Before starting destruction work to find the leak or to fix the water damage, electronic leak detection may help to pinpoint the origin of the leak with the goal to minimize damage and be surgical with repairs. Here is a list of the methods used.
Infrared thermal imaging camera is a special camera that sees the invisible. In a nutshell, our eyes sees the visible spectrum of light while the Infared camera sees infrared waves that is invisible to us. As a result you “see” the damp in the wall and the area it covers even before you have visible water damage. In the same way, you can often trace buried pipes and often see leaks in the floor. This technology, once reserved for the military and NASA has now become affordable enough to be used by mere mortals.
Tracer gas is a neutral non-toxic gas that is injected into the leaky pipe. The gas will escape at the location of the buried leak. The hydrogen detector is then used to detect the location of the gas, which indicates of course then where to dig. This is usually excellent for hidden exterior leaks in the garden as well as leaky pool pipes.
Electro-magnetic tracing is a non destructive method to trace the path and depth of underground pipes. This is especially a helpful aid with the tracer gas detection. If you already know the path of the pipe, the gas detection is much easier and effective.
This is the locator that is also used to find the transmitter on the endoscopic camera. It is also used at times to find hidden manholes and missing septic tanks.