Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Problem with Tracing a Leak; Peter Fall Looks at the Problem of Tracing Leaks

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Problem with Tracing a Leak; Peter Fall Looks at the Problem of Tracing Leaks

Article excerpt

Byline: with Peter Fall

PERSISTENT leaks or, even worse, intermittent but persistent leaks, can be difficult to resolve. It's a bit like the squeak or rattles on the car - they never happen when you take it to the garage.

Leaks can be just as bad. They never happen when the builder or surveyor calls to investigate. Some are obvious - the leaking radiator valve or missing roof tiles but it's never these that I'm asked to look at.

Take the leak the other day in a staircase below a tall window. The plasterwork below the window, about 2ft down, had heavy brown streaks and its surface was starting to bubble up and crumble. There had clearly been a serious leak here but when we came to inspect, the wall was dry. The owner said the leaks had started shortly after he moved in and he was the first owner after it had been built so it must be a problem in the original construction rather a maintenance defect.

The modern property has floor-to-ceiling windows and a good-sized balcony outside the staircase window. The question was, where was this leak coming from and how did it get to the inside face of the staircase wall, 2ft below the window? There were no signs of previous leaks on the inside window board and the client had never seen water on the inside of the window. A number of operatives had been sent by the builders, each of whom had applied silicone sealant in a different spot but none had stopped the leak.

The difficulty with leaks is the water could be entering in a number of positions then tracking to one central point and - to complicate matters - each of these positions could be contributing, so fixing one cause may not resolve the problem.

Any investigation and repair needs to be methodical and the best way to do this is to test the area nearest to the damp stain and if that leaks, repair it. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.