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Underfloor Leak - will it damage kitchen floor tiles?

Discussion in 'Tiling' 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. It was tiled about 4 years ago, with porcelain tiles placed onto a concrete surface. The water pipe runs through the concrete.We noticed the leak when water started seeping out from a tiny space between the door frame and floor in a room next to the kitchen, about 4.5 meters from the leak. I have no idea how much water would have leaked out before we solved the problem (the leak was in the middle of the floor - we now have a trench in the kitchen).

    Yesterday, 2 days after the leak stopped, some damage began to appear at the plaster at various random points in the kitchen walls, all within a 4 or 5 meter radius of the leak (I have asked about this in the plastering forum). Nothing else has emerged since then. I am running a dehumidifier at the moment.

    My question is: is it likely that I will experience problems with my tiles coming loose or otherwise being damaged, across a wide area in the kitchen? If so, how long might it take before the damage become apparent? (I am wondering about starting an insurance claim, but it isn’t yet worth it - it might become worth it though if I have tile issues across the whole floor.)

    Do I need to consider lifting a number of tiles to let the concrete dry out? (The pipes are above the DPC, so I have no idea where the water might escape to, and that is what has me worried. This would be an expensive and probably destructive job, if so.)

    Many thanks.
     
  2. KenGMac

    KenGMac

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    nwrmartin, good evening.

    Short answer is make an Insurance claim, this sort of damage can simply grow, and grow. have seen several hundred such types of damage.
    Lift ALL tiles.
    Remove [and possibly] replace base unit kick plates.
    Excavate the leaking pipe, if required re-route the pipe [somehow]
    Install De-hum === Industrial ones ===
    Check walls and skirting s for moisture.
    The nasty one??? if the floor tiles run under the units ??? remove units to get at the tiles??? if the worktops are mitered replace the worktops ///

    On and On and On

    Ken.
     
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  4. nwrmartin

    nwrmartin

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    good evening Ken, thanks for your reply. I’ve spoken to the insurance company who have advised me to see what the extent of the damage is, and what the repair costs might be, before making an actual claim. taking up most or all of the tiles and relaying them would definitely take me into claim territory.

    it’s not tiled under my kitchen units, and the leaking pipe enters and exits the floor under the units. I can see that the uncovered levelling compound (put down when we retiled 4 years ago) is quite damp in places. And where the levelling campus hasn’t covered the floor below, it’s very damp indeed.

    the tile adhesive itself (which I think/hope might be cementitious) seems solid all along the trench and at the edges under the units, and no issues have yet arisen with the tiles.

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but I know your advice is good advice. It’s just hard to commit to the idea of doing a lot of expensive work if the tiles seem OK. I wonder what the insurance company would say. the original tiler is coming to take a look once the plumber has finished the permanent repair; I’ll post his thoughts up here. Thanks again.
     
  5. KenGMac

    KenGMac

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    nwrmartin, good evening, again.

    What can at times happen is that the water percolates between the SLC and the slab ?

    Suggest you have a VERY, VERY close look at all the cement joints between the tiles, you are looking for tiny hairline width cracks, which indicate distress occasioned by moisture?

    Wall plaster damage is a concern suggest you get a cheap moisture meter and test the walls??

    Ken.
     
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  7. nwrmartin

    nwrmartin

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    Thanks again Ken. I will keep a close eye on the tiles.

    There is definitely some water damage in the wall plaster, at about 4 different places. It appeared two days after we stopped the leak. It hasn’t climbed very high above the skirting boards, and hasn’t gotten any worse since it appeared two days ago. The plaster hasn’t blown, so it may not be too much of an issue. I’ll keep an eye on it.

    As you say, on and on and on!
     
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