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Underfloor leak - where will the water go, and what damage might it cause?

Discussion in 'Building' started by nwrmartin, 9 Feb 2021.

  1. nwrmartin

    nwrmartin

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    Hi,

    I have had a significant mains water leak under my kitchen floor (I have posted other Qs on the tiling and plastering forums - apologies if that was the wrong thing to do). It is tiled with porcelain tiles, on a concrete surface. I have no idea how much water would have leaked out before we solved the problem, but 3 days later there is some damage to the bottom of the plaster at a few spots on a few of the kitchen walls, all within a 4 or 5 meter radius of the leak.

    The pipes that leaked are above the DPC, so I have no idea where the water might escape to (other than up the walls). Can anyone give me a steer as to what I can expect? Is there any way the water might leave the floor without causing further damage to walls or tiles, or the house structure, or do I need to consider lifting floor tiles to let the concrete below dry out and prevent further damage (I am assuming the concrete itself won’t be damaged by the leak)?

    Many thanks.
     
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  3. williamglossop

    williamglossop

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    It will dry out. Run a dehumidifier for a few days
     
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  4. williamglossop

    williamglossop

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    The tiles will be bonded with a cement based adhesive so if they haven't cracked or lifted already, they're unlikely to as it dries out.

    MDF skirting and architrave doesn't mix well with water and may need replacing.

    As for the house structure, not an issue if its a 3 day flood, with clean water.
     
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  5. nwrmartin

    nwrmartin

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    Thanks for your advice. It’s reassuring. I’ve had two dehumidifiers going full blast for the last 24 hours. It’s been 4 days since we stopped the leak and it’s still really damp under the kitchen units, where it’s not tiled. Could take a while!

    I have the original tiler coming to take a look soon; hopefully he’ll have the same view as you.

    It is tempting to take out a few tiles going out either side from the leak, just to see what path the water might have taken; but that could make a costly repair a heck of a lot more costly very quickly.

    Thanks again.
     
  6. williamglossop

    williamglossop

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    Theres no point.... it won't really change anything. Heat and ventilation is the quickest way to dry out a room. Cant really open the windows when it's minus 2, so a dehumidifier and heating is your best option. Water won't damage porcelain tiles, concrete, adhesive or grout. Just be patient and it'll most likely be fine. Different if its dirty water.
     
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  7. nwrmartin

    nwrmartin

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    Excellent, that’s v helpful to hear! Thanks again.
     
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