After a long day at work your home is the one place you can stop and finally recharge, trusting in the safety of your surroundings. This was not the case for one of our unfortunate customers, a tenant of one of the two units affected.
-In this photograph you'll see the water damage is evident by the soaked bricks on the outside of the affected unit.
A hot water pipe burst from the above unit during the weekend pooling down onto the bottom tenants bathroom walls, not what you’d like to be dealing with on your days off work. Upon further inspection it was determined that the culprit leak would have been active for some years before bursting.
The extent of the damage might have warranted a full scale removal of ceiling and floor from both units just to locate the leak.
Some insurance companies require photographic proof of the leak, but in this situation locating the leak for photographic purposes and full removal of affected areas would cost a considerable and unnecessary amount of money.
To keep costs low and avoid tearing up meters of wall and ceiling, the hot water pipe was isolated to the above unit overnight in order to stop the leak and to remove and repair the affected pipe before rerouting in the morning.The rerouting and repair was done in 6 hours as opposed to the initial 9 hours wasted to locate a leak in such a large area
But what about the image of the leak for my insurance?
Here is the tricky bit.This is where the balancing of expense of complete removal of such a large area versus the risk of not having your claim approved.According to policy some insurance companies will approve the cost of locating the leak but not the damage done by it. Water damaged floors, doors or walls may have to be replaced.
Many factors are taken into account to determine the success of your claim such as, whether maintenance and checks were performed on a regular basis, the age and integrity of fixtures and fittings, non approved renovations etc..
What went wrong?
The leak was noticed on Monday but no action was taken till Friday with what would have been an early detection and easy insurance claim turned into a full scale emergency with afterhours rates to boot.
As a rule of thumb, any leak is a bad leak. The longer you wait for repairs the faster the increase of damage done with every minute running in the thousand dollar mark.If early detection is followed through, you should request your insurance company to send out an assessor and along with a professional plumber determine the necessary action needed to reduce damage and approve your claim.
Assessors do not work weekends and are not available after hours so it is up to the experience and professionalism of your plumber to work with you and walk you through the necessary steps in order to put forward an airtight claim.
-Exposed wall in order to reroute piping
The internal walls are made of solid brick and plaster, absorbing all of the water from the leakage over time as well as the full brunt of the burst and gushing water.Cracks in the brick wall were present on the outside, damage of the plaster membrane, 5 tiles and paint.
It would take 3 months for everything to dry in order to evaluate the actual damage done, more during the cooler months.Some damages arise after the area has dried and maybe eligible for cover.Any timber fittings may have absorbed enough moisture to swell and warp. Doors, window frames, cupboards may have to be replaced but will only be evident once the timber has dried.
Get to know your insurance policy for leaks and structural damage. Get definitive answers, AND EMAIL PROOF for any non policy negotiations!
Have a dedicated family plumber…establish a good long term relationship with your preferred plumber. Make sure he has all his insurances and qualifications. The more qualified and experienced your plumber is the more support you’ll receive with your insurance company.
Shut off the main!!
If your emergency happens during the week call your plumber and your insurance company asap. Request an assessor and start taking your own images of the affected area.
Further updates coming soon........