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Important Facts to Know about Water Damage Caused by Fire Sprinklers

water damage from sprinkler systemsFire sprinklers are an important part of keeping offices and some homes safe from the risk of fire. They prevent extensive fire damage, reduce the amount of water used to accomplish that goal, and ultimately save lives. Despite the benefits of fire sprinklers, a fire sprinkler leak due to a damaged or malfunctioning sprinkler system can cause a lot of damage. Here’s what you need to know about water damage from sprinkler systems and how a water damage restoration company in Toronto can help you.

Flood from Fire Sprinklers

Buildings, homes, or offices with sprinkler systems should always make sure their systems are inspected and maintained properly to prevent any defects. Water that sprays from a sprinkler is under high pressure, which means the potential damage can be very high. Immense water damage such as a flood, and damaged floors and property can occur within the building.

Causes of Fire Sprinkler Leaks

If water is leaking from a sprinkler head in your building, you should immediately call a water damage restoration company near you to inspect it. Here are some of the most common reasons for a leaking sprinkler.

Improper Installation

Fire sprinklers may leak due to improper installation caused by a malfunction or human error. Improperly designed, installed, or repaired sprinklers can also lead to this problem. If fittings are overly tightened or if sprinkler heads are not fitted correctly, leaks can occur. Hiring a qualified installation company to take on the job will reduce the probability of these errors.


Since sprinkler heads are activated by heat, if the temperature in a specific location gets too high, it will set off. Any time a fire sprinkler is installed, the installation team should make sure to consider the hottest room in the building—even during the summer heat—to see if the sprinkler will go off. Different sprinkler heads are designed to set off at different temperatures, so make sure the correct temperature sprinkler is installed.


Regular monitoring of your sprinkler system by a professional can help you prevent all of these issues. Fire sprinklers can freeze if certain precautions are not put in place during installation or maintenance. This includes adding antifreeze and insulating the pipes. When water freezes, the pipes can expand, crack, burst, and leak when the system begins to thaw out.


Corrosion caused by oxygen and microbes in the system will manifest as a rotten egg smell, discoloured water, rusting, or a blockage. A professional team such as a fire and life safety company or a water damage restoration team can examine the system by performing a pipe inspection.

Human Error or Sabotage

Possibly the most common cause of fire sprinkler malfunction is human mistakes such as hanging items from the sprinkler, running into it with a forklift, painting over it, etc. If you have a sprinkler system in your building or office space, make sure everyone knows not to touch the sprinkler heads for any reason.

Water Damage by Fire Sprinklers: What to Do?

At the first sign of water damage caused by fire sprinklers, it is imperative to call a water damage restoration company. Some companies have emergency hotlines so you can have a solution brought to you within an hour or two. Whether the damage is minimal or large, the team of professionals will be able to offer you expert advice on preventing any additional damage. Getting a quote will also give you an idea of what you can manage with your budget to get the situation remedied as soon as possible. Here are some of the steps they would take.

Extract Water

A sprinkler letting go can produce a tremendous amount of water. To extract water caused by a sprinkler, a portable extraction unit and in serious cases, a submersible pump will have to be used. A professional water restoration team will have all the equipment necessary to get the job done quickly and efficiently so you can get your home or office back into working condition. As with all water damage, it is important to have the situation remedied quickly, to prevent any mould or other water damage from forming.

Dry the Home

Once the area has been pumped out, you will need to dry affected materials by using the proper drying equipment such as dehumidifiers and air movers. Sometimes, opening a window can be beneficial however, if it’s very humid or very cold outside, this would be detrimental to the drying process. Your water damage restoration company would then advise whether or not certain affected building materials would need to be opened or even removed altogether.

Restore Important Items

Depending on the severity of the damage, it may be possible to wipe down objects or run fabrics through the dryer and let the air do the rest of the work. However, if the situation is more extreme, special tools will only be available through restoration specialists. Some items may need to be replaced in the most damaging situations.

Contact a Professional Water Damage Restoration Company

Although it may seem like a cost-effective solution to deal with these issues on your own, you can make the problem worse if you are not properly trained. Working with a professional contractor will not only save you money in the long term as the job gets done right the first time; it will also give you peace of mind in knowing experts are on the job.

Flood Services Canada offers advanced, professional water damage clean-up services that make use of the latest technology and techniques to not only remove flood water but to help save and restore your possessions and property. We can help regardless of where the water is coming from and will drain, dry, extract, and salvage as much as possible to minimize or eliminate any lasting damage. Contact us at (416) 302-2107 to learn more about our services, or use our emergency hotline at (416) 999-3930 to get our rapid-response teams deployed to your location.

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Chad Vanvari

Chad Vanvari has over 20 years of experience as a cleaning & restoration professional. He started out in Montreal, establishing a commercial carpet cleaning company in the early 1990’s. By 2001, Chad had relocated to Toronto and now had extensive knowledge and experience in responding to fire/water related emergencies. He has been instrumental in the cleanup of several catastrophic floods. Currently, Chad is the president and owner of Flood Services Canada, a 24/7 emergency service restoration company.