The Importance of Drainage and Plumbing Maintenance in Commercial Buildings

The Importance of Proper Drainage and Plumbing Maintenance in Commercial Buildings - Lee Company

Like a well-oiled machine, a commercial building thrives when all its systems humming along without a hitch. But we often overlook one system that, while not making the headlines, is of paramount importance – the network of pipes and drains that make up your commercial drainage and plumbing system.

It’s easy to equate a functioning plumbing system to the simple comfort of working toilets or on-demand hot water. Truthfully, it offers so much more…

Proper drainage and plumbing maintenance ensures the safety and health of everyone inside your building. It also plays a key role in protecting your brand reputation and preserving the value of your property. And it lays the groundwork for smooth and uninterrupted business operations.

Below we’ll highlight the key benefits of investing in regular commercial plumbing services for your business.

The Importance of Proactive Plumbing Maintenance for Commercial Buildings

Understanding the benefits of proactive plumbing maintenance is the first step to appreciating its importance. You might think of the obvious advantages, like reducing customer complaints or avoiding emergency plumbing repairs.

But what about the less obvious?

Did you know that a consistently well-maintained plumbing system can help lower your energy costs, extend the life of your building’s fixtures, and minimize water leaks or floods? Plus, commercial drain inspections and cleaning allow for early detection of corrosion or buildup in pipes before it causes bigger issues down the line.

Here are just some of the benefits of investing in regular commercial plumbing services:

Improve Safety and Better Health

Clean water is a requirement for a healthy working environment. Plumbing problems can cause a host of health issues, from mold growth to contamination.

Regular maintenance helps identify potential hazards like these before they become serious threats to employees and customers.

Early Detection of Problems

Beyond the health and safety implications, regular maintenance allows for early detection and repair of minor issues that could become major ones in the future. Many common plumbing problems in commercial buildings can be avoided — here’s how.

Prevent Costly Water Damage

Proactive maintenance helps prevent plumbing failures that may lead to expensive water damage. A leak, however small, can result in structural damage over time if not addressed.

Reduce Water and Energy Waste

Old or malfunctioning fixtures are often inefficient and can increase both utility costs as well as the risk of flooding. If a faucet is dripping at a slow rate of one drip per second, it can waste 3,000+ gallons of water each year. But properly working fixtures with WaterSense labels consume 20% less water at a minimum than the regular models.

Ensure Uninterrupted Operations

Think about what a day, a week, or a month of halted operations could do to your bottom line… The cost of downtime can range from a shocking $137 to $9,000 per minute! Plumbing emergencies can disrupt daily operations, possibly leading to lost productivity and revenue. But routine maintenance helps mitigate such incidents.

Better Customer Experience

Over 50% of customers report spending more at businesses with clean, well-maintained restrooms. Investing in regular commercial plumbing services can also help keep areas such as kitchens and food prep areas sanitary, which is a must for businesses in the hospitality industry.

So make sure you don’t overlook the importance of plumbing maintenance in your commercial building. It might just be the difference between a thriving business and a failing one.

Extend the Life of Your Building

Regular commercial plumbing services help extend the life of your building. Properly working systems mean fixtures and appliances can last longer without breaking down unexpectedly.

Increased Property Value

When it comes time to sell or lease your building, you’ll want potential buyers and renters to see that all systems are in good working order. Investing in regular maintenance now will give you an advantage when trying to fetch a good price for the property.

Consequences of Neglecting Commercial Plumbing Systems

There are times in the life of every business when belts need to be tightened and budgets trimmed. It might seem harmless, even sensible, to push plumbing maintenance to the back burner. We’re here to tell you that’s a gamble you really don’t want to take.

Ignoring even the smallest plumbing issues can spiral into larger, more costly problems.

Here’s the hard truth, backed by real numbers:

Frequent Plumbing Emergencies

If regular maintenance is skipped, minor issues can quickly grow into major headaches, leading to repeated, disruptive emergencies.

Not only that, but the cost of emergency or after-hours services is typically more expensive. HomeAdvisor reveals that emergency plumbing repairs generally cost 1.5-3 times more than the hourly rate charged for regular maintenance.

Plus, the downtime and disruption from these emergencies could lead to considerable revenue loss.

Higher Maintenance Costs

The cost of fixing plumbing issues on an emergency basis can skyrocket. A minor clog can become a major blockage over time, requiring more labor and materials to repair.

Potential Health Risks

A neglected plumbing system can compromise water quality or proper sewer function, posing significant health risks to building occupants. As an employer, it’s also your legal requirement to provide access to hot water for sanitation. So a lack of hot water can lead to fines and shutdowns.

If you want to stay in compliance and keep your employees and customers safe, a comprehensive facility maintenance plan is an absolute must.

Higher Utility Bills

Unresolved leaks can result in increased water usage, leading to higher utility bills. The EPA says fixing water leaks can save homeowners approximately 10% of their water bills. So you can imagine what a commercial property with a large-scale loss of water can do to a business’s bottom line.

In business, as in life, prevention is always better (and cheaper) than the cure. Regular plumbing maintenance might seem like a cost you can avoid today, but the potential fallout down the line could be far more expensive for your business.

Key Components of Drainage and Plumbing Maintenance

When you’re busy running a business and managing employees, it can be difficult to stay on top of everything. So what should commercial building owners and facility managers prioritize when it comes to plumbing maintenance?

A comprehensive drainage and plumbing maintenance strategy involves:

  • Regular drain inspections and cleaning: This ensures that the drains are free of blockages that could lead to water backup and potential property damage.
  • Pipe maintenance and repairs: Regular pipe inspections can detect early signs of issues such as corrosion or leaks, allowing for timely repairs and preventing more serious problems.
  • Leak detection and repair: Leaks aren’t always easy to spot since they can be hidden behind walls or below ground. But if left to their own devices, they can cause gradual water loss and damage to property. So it’s important to have a professional regularly detect and fix these silent leaks.
  • Water pressure regulation: Optimal water pressure prevents undue strain on the pipes, reducing the chances of leaks and pipe bursts.
  • Backflow prevention: A critical step in maintaining the quality of water in a building. Backflow devices should be inspected and tested regularly to ensure they work correctly.
  • Water heater maintenance and upgrades: Annual water heater maintenance ensures a reliable hot water supply while keeping it running efficiently and reducing your utility costs. And in 2026, there will be new commercial water heater standards. To comply with the latest regulations and potentially lower costs, you may need to upgrade your equipment anyway.

Signs of Plumbing Issues in Commercial Buildings

We know plumbing isn’t the only thing on your mind as a business owner or facility manager. That’s why it’s critical to be on the alert for signs of plumbing issues in your commercial building.

Being aware of the signs of potential plumbing problems can facilitate early intervention and prevent minor issues from becoming major problems. These include:

  • Low water pressure
  • Foul odors coming from drains
  • Leaky pipes or fixtures
  • Strange noises coming from pipes or drains (such as gurgling sounds)
  • Wet spots on walls or floors
  • Slow or clogged drains
  • Sewage backups
  • Increased water bills

Train your employees to also be aware of these signs and to report any issues immediately so that you can address them before they get out of hand.

Importance of Professional Plumbing Services

Although many facility managers have general maintenance and repair skills on their resumes, not all of them are qualified to handle plumbing problems — especially in commercial buildings that typically have larger-scale plumbing systems that are more complex.

Plumbing is a specialized field that requires specific expertise, and it’s important to remember this before attempting to tackle any plumbing issues in-house.

Instead, having a commercial plumbing services provider who can inspect your system regularly and diagnose any problems quickly is the best way to ensure the long-term safety of your building.

Lee Company is a trusted leader in commercial plumbing services across Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama. Our team of experienced professionals is equipped to handle all your commercial plumbing needs, from routine maintenance and drain cleaning to emergency repairs.

By partnering with Lee Company, your business can expect:

  • Expertise in complex commercial plumbing systems: We have the training and experience to handle intricate commercial plumbing systems.
  • Compliance with building codes and regulations: Commercial properties are subject to strict building codes and regulations. We can keep your property compliant with local law.
  • Utilization of advanced tools and techniques: We’re equipped with the latest tools and techniques to deliver efficient and effective services.
  • Timely response to plumbing emergencies: We offer 24/7 emergency service, minimizing damage and disruption to your business.

Not only do we offer commercial plumbing services, but we also provide:

Our facilities management and maintenance plans are designed to minimize the risk of issues and keep businesses of all sizes running smoothly.

Don’t wait for a plumbing emergency to take action. Take a proactive approach to managing plumbing issues in your commercial building —  contact Lee Company today to get started.

Do you need drainage and plumbing solutions for a commercial building?

CALL US NOW AT 615.567.1000