Water damage in the workplace can really take its toll.  The financial burden of lost business or damaged goods along with the health and safety risks that can occur can really wreak havoc on a business.  Knowing what to look out for and taking preventative measures will be your best protection.  Take a look at our list of the most common causes of water damage in commercial buildings.


  • Roof leaks are one of the leading causes of water damage in commercial buildings. Heavy exposure to rain, snow, and ice may put strain on a roof and lead to damages.
  • Damages can include fire hazards from shortened wires, structural risks, ceiling damage, and mold and mildew issues.
  • Have your roof checked and maintained regularly. Look for damage to perimeter flashing, roof membranes or drains, and pipes and gas lines.
  • Check for proper drainage and keep all gutters clear and maintained.

Pipes & Drains

  • Sewage systems that become clogged can create water backflow. This type of water is considered category 3 or black water because it contains bacteria and other toxins that are harmful.  Look for water backing up out of the toilet or other drains and gurgling sounds.  A water restoration professional should be called in immediately for this type of water cleanup and removal.
  • Broken pipes from freezing temperatures or damaged water supply lines can lead to major problems including mold growth. Look for signs of damaged pipes including bulging walls, cracked or loose tiles, musty smells, discolored walls or floors, and wet drywall.  Detecting leaks can sometimes be tricky and a professional with specialized equipment may need to be called.
  • Consider using a leak detection system that uses alarms to alert you to any possible damage. These can allow you to stop leaks before they cause any real harm.

Sprinkler Systems

  • Most buildings require sprinkler systems for fire prevention. They must be regularly maintained and checked for rust, leaks, or moisture.
  • Signs of leaks may include wet drywall or carpet, signs of mold or mildew, and standing water.

Appliances & Equipment

  • Any type of equipment that uses water has the potential for leaks and water damage. This may include dishwashers, refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners, and water heaters.
  • Maintain all equipment. Re-caulk or re-seal areas where needed.  Replace supply lines regularly and use steel-braided lines for added protection.
  • Be on the lookout for signs of leaks including rust, cracks, bulges, standing water, and discolored or wet walls.

Natural Disasters

  • Weather is unpredictable. Being prepared will give you the best chance of minimizing damages.
  • Maintain gutters and keep them clear of debris. Install barriers to prevent flooding.
  • Store valuables, electronics, and important documents at a higher level.
  • Know what your insurance covers. Consider adding flood insurance if you are in a high-risk area.

Water damage can cause some serious problems for a business if not addressed immediately.  Knowing what to look out for and taking preventative measures will be the best way to avoid this type of disaster.


Related Blog Posts:

What Can Happen if I Leave Water Damage Untreated?

How Long Does it Take to Fix Water Damage?

After Water Damage, How Long Does it Take for Mold to Form?

5 Reasons to Call a Professional for Water Damage

How Often Does Water Damage Really Happen?

How Much Does Restoration Cost After Water Damage?


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