Damp coming through upper wall - need a roofer or plumber?

Discussion in 'Roofing and Guttering' started by RedTomato, 20 Nov 2020.

  1. RedTomato

    RedTomato

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    Hi, I have damp coming through an upper wall. It could be from a shower or from an exterior chimney stack. Pics attached. House is a 1930s London semi, brick walls with no cavity.

    First pic is the kitchen wall. The bathroom shower is directly above this.

    Second & third pic is the upper staircase wall. A pencil line has been drawn around the damp areas. The bathroom shower is on the other side of the left wall. The exterior chimney is on the other side of the wall.

    Fourth & fifth pic is the exterior chimney. You can see where it was patched about 6 months ago.

    No pic of the shower - it's covered in tiles and no damp is visible. Could be a leak in the shower plumbing moving through wall bricks (the shower valve is embedded in the exterior wall).

    Thing is, I've already had a plumber and a roofer in to do repairs, both were mediocre and I don't want to contact them again.

    Any recommendations as to how to find the right sort of person or company to investigate and properly track down the leak?

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    Last edited: 20 Nov 2020
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  3. KenGMac

    KenGMac

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    RedTomato, good evening.

    My first port of call would be the shower.

    Suggest you have a very careful look at the shower.
    Look for cracked tiles, missing grout between the tiles, and the most common fail point is the mastic pointing between the tiles and the tray.
    Run your fingers over the tray itself, looking for cracks in the tray.

    As for the concealed pipes, Yes a possibility that this is leaking.
    You can sometimes hear a leak in this pipework, if you press your ear to the shower valve??

    On the face of it, given the spread of dampness on the external kitchen wall the tiles / seal are looking a very likely source.

    Checking the tiles Etc. and eliminating them then you can look at the external roughcast.

    Ken.
     
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  4. RedTomato

    RedTomato

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    Hi @KenGMac thanks for replying.

    I've been through all that, had a plumber in who said its the shower hand-control valve needs replacing to fix the leak. He did that, then messed about with replacing the tiles & gave up on that & buggered off so I had to get someone else in to fix the tiles. And the leak's still here.

    I rang insurance, but they said they only pay for repairs to water damage from leaks, not for leak tracing or leak fixing. They told me to ring them back once the leak has been found & fixed (but before repairing the water damage).

    I think it's time to get a specialist leak tracer, but I have no idea what kind of job role that is or where to find them.
     
  5. tel765

    tel765

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    I'm sorry for your troubles, you seem to have tried your best and have ended up out of pocket, & back at the same place?
    If you search on here for stacks and external c/breast leaks, and dashed render leaks for a start it should help you a bit.
    There's no such a thing, as far as i'm aware, as a leak tracer.

    Obvious possible defects are:
    1. render - given work has been done patching up the render esp on the c/breast then the dirt stained areas at the base should have been patched - and a BellCast used at the lower angle to cast off rainwater.
    2. stack & stack flashing & surrounding roof cover
    3. filthy unswept flue - do you have access to the flue fireplace?
    4. do you have cavity walls with CWI? Or solid walls?
    5. leaking at the eaves & gutters - i can see daylight between the gutter an the fascia. Roof membrane or plastic eaves protector should cover any gap by dropping into the gutter.
    6. external c/breasts are notorious for damp problems
    7. from outside, the repairs to the dash etc look to have been a failure
    8. maybe the angle beads have rusted and blown?

    I cant speak about the bathroom because there's not enough information.
     
    Last edited: 21 Nov 2020
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  7. tel765

    tel765

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    Finding the "right person" is as chancey in the buiding trades as it is in real life. A Repent at leisure kind of thing.
    Roofers with a Roofing NVQ - a plumber with an NVQ - a RICS surveyor (but surveyors wont climb).
    There are independent Damp & Timber surveyors - they must not be tied to any kind of contractor.

    FWIW: An outstanding D&T surveyor is Graham Coleman (if he's not retired) Remedial Technical Services
    01747-840-715 or
    07885-765-142 mobile
     
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  8. KenGMac

    KenGMac

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    RedTomato, good evening, again.

    Looks as if your house Policy does not have a trace and access addition?

    Do you have [by any chance] any other insurance Policies? such as the type that covers all white goods + drains + electrics Etc. Etc ?

    If you strip out the tiles to "get at" the control valve, you will make it impossible to use the shower? is it possible the get at the valve if you cut an access in the adjoining room, sort the leak then get the insurer in to sort out this entire mess.

    Ken.
     
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  9. Nige F

    Nige F

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    It's a boiler flue - there is no fireplace. The square of render on the flue outside is where an access plate was.
     
  10. Nige F

    Nige F

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    Have you tried Tinder, tel ?
     
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  11. DIYnot Local

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