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Old 01-19-2011, 04:17 PM   #1
D73
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Default House Im buying had a Burst Water Pipe

Hi there,

The house im buying was all going smoothly until the surveyor tried to get into the property where he found there had been a burst water pipe upstairs coming from the boiler. Since then I have just waited and waited and now the estate agents are telling me all that is required is to get large dehumidifiers in the house for a week. The leak could of been going on for 2+ weeks. The floors are soaked. The small cupboard under the stairs is soaked with plaster coming off. small cracks are now visible on some walls and a lot of the walls are damp to the touch. Also it went into the kitchen but didnt bring any ceilings down but has probably gone down behind the kitchen cupboards etc.. Can anyone tell me the problems that are likely to result from this leak which has sat there over christmas wet. Im very concerned about buying this house now and am hoping the surveyor when allowed in will pick up on all the damage thats been caused. What price does anyone put on the damage water costs to the value of a house. He's not insured as he'd of gone through insurance by now instead of getting a contractor in.



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Old 01-19-2011, 04:31 PM   #2
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You may find an accumulation of dangerous mold, since it begins within 72 hours of the initial burst pipe. You also may find baseboards which have buckled, floors buckled, doors in cabinets which will no longer open up, interior doors won't open and close properly, plaster or drywall which has weakened to the point it may all need to be replaced, electrical wiring potentually unsafe now, floor venting may be ruined, any floor insulation could possibly have to be removed to stop mold growth. On the brighter side, with the proper insurance, many flooded houses will have to have extensive overhauling, which you might benefit from. The big question is, who actually owned the home at the time of the water line break?



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Old 01-19-2011, 04:56 PM   #3
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See that sounds alot of problems. I have read about the possibility of mold growth. But others I talk to do not seen as concerned about mold as some people on these sort of sites. It's a 1940s brick house and people have said the house will dry out, saying its just the cosmetics such as carpets, skirting boards, plasterboard, flooring that will be ruined and need replacing. You mention things like doors not closing etc which sounds logical. I have not brought the house yet, It was at the point when the Survey was going to be done so I could walk away but wondering on costs of getting fixed etc.. which I would want knocked off the price I offered obviously. dehumidifiing the house for a week does not seem like it would be enough to remedy this situation. Im thinking of getting a quote for all damage done by water, but I was told that the full damage wouldnt be visible until the house is dried. Is this true?

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Old 01-19-2011, 05:04 PM   #4
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I'm sure your brick house still has a stick built interior, so most of the problems with flooding will affect you in the same way that it would affect a typical home. Yes, you will have to wait until everything is dry to determine the amount of damage. IMHO, this would cause me to run, not walk away!

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Old 01-19-2011, 06:30 PM   #5
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Thanks for advice. You make it sound like a house that has had a burst water pipe needs committing. surely if repairs are done properly then the house would be fine. Which is the case as im seeing it now. If they not willing to foot the bill then the deal is history.

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Old 01-19-2011, 06:42 PM   #6
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I would guess they will offer you the house for a real low price, and you would be forced to make the repairs...or they would cancel the deal, fix it up to current codes, and sell it for quite a bit more. Your best advice is to bring in some experts in water damage restoration and let them give you their honest answer as to how much is involved, and how much it will cost you.

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Old 01-27-2011, 04:10 PM   #7
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Hi there,

the survey was done and came back with these main problems relating to the water damage. Timbers in contact with damp walls may be affected by rot. ventilation beneath ground floor is inadequate. electrics need checking and replacing where damage has occured by flooding. gas needs fixing and checked by professional. flueing and ventilation needs checking and replacing where ineffective.estimated 12k of repairs required to resolve flood damage.

the seller has already instructed contracors in which they have installed dehumidifiers to dry out the house for approx a week, fix the plumbing and boiler. Says he can get electrician to check the electrics. No carpets have been removed though and some walls are still damp. some walls dampness seems away from the location of the leak. will these be surface damp and be ok once dry? I think the ceiling needs replacing in the one room. in fact all plasterboard walls need replacing in that room and ajoining wall to other room. my concern is the hidden wood timbers that could still be damp especially the stairs which seem to have taken a fair pounding of water. the boiler caused the flood which was not noticed for upto 2 weekslthough surveyor not flagged any structure issues. damp and surfacr mold is starting to show on some of the walls and some plaster can easily be scratched off. humidity levels were about 80% and came down to 28% after a week of dehumidifers.

From information here do you think the contractors have made a good start to removing damage and moisture and that I should instruct seller to replace all damp walls and dry out again with dehumidifiers. or do you think a specialist is now needed to finish the job they've started i.e. replace damp plasterboards and get the walls, floors and wooden timbers dry.

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Old 01-27-2011, 05:19 PM   #8
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You need to hire your own specialist, who is on your side to determine what actually needs to be done to correct the damage, not just mask them.

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Old 01-28-2011, 12:39 AM   #9
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^What he said.

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Old 02-04-2011, 11:27 PM   #10
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Default Burst pipe - water damage

EXCELLENT Advice from my U.S. Colleagues.


MY COMMENTS BELOW APPLY ONLY IF THE PROPERTY HAS SUFFERED
`MAJOR WATER SATURATION`:



People who are trying to `Dehumidify`/ `Dry Out` this property after possibly `WEEKS` of Water running - WITHOUT TAKING UP THE CARPETS - are acting `TOTALLY IRRESPONSIBLY` - They obviously have no knowledge of what it takes to `Dry Out` a property !! [or are trying to Fool You ?]

The ONLY way to `Dry Out` this property - IF - it had Water running for `WEEKS` [?] - would be to have DRYERS & DEHUMIDIFIERS operating for probably a LOT longer than 1 WEEK - AND - with ALL CARPETS TAKEN OUT.

IF people TRY to Dry Out WOOD too quickly - it is almost CERTAIN to cause it to `Twist`/ `Warp` - In premises where FLOODING has been it is usual to REMOVE all of the Floors/ Skirting's/ Doors/Door trims etc. - and `Discard` them - as drying them out would be impossible without `Warping`/ Splitting etc.

Wood Floors that might SEEM to be DRY - could then `Warp`/Split at a later date - when they Dry Out more.
Obviously `Flooding` is worse than a `Water Leak` - BUT - are some areas of this property `SATURATED` ?? - Especially the Floors & Ceilings - ??

It is also `Usual` to create Holes in the affected Floors and Ceilings and `Stud` Walls - in such a manner to allow the Warm Air of the Dryers to CIRCULATE under the Floors and throughout various areas of the Walls and Ceiling Voids.

There are other considerations - applicable to the exact areas of Water Saturation / Damage - these to be decided `On Site` as relevant to the Damage to the property in question - For example - sometimes it is necessary to `Cut Out`/ Drill VENTILATION Holes under the Floors at Ground Floor level - These Holes to allow Fresh Air / Warmth to circulate beneath the Ground Floor Area - where ultimately MOST of the Water will have `Cascaded` down to.

This applies IF there are Walls which divide Rooms/Parts of the House which are built from the GROUND up - I.E. They would stop complete circulation of Warmth under some of the `under floor area`.

When it is decided that MOST of the `Drying Out Process` has been done - it is sometimes required to then `Cut Out`/ Drill Ventilation Holes from outside to under the Ground Floor [suspended floor] - within the Ground Floor Void Space - positioned to allow `Through Circulation`of `Outside Air` - this is to `Accelerate` the Drying Out of the GROUND / EARTH under the suspended floor - You would not want the Ground under the Floor to be `WET` when the Floorboards are reinstated.
This measure can depend on the outside air temperature and humidity as to whether it is appropriate.

Dependant on the AMOUNT of `Temporary Ventilation` required - and HOW this is provided - it may be necessary to have Brick Work `Made Good` after this - As it is not a good thing to `Over Ventilate` under the [suspended] Ground Floor on a Permanent basis [Heat Loss and other considerations]

I have often seen this type of situation where ALL of the `Affected` Wood Flooring etc. has to be REPLACED - This depends greatly on how badly affected the Wood has been / How Saturated it was - This as you can imagine is VERY Expensive and `Disruptive` if you are living there at the time.

There MAY need to be Re plastering of Walls and Re boarding/Re plastering of some Ceilings - ??

You should DEFINITELY employ a Surveyor and ask for a `Detailed Report` of what needs to be done - IF you still intend to purchase - You will also need to have a `Good Guesstimate` of what the Works that are identified will COST - A `Timescale` of the Works etc.

These Works could take WEEKS to carry out - depending upon the extent of the Water Saturation - AND be VERY Expensive !!

I do NOT mean to `Frighten` You - But IF the Water Saturation is `EXTENSIVE` - You should consider seriously whether to purchase - Unless you can get REAL COST FIGURES from a Surveyor which you can negotiate with regarding the purchase - AND - You have no problem arranging the Works and accepting the associated Time involved.

People who are trying to `Dry Out` the property with the Carpets in place are either IDIOTS - or are just trying to `Go through the Motions` - to `Be Seen`to be doing the right things - TRYING TO `FOOL YOU` !!

Some of my `Colleagues` on this Forum will be `irritated` by this LONG Post - BUT as purchasing a Home is a VERY IMPORTANT thing in Life - I did not feel that I should try to write a SHORT reply to you.

I hope that some of my comments are `useful` in helping you to `Look into` the areas that I have mentioned - As well as the Good advice from my other `Colleagues`.

"Regards",

CHRISM.

Chris.



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