Frequently Asked Questions About Leak Detection
We know that having a leak is stressful and it is hard to think of all the questions you need to ask when you call…
These are some of the common questions we are asked every day…
Yes we are!
We are confident enough to have a ‘no find-no fee’* policy for most leak detection work we carry out.
This does not mean we just avoid the hard jobs, we have a broad range of equipment available and (unlike some of our competitors) each engineer carries all of this equipment to each job, including trace gas detection equipment, thermal imaging, acoustic detection and moisture mapping equipment.
Where leaks are not covered by our ‘no find-no fee’* policy, we do not just book works in where we feel that a leak detection is either not viable, or prior works are recommended, such as power flushing a heating system.
* – ‘no find – no fee’ is offered for water leaks from water mains or hot/cold feeds within your home, it excludes heating leaks and multiple properties . Please read T&C’s for full details.
We were fed up of seeing other companies poor quality leak detection works treat customers as cash cows, booking any old job in even when they knew it would be impossible. It gave the industry a bad reputation, so we decided to put our money where our mouth is!
We will test your property to its boundary and tell you what the issue is or we can prove you do not have an issue after a high water bill or water leak notice from your local water company.
There are things we do not cover as ‘no find-no fee’ such as damp and heating as there are too many variables…Obviously it is not a free survey to ‘see’ if you have a leak, but from a known issue. All the T&C’s are available on our website in plain English, not written to confuse but more common sense.
We can prove if you do have a water leak when an insurer has tried to say it is damp and not an insured loss.
For clarity, we are inspecting a known issue for you, we cannot select just the tests to keep an inspection “free” and need access to all effected areas/properties.
Each piece of equipment adds to the overall survey, our surveyors carry a large range of equipment, this includes equipment to carry out:
- Thermal Imaging
- Acoustic Detection
- Moisture Mapping
- Trace Gas Detection
- Chemical Analysis
Importantly, we carry trace gas equipment to every job, something that some others do not do or want to charge more to use. The equipment we use is of the highest quality, not all equipment is created equal!
Each job is different and our surveyor will any applicable to your situation, we have other equipment specifically for other issues such as drain cameras and leak noise correlation.
There is lots more information on our technology pages with videos of how each works and is applied to finding you leak.
The idea of modern leak detection is to locate a leak without causing any damage..
There are times where minor access is required to inspect or confirm an issue, this is normally a bath panel being removed and in rare occasions (normally under shower trays) we might need to make a small hole the size of a pencil for a small camera to be inserted in voids and boxing.
It is important for making an insurance claim that minimal damage is caused as ‘speculative’ damage is not normally covered!
For heating leaks it is unlikely, but for all other leak detection it is likely our engineer will need to turn of the water for a while.
When our engineer carries out pressure tests, we need the water off and for there to be no use of the water such as toilets, appliances etc.
Similarly when we use trace gas, using water or having no access to switch off all stopcocks will release this trace gas and void the test.
It is important that the stopcocks are located and working, both inside and on the street where applicable.
This applies to all inspections whether domestic, commercial or civil building such as schools and inspections where more than one dwelling are effected by the leak.
That really is the ‘how long is a piece of string’ question!
We would always ask that we have access for the full day.
Heating takes the longest on average; most visits take at least half a day, but there are times that an issue is found much sooner.
A hot/cold water leak, will take about half a day to locate and provide a report on.
Sometimes what we think is ‘easy’ turns into a real head scratching ‘hard’ leak and vice-versa.
Leak detection is normally carried out on a single visit.
There are times where further visits are required and these are chargeable at the same rate, however this is rare and there is usually an underlying reason; Lack of access (particularly in flats) and blockages in heating systems are the normal issues. When undertaking insured works, there is normally an amount set for this of £5000 by the insurer and they will cover unavoidable re-visits.
Once the leak is located, we offer intrusive access of the leak at the same cost as leak detection. Again this is covered if you have trace and access on your buildings insurance.
Once accessed, we recommend an independent plumber repairs the leak to avoid issues with insurance and covering costs (such as the repair) classed as maintenance.
This is the destructive access of an area with a suspected leak and is carried out after our initial leak detection visit.
Leak Detection (trace) and these destructive works (access) are the parts normally refunded to you by the insurer under the “Trace & Access” portion of buildings insurance.
It is important that access works are not jumped into until an assessment has been made for insurance cover. It is much better to deal with the insurer before you have large amounts of damage to repair!
Where very minor access is needed, we may carry this out at the same time. Where another appointment is required, this is charged at the same rate as leak detection. A full report is also made for this visit to show how works have progressed and further helps with drying recommendations.
In general we do not carry out repairs as standard, this is for a few reasons:
Insurance claims are 90% of our work and insurers will normally pay for the Trace (Leak Detection) and Access (Digging it up, or removing area). They will not pay for the repair, as this is maintenance. When the repair is simple (it is often a 50p fitting) the cost is in finding and getting to the leak and the restoration works required.
If we repair, there is an element not covered by the insurer, they have in the past argued with our customers the ratio of repair costs and tried to deduct hundreds of pounds for a £20 repair. By not carrying out permanent repair, this is avoided.
Also, there is a conflict of interest. Therefore if we are not carrying out the works, our recommendations are not just to produce work for ourselves…
While we are not plumbers, we will where possible make a temporary repair. We would recommend that you have a local plumber make a repair, as they can monitor any issues. We do have a number of plumbers we can recommend to you, but we think its best to have a local plumber when you can.
Very simply, the cost of locating and accessing a leak, it is a vital part of ANY buildings insurance policy. If your policy does not have it, either add it or change insurers ASAP. The cover is normally £5000 of works or damage.
However once an area is already water damaged this is covered by the full policy.
We are not builders, keeping our scope and skill set to leak detection.
Repairing will require drying machines, decorators, carpenters and often tilers and flooring specialists. In our experience, even builders struggle to accurately quote to restore water damaged properties.
In the case of an insurance claim being made, we recommend using a claims management company. They will carry out all of the required works and are paid directly by the insurer, the profit from this work, allows them the scope to deal with an often argumentative insurer and the hours spent on the phone to them!
In short, we are not builders and you will require a BDMA certificate of dryness, and a host of other trades; something not in our scope of works.
It is essential that you get a BDMA certificate of dryness, normally drying machines will remove the moisture over a few weeks. Although the surface will dry quickly, there is moisture trapped deep in sub-floor areas that will cause mould and rot.
We recommend using a company that specializes in repairing water damage and dealing with insurance companies to handle your claim. You may well have your favourite builders, but dealing with insurers takes special skill…and the patience of a saint!
Drying is normally carried out with a number of industrial dehumidifier machines running to bring down the moisture levels. This is all covered under your insurance, even the electricity to run them!
If you have trace and access cover on your building insurance policy, then effectively it will cost you nothing!
Often there will be an excess of a few hundred pounds on most policies, but this is all it should cost to locate, access and restore the effected area.
However, any repairs to pipework are maintenance of your property and you must pay for these to be carried out. However with the cost of finding and getting to the leak covered, this is often a fitting costing about £1 and the labour to fit.
Due to repairs not being covered under insurance, we do no offer a repair service as it becomes a conflict of interest with the insurance claim. Better to have an independent plumber do the repair, a bit annoying but better than risking problems on the whole claim.
Access to an area is a problem, particularly in flats or shared mains this causes 90% of the issues.
Blockages of heating systems from rust can cause issues that will require more works such as a power flush to get the system clean enough for leak detection to be carried out.
Ultimately, we will get to the bottom of any leak…
Yes, in fact boiler faults are responsible for about 20% of heating issues. Our detection methods allow us to test parts on-site that even the manufacturers service technicians cannot test properly without taking them away!
Obviously we are looking for boiler faults causing leaks, we are not able to diagnose electrical faults etc.
A great deal of care is need to get a claim presented properly, sadly we find insurers are all too keen to stop a legitimate claim for whatever point they think they can apply, even when cover is clearly in place and documented.
We work with a number of independent claims handling companies, who ensure you are not given a raw deal by the insurer. They do not charge you, but use the profit margin on the works to pay for the management of the claim.
Like all trades there are good and bad, we have found a number that have consistently dealt well with our customers and can recommend.
These companies do not inflate the claim cost as there are chargeable rates for claims, so it will not make your premium any higher than dealing with the claim yourself. They make sure that all the works, particularly drying is carried out and have all the aggravation of the meetings and scores of calls to make to the insurer, loss adjuster etc.
Repairs after a water leak are complex, with specialist drying and certification, it is not just a builders job and there are many trades to organise.
Your home is probably your greatest asset and you cannot risk being stuck with the costs of repairing a £10,000 bathroom for a 20p pipe fitting failing!
Particularly with insurance, the initial call can be fine, but at this point they have not had to pay out. Be careful of what you are being asked and make sure you have your documents to hand to check you have cover, rather than trust the call center.
Plan for the worst and be pleasantly surprised rather than hope for the best and be disappointed.
Your property is likely your largest investment or asset, take advice and do not let the insurer dictate how this is managed!
We understand that everything does not always go to plan and that at times you may need to cancel, we want to be fair and adopt a similar system common across other sectors such as dentists, clinics and lessons/tutors in dealing with cancelling an appointment.
Unfortunately, we have had appointments where people have simply decided on the day that its not convenient. This is not fair to ourselves or other customers who have had to wait for their appointment. Therefore, bookings cancelled within 1 working day/24-hours will need to be subject to the full charge, for example a Wednesday booking would need to be cancelled on Monday for no charge to be applied and a Monday booking cancelled on Thursday.
In short, there needs to be at least one working day between cancelling and the appointment date…
A booking made on the phone with our staff is in the diary and considered a formal booking and is not subject to any further confirmation.
Benefits of using UK Leak Detection:
- Carried out on a ‘no-find no-fee’ basis*
- Assistance with insurance claims
- Non-destructive leak detection
- Keep costs at a minimum
- Stop high water bills
- Minimize property damage and disruption
- Provide photographic reports
We can locate water leaks internally under:
- Concrete flooring
- Wooden flooring
- Laminate flooring
- Amtico or Vinyl flooring
- Ceramic or vinyl tiled floors
- Lino flooring
- Rugs and Decorative coverings
- Carpeted floors
We can locate water leaks externally under:
- Grass or turfed areas
- Soil and scalping