UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF FAILED WATERPROOFING
A water leak is a nuisance, but sadly too many people think that is all it is. As often as not, when we are called in to assess the issue, we hear owners explain that they thought that as long as the leak is not causing damage to property within the building there is no great need to rush to fix it. Sadly, this is an expensive misperception. In fact, this is what water leaks could be doing to your property:
- Leaking into the cavity causing mould
- Leaking into the cavity and causing exposed metal elements to rust thus causing concrete cancer or brick growth. This in turn causes structural damage which accelerates the issue.
- Masking the true area being damaged. Just because you see water droplets in one spot, it does not mean that the water is coming in straight above. Often the water has tracked along a beam before falling, meaning other spots could be even more damaged
- Damaging paintwork, electricals, carpet and more
POTENTIAL CAUSES OF WATER LEAKS
Water leaks may appear to be small but as water can track down from almost anywhere else, identifying the issue can be somewhat harder. That said, there are a number of potential causes which could be the cause of the issue:
- On flat roofs the membrane designed to act as a waterproof barrier has been damaged (installation of new equipment is often a cause), or due to age started to be less effective
- The flashings on the roof are not turned up high enough. In the event of sudden rain or due to a blocked drain, the water rises above the flashings and down the wall.
- Flashings around your window have been inadequately installed meaning when it rains the wind pushes it up and under the flashings and into the cavity. To add to the confusion, this could mean the water enters the building one or many floors below.
- Your plumbing is damaged causing either a mains pipe or a waste water pipe to dispel water where it shouldn’t.
- You have concrete cancer on a flat surface such as a balcony which is allowing water to ingress through the slab and into the cavity. This is then running down the internal walls of the building