A comprehensive leak detection service is available to insurers, loss adjusters, builders, plumbers, maintenance managers, Facilities management companies and homeowners to trace the location of water leaks. Such leaks may be visible in a variety of positions within a property, but originate from another area that is often hidden within the buildings structure.
Following the detection of the source of such leaks, a full remediation programme is also provided to restore both domestic and commercial properties back to their original condition, with minimal disruption to the work or living environment.
Find a leak
Rainbow utilises three different processes for identifying the source of a leak, which often occurs in pipe work concealed within the building structure.
Rainbow's systems and processes cover every eventuality and can provide evidence of the source of the leak, and consequently recommend and implement the correct remedial action required.
A variety of specialist equipment is required for locating leaks from pipes hidden in structural materials. Perhaps the most commonly used is a thermal imaging camera which works by looking for differentials in surface temperatures, and will show leaking water at a different temperature to the other mass of building material (eg a wall or floor slab).
The initial survey would be undertaken using a Thermal Imaging Camera. These cameras are able to identify very small differences in temperature on the surface of different materials. This allows us to identify pipe runs that are buried in sub-floors and other areas hidden within the building structure. One of the main advantages of these cameras is that they are non-invasive and the survey can be undertaken causing minimum disruption very quickly.
Thermal imaging identify leaks from buried pipes - the above (right) picture shows a thermal image of a bathroom floor
(pictured on left, above) any differences in temperature will be apparent and will indicate the likely origin of the leak.
The thermal images shown above show the very clear differences in surface temperatures which indicate a water leak and the exact location of it.
Other areas where thermal imaging can successfully be used are to show where leaks occur in flat roofs as shown above.
Thermal imaging is not always appropriate for the conditions within the building structure. On occasions pipes can be very well insulated or buried deep in structural materials so that a change in temperature can not be identified at the surface. If this process is unsuccessful we switch to using specialist acoustic listening devices. When a pressurised water pipe is damaged the water leaks out into the surrounding ground which causes the pipe and surrounding material to vibrate at the exit point. By using sophisticated ground microphones we can trace and pinpoint the location of the leak.
Detecting Leaks Using Tracer Gas
This is a slightly more involved process. Water is drained from the suspected system and a tracer gas is introduced under pressure to the system. The gas is made up of 95% nitrogen and 5% hydrogen. Hydrogen being the smallest and lightest molecule will escape from the pipe at the point of the leak and make its way to the surface where it can be detected by a sensitive gas detector. The advantages of this particular mixture of gas are that it is non flammable, non toxic, non corrosive and does not damage the environment in any way.
The above three photos courtesy of Sewerin Ltd