To find and resolve a long-standing leak problem in a building for one of New Jersey’s largest property management firms that spent thousands of dollars over several years trying to solve.
Pro-Tec was contacted by one of New Jersey’s largest property management firms to help solve a long-standing leak problem. We had never worked for this potential client before, and we knew it was a great opportunity to get our foot in the door. But we had to deliver, especially after our business development person emphatically stated: “If we can’t find the leak, then tear the building down.” No pressure.
The owner had spent thousands of dollars over several years trying to stop the leaks occurring at the baseboards and carpet of the first floor tenant space. Numerous so called “waterproofing experts” had attempted to fix the problem with no success. Landscapers were called and the ground was regraded away from the building in an effort to stop the leaks, however, the building still leaked. A mason was hired to install a trench drain, that didn’t work either. Needless to say, the owner was extremely frustrated and was out of pocket for over $20,000. The tenant was equally upset since they had been suffering with leaks and smelly wet carpets for years.
THE PRO-TEC APPROACH
Pro-Tec arrived on site and began our survey of the building and existing site conditions. We interviewed the tenant, and she explained that the leakage was sporadic. Sometimes it leaked in a light, wind-driven rain, but during heavy downpours, it wouldn’t leak. To her, it made no sense at all. Pro-Tec began looking for obvious potential areas for water to enter the facade in the general vicinity of the reported leakage. We inspected previously failed attempts at the repairs performed by other contractors. Everything looked good, and we found no major defects. We suggested to the property manager that a water infiltration test should be performed in order to identify the source of the leaks. The building manager was resistant at first, since he had already flooded the foundation with water and couldn’t get the water to appear in the tenant space. After a lengthy discussion, the building manager agreed to let us perform a water infiltration test.
THE PRO-TEC SOLUTION
The next day Pro-Tec crews arrived on site and began our systematic investigation. We flooded the foundation and slowly moved up the facade, all the way to the roof parapet, without any water entering the space. By this time we were getting a bit nervous. After all, we promised we could find the leak and if we couldn’t they should tear the building down.
After several hours of testing, Pro-Tec mechanics were able to find the source of the leaks. The water was entering the cavity wall system from a small penetration in the facade where a small motion sensing light fixture had been installed but not sealed properly. This fixture was approximately 30 feet away from the leak. Water was entering around the mounting plate and traveling behind the wall and showing up in the office 30 feet away. No one ever thought to check this light fixture especially since it was covered by a small awning. The leaks were sporadic because the awning protected water from coming in except when there was a wind-driven rain from the north. This is very common with problematic leaks. Tenants experience a leak and then go for several months without a leak. The leak hasn’t miraculously fixed itself, the right environmental conditions just hadn’t been replicated in several months.
Pro-Tec made the repair which took all of 20 minutes and cost the owner about $100. Far less than the $20,000 they spent doing unnecessary repairs and playing the guessing game. Not to mention the constant phone calls and emails from the tenant threatening not to pay rent.
We are happy to report that the property management company was thrilled that we could identify and fix their problem quickly and cost effectively. The tenant was so grateful to have this issue resolved and sent a lovely letter of thanks to Pro-Tec for our excellent work and professionalism. Since then, we have been enjoying an excellent working relationship with our new client and Pro-Tec is now their “go to” waterproofing contractor of choice.
THE BENEFITS TO OUR CUSTOMERS
Pro-Tec has been performing water infiltration testing for our valued customers for over 25 years in an effort to positively identify the sources of leaks into their tenant spaces. Often it is difficult to determine the source or cause of a leak by simply looking at the building facade, especially if there are no open or obvious penetrations that are easily visible. Many times the leaks occur in one area, and the source of the leakage is much further away, as water travels. Pro-Tec has developed unique testing processes that determine the causes of water infiltration into the building envelope system, isolate the problem and ultimately save money for our customers. This testing benefits property managers and building owners in two ways:
1. Instead of guessing what is causing the leaks and before sending crews to caulk a building, which may or may not stop the leaks, Pro-Tec can test the facade and determine the exact origin of the leaks and custom design a repair methodology to address specific problems.
2. Accurate diagnostics spare building owners and managers from spending money on repairs that may not be necessary or effective.
THE PRO-TEC IRON-CLAD GUARANTEE
Here’s the bonus: When Pro-Tec performs the water test, identifies the leak source, and provides a proposal to fix the problem, you are protected by an iron-clad guarantee that the work you are paying for will stop the leaks. If your building continues to leak in the areas we tested, Pro-Tec will
FIX IT FREE OF CHARGE.
And better yet: oftentimes we will credit owners for the cost of the water test if the required remedial repairs prove to be substantial. This method is much better than a “let’s keep your fingers crossed” approach that many contractors propose. There is nothing worse for a building owner or manager than spending money on repairs that don’t fix the problem the first time and having to spend additional time and money to try to correct the problem that could have been identified correctly from the beginning had they opted to perform a low-cost water infiltration test.