Roof Leak Testing – Old and New

Roof Leak Testing – Are You Experiencing Roof Leaks?

 Roofing leaks are commonly experienced with any building structure, whether it is a small residential roof, the top of a skyscraper, or the roof of a large shopping mall.  Detecting a leak is difficult enough, but locating it, when the hole could be the size of a pin can be a time-consuming task. Where do you even start to look with roof leak testing if you know you have leaking water?

Generally, roofs in Dubai and the UAE are a very low sloping roof or are flat in nature and usually takes one of two forms; the most common is known as a ‘gravel and tar’ covering used on flat roofs; and others are membrane based, which are effectively a rubber covering which creates a sealed membrane, used on low sloping roofs.

With the ‘gravel and tar’ type roof, two or more layers of bitumen are laid, overlapping each other.  Bitumen asphalt is a type of tar and comes in solid sheets (the same liquid material used on road surfaces).  As the sheets are laid they are fire sealed, effectively melting them together to create a barrier.  Once cooled, the area is then commonly covered in gravel or screed surface, the idea being that these two sealed layers prevent water leaking through but are also aesthetically pleasing.  However, due to the nature of bitumen, these roof coverings can become damaged easily during periods of maintenance; for example, during the fitting of pipework or extra air conditioning units, workmen needing access to the roof, both on foot and with equipment.   As a result, the sheets can crack and bend, resulting in areas where water can leak through.

The other most common choice of roofing are membranes, otherwise known as either EPDM, Hypalon, PVC or TPO, the idea being to create a sealed roofing cover to prevent the water leaking through.  The membrane is created by using layers of material which is laid like a carpet and sealed to a type of backing material or by way of a hot air iron.  This then provides a membrane casing for the roof.

When either of these two forms of roofing are applied, they have to be tested for leaks.  The classic historical form of testing for roof leaks is the gravity test.  In essence, an area on the roof is sectioned off and filled with water.  It is then left for a few days and the inside of the building is monitored to identify any water leaking through.  However, over time it has become apparent that this type of testing is not wholly conclusive or satisfactory.

The more modern form of leak testing is to use new innovative technology that scans the roofing area to locate leaks. By using ultra-violet rays and infrared technology, the smallest of pin-hole leaks can be identified in a roofing structure allowing a swift repair to take place; no need to wait days to see if water seeps through and no invasive equipment, just a simple scan.    With the extensive costs that can be involved with rectifying damage to buildings caused by leaking roofs, companies need to move with the times.

Malls, Schools, Hospitals, Hotels or any large building now need to take advantage of this cost-effective technology, using a preventative approach to maintaining their roofs rather than a reactive measure.  A scan of a newly fitted roof or a periodical scan of an existing roof can give you piece of mind that water is not quietly drowning your business.

For information on how we can help if you suspect a leak, consult LeakDTech’s professionals now!

Malls, Schools & Hotels – Is Your Atrium Leaking?

Malls, Schools & Hotels – Is Your Atrium Leaking?

Is Your Atrium Leaking?

When we envisage water leaks the images that spring to mind are burst pipes, leaking taps, and holes in roofs. Maintenance programmes are designed for large buildings, particularly hotels, to try and ensure that all areas are regularly inspected, maintained and repaired.

However, with our hotels becoming more and more glamorous given the fierce level of competition in today’s tourist industry, the fight is on to try and become the most eye catching, awe-inspiring place to stay, particularly in the favourites such as America, Paris, Australia and the hotter climates such as Dubai. What we are seeing more of, to a lavish extent, is the designs of hotel atriums and reception halls. The entranceways to some of the larger hotels can actually take your breath away as you enter them. They can be huge, many of which are made of glass in all types of colours and fashions with beautiful sofas, reception halls, meeting areas, cafes and bars and, let’s not forget, the greenery. Some atriums can make you feel like you’re walking through a rain forest with plants and small trees all around, creating an atmosphere of relaxation.

Hotel atriums can be low, just covering the ground floor, or can be as high as the hotel itself, a glass corridor leading up to the sky, a window to the stars.

So, back down to earth, the leading question here…… what are the implications for creating such beauty? What do you do if you find you have wet floors meaning the atrium is leaking? Somewhere in that huge, complex elevated structure made of beautiful glass panes, you have a leak. Not a pipe that just needs a new valve or some sealant that needs to be replaced; you’re looking at a puzzle of huge interlinked panes of glass. The maintenance man cannot simply just walk up to the top floor and identify the culprit. The more realistic likelihood would be towers of scaffolding erected throughout your reception area in order to allow for a thorough investigation of the roof.

So what are you left with……. leaking water onto a beautifully smooth marble floor equalling slipping hazards for guests; having to section off areas of your beautiful indoor rainforest to allow for works reducing social space; the noise and disruption associated with workmen using tools and machinery all around you, putting a dampener on that tasty gin and tonic and, in essence, ruining that tranquil atmosphere and creating an ugly, unsafe, unwelcoming environment for new and existing visitors.

The answer to avoid all of that…… have the roof immediately scanned by experts utilising new innovative technology that uses either smoke, ultrasonics or smoke from the ground to scan the atrium and pinpoint that leak. This provides the opportunity, on a small scale basis, to reach the specific area of the atrium for repair. Get your atrium scanned now. Don’t let your panes become a pain!

For information on how we can help if you suspect a leak, consult LeakDTech’s professionals now!

Ground Water Levels and Risks to Underground Car Parks

Ground Water Levels and Risks to Underground Car Parks

Groundwater Levels And Risks To Underground Car Parks

With the well-known heat experienced in Dubai, more and more structures are being built inside away from the sun.  It is far more common now for city centre facilities such as carparks, to be built underground, particularly underneath new hotels and shopping complexes.

An important factor with underground facilities is the surrounding ground’s water table.  In essence, this is the amount of water in the ground which mixes with the soil and fractured rock and creates the stable surface which we walk and build on every day.   The water either comes from underground sources nearby, such as rivers and streams or, alternatively, from rain or installed irrigation systems.


If the subterranean water levels increase, due to leaks or heavy rainfall, the water table rises, effectively causing flooding and the groundwater will look for drier areas or a point of entry through which to drain.  This can cause issues for underground structures, particularly if the waterproofing to boundary walls is poorly installed or experiences leaks, a common problem for old and new buildings alike.

Whilst there are many ways that an underground structure can be waterproofed, including proofing applied to the exterior of the boundary walls, or a concrete structure with an integrated waterproofing system; there is always the risk of small cracks or gaps that can appear, allowing groundwater to seep through the boundary walls.  It would be difficult to detect if water was seeping through, but the most common indicators would be cracked and damaged concrete to the interior floors and walls.

Car park owners will want to ensure their facilities remain in a good, clean and tidy state, encouraging customers to return.  If water leaks create ugly and hazardous looking cracks and damage, the car park will lose business.  In addition, leaking water can cause slippery floors, posing risks to pedestrians and, alkaline salt drips onto car paintwork, all of which could result in expensive damage claims on top of the building’s repair bills!

Luckily there are now ways in which leaks can be accurately located from either above ground, or inside the structure.  The creation of a new innovative technology using a combination of damp-testing, ground penetrating radars and thermal imaging, allows problems to be swiftly and economically resolved, keeping your car park, clean and safe for busy city life.

For information on how we can help if you suspect a leak, consult LeakDTech’s professionals now!

Dubai Rains are coming! – are you prepared?

Dubai Rains are coming! – are you prepared?

Heavy Rainfall – How to Prepare and What to Check
As we have seen over recent years, with our ever changing global climate, there is the regular occurrence of heavy storms with relentless rain causing flooded grounds and properties, a costly and upsetting situation to watch unfold.
When heavy rainfall is forecast you want to try and make sure you have taken every precaution to protect your home and family.We want to provide you with some useful information and guidance on what you can do to make your home as waterproof and safe as possible:-

    • Take time to wander around your property and identify where water could backup when there is sudden heavy or persistent rain. For example, your gutters and down pipes are not designed to hold lots of water in a short space of time.  If they are blocked up with natural debris or rubbish, the rain will find it hard to drain away.  Regularly check to ensure they are clear and ready for weather.
    • Flat roofs on most properties can collect debris throughout the year and collect around roof drains during times of rain leading to a larger than expected collection of water, causing levels to rise and then flood down into any property.
    • Examine your windows and doors for any gaps or areas where sealant or insulation is missing or lose, particularly with conservatory fixtures. Water can seep in through the smallest of gaps.
    • Electricity is always a risk in bad weather. Ensure that any outside exposed electrical points around summer houses and deckings are well covered.   Some electrical appliances are safer when raised and fitted to walls, preventing them being at ground level. If you are prone to flooding, raise your electrical sockets and always make sure your fuse box is accessible.
    • Any air vents, air bricks and drains should be securely closed and covered to avoid any water filtering through.
    • If you have low placed windows, doors or access points, use sand bags or other flood barriers to barricade these areas minimising the risk of flooding.
    • Finally, heavy rain water can be pushed back through drains and pipes which lead out from your sinks and appliances. If you have a leaking or cracked pipe in your water system, this increased pressure can result in burst pipes, causing further major damage within your property.

As you can see above, there are many steps that you can take and precautions you can put in place to try and avoid water leaking or flooding into your home, but there are a couple of areas where you will not realise there is a problem until after the event, such as the pressure on your internal water pipes.  When there is damage to any of your pipes, the pressure from extra water will only lead to more significant problems.

There are technological ways which can help to prevent this situation by having a leak detection system put in place.  This is managed by way of multiple sensors, appropriately placed through your plumbing or property in order to monitor and detect for water leaks or problems and alert you.  Not everything can be avoided but with water leaks so if you cannot see it, arrange to detect it!

For information on how we can help if you suspect a leak, consult LeakDTech’s professionals now!

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