This should be an easy task, but it isn’t. Just because someone calls himself or herself an expert, it doesn’t make them one. Essentially it comes down to knowledge, experience and reputation.
Don’t necessarily be taken in by a ‘leak expert’ who turns up with all the latest infrared leak scanning devices and equipment. ‘All the gear, no idea’ is a phrase that can apply here. The right tools for the job are only ever useful in the right hands.
As old fashioned as it sounds, what you should be looking for is someone with real building knowledge – how buildings are put together, where corners are sometimes cut during construction, what kind of materials should have been used. Someone with a real understanding of how the fabric of a building works.
Experience and reputation
Can your leak expert demonstrate experience in detecting and remedying leaks in your type of building? What kind of reputation have they got?
Talk to them, ask them about similar jobs, do some research online, and ask to talk to recent clients. If your supposed leak expert is not happy for you to talk with a couple of satisfied clients, chances are those previous clients are in the unsatisfied category!
More often than not The Leak Professionals is called out when other firms – non-experts – have failed (often at considerable financial cost and emotional stress to the client) to fix a leaking building.
We’ve just completed one job that our client has labelled ‘the potential solving of the 8 year mystery’. Why? Since 2007 a consistent leak into a downstairs bedroom cupboard has been causing damage to woodwork and made the cupboard unusable.
Having spent thousands of dollars over the years, and having retiled the balcony and carried out many other expensive repairs, the homeowner contacted us. This is a job in progress, but what we have been able to do thus far is positively identify the source of the leak and stop the water during regular rainfalls. Having said that the recent exceptionally heavy rainfalls have highlighted further problems which may be a result of the design and sizing of the box gutter. We will now do further work to come up with a deluge proof and permanent solution.
This job in particular got me thinking about the effectiveness of building leak repairers. Generally, it is not good. In what other profession would a supplier be paid for a job that didn’t fix the problem? When they first come to us, most of our customers have been in this situation.
Watch this space! We are putting together what I think will be a watertight (yes, I know, appalling pun) The Leak Professionals guarantee for qualifying buildings which will be launching in the next few weeks.
Imagine that. A leak repairer who can repair leaks. Whatever next…
All the best, Martin