House Im buying had a Burst Water Pipe

Discussion in 'General Plumbing Help' started by D73, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. Jan 19, 2011 #1

    D73

    D73

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  2. Jan 19, 2011 #2

    havasu

    havasu

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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?
     
  3. Jan 19, 2011 #3

    D73

    D73

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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?
     
  4. Jan 19, 2011 #4

    havasu

    havasu

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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!
     
  5. Jan 19, 2011 #5

    D73

    D73

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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.
     
  6. Jan 19, 2011 #6

    havasu

    havasu

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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.
     
  7. Jan 27, 2011 #7

    D73

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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.
     
  8. Jan 27, 2011 #8

    havasu

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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.
     
  9. Jan 28, 2011 #9

    phishfood

    phishfood

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    ^What he said.
     
  10. Feb 5, 2011 #10

    CHRISM

    CHRISM

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
  11. Feb 5, 2011 #11

    havasu

    havasu

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    ^ More great advice from our friend across the puddle! And no, you were not long winded, as this information needed to be detailed exactly as you wrote it!
     
  12. Feb 7, 2011 #12

    D73

    D73

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    Thanks All for the help and advice. I think the trying to fool me is more likely. I instructed a specialist company to provide me a Detailed Timber And Damp Report complete with estimates on work required so that I can hopefully get the damaged fixed properly by a professional. They said they will be able to determine if the house was ok before the flood or if there was also damp problems before the flood. Surveyor has already told me to proceed with extreme caution and to study the findings in the report meticulously, although said if problems in report are addressed then there's no reason not to purchase this property.

    I'll let you know the results!

    Dave
     
  13. Feb 8, 2011 #13

    CHRISM

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    "Thanks Dave",

    I for one would be very interested in what extent of `Works` have to be carried out to get the House into a completely habitable condition - ready to purchase.

    I hope that some of what i posted on here was helpful - to point you in a few directions of `concern`.

    I should also mention that you must get the Boiler checked by a GasSafe registered Engineer - which you should do in any event BEFORE/IF you will be living there - having someone just repair the leaking pipework without carrying out a Gas Safety Inspection is NOT the way to go.

    If you have any concerns regarding the Boiler Installation - for example the `workmanship` does not look as if installed by a `Professional` - Qualified & Registered [GasSafe] Engineer - You should ask/arrange for the Boiler and Heating/Hot Water System and Gas Pipework/Appliances / Flues/ Chimneys [if used for Gas Fires] to be Inspected by a Registered Gas Engineer [GasSafe] - This Inspection should provide a `Gas Safety Inspection Certificate` - This Certificate is a `Must Have` item.

    Although depending on the extent of the Water Damage - it might NOT be appropriate to carry out ALL of the Gas Inspection Items that I have listed above at the time of the Boiler/Heating System Gas Inspection - I mention the other possible items so that while a Gas Engineer was `On Site` they would Inspect ALL possible Gas related items.

    IF any Gas Appliance - for example a Gas Fire has been permeated by Water - obviously that would have to be Disconnected and Removed - by a Registered Gas Engineer - Beware anyone who states that they will Remove a Gas Appliance who is NOT a Registered Gas Engineer !! - as that is ILLEGAL and would also be an `Indicator` of the Attitude of those carrying out the Remedial Works - as to their adherence to Regulations/Laws.

    "Good Luck" in dealing with this Water Damage/Saturation Problem - If you want the Property enough to go through the process of waiting for the `Correct` Remedial Works - I wish you well.

    "Regards",


    CHRISM.
     
  14. Feb 8, 2011 #14

    CHL

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    Chrism is giving you excellent advice as is Havasu.

    1. It will take weeks, maybe months to properly dry the house and for all the damage to become evident. The real estate agents will push you to close the deal now because they only get paid upon closing.

    2. You can not make any decision until all the damage is properly evaluated by YOUR licensed professional. I have used Home Inspectors that were also licensed contractors and they would give a fixed quote to bring the house up to current code, not just repair the damage. Also demand a 5-10 year warrentee on the house and the repair work from a reputable local home warrentee company.

    3. I would walk away and find another house. It is a buyer's market.
     
  15. Feb 17, 2011 #15

    D73

    D73

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    Got the Damp and Timber report. Feeling let down yet again. they did the report but didnt mention any of the damage caused by flood let alone estimate repair costs. They just said seller is fixing internal biulding. Which hes not, apart from whats been mentioned. Need to ring em tomorrow. What they did say was there was rising damp(shock) and its needed damp course proofing. Land to one side needed lowering and Air bricks then need checking to see if they are ventilating sub floor. plus a membrane needed where this side of house is. No quote on stripping walls, professionally drying walls, floors, ceiling, stairs etc... Sure someone said to me damp coursing cant be done until a house has been dried. not even sure this would satify mortgage company. Was hoping for proper quote to justify the repair costs. now thinking its time to move on unless money knocked off which as I said dont know how much could cost. Plus theres the time and effort. Think as was said they are trying to pull a fast one. agent is totally useless, not even mentioned any reductions but then again from my experience (which ay great) they definately deserve the reputation they have.
     
  16. Feb 19, 2011 #16

    CHRISM

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    "Hello D73",

    I would advise - as I hinted upon in my `Post` - if you are NOT able to obtain `Professional` Advice on this issue - and it seems that even the Vendor is NOT saying/doing the `Right Things` - You should consider aborting the Purchase.

    I am certain that You are aware of the Importance of buying a Home - and obviously you did want to purchase this one - BUT - If no-one is `Going About` the `Drying Out` and `Remedial Works` in a CORRECT Manner - You will probably end up with VERY EXPENSIVE Problems if you go ahead and Purchase this Property.

    IF you wanted to buy a CAR and the seller was `messing about` regarding some required remedial works - prior to You purchasing - I am sure that you would NOT Purchase - Think about the same `Principal` - BUT Multiplied Vastly regarding the Price of the House - and the fact that it will be your Home [?].

    In this situation you could either `Win` or `Lose` - BUT do you want to `Gamble` `THOUSANDS` of Pounds ??

    I personally would insist upon obtaining `Professional` Advice/Information from a Building Surveyor - and I am a `Building Services Engineer` who has an `Extensive Knowledge` of Building Works - I would still engage a Building Surveyor - who would have more `Specialised Knowledge` on the effects of the `Water Damage` to the Property/ Remedial Works etc.

    THIS OF COURSE WOULD COST MONEY - AND YOU WOULD HAVE TO BE IN THE POSITION OF NOT WANTING TO `LOSE` THE PROPERTY - TO PAY FOR A SURVEYOR.

    I am NOT recommending the Services of a `Professional` - because I am a `Professional` - I am doing so because it is the ONLY way to ensure that You do not get `Cheated`/ Purchase a `Money Pit`.

    I am Guessing that the Vendor does NOT want to even consider the Costs and Timescale involved in carrying out the `Necessary Works` CORRECTLY -
    He does not want WEEKS / MONTHS of `Delay`.

    This is NOT meant to sound `Patronising` D73 - Just a few comments - I am `On Your Side`.

    I would be interested in hearing what you decide - or any further `Developments`.

    "Regards",

    CHRISM.
     
  17. Feb 19, 2011 #17

    speedbump

    speedbump

    speedbump

    Wells & pumps; not a... Professional

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    Nothing but excellent advice from everyone.

    I would not walk away from that house, I would run like hell!

    I had a flood in 1988. I can't tell you what a mess it was and there is a lot more than meets the eye when you start finding more and more problems that weren't addressed up front.
     
  18. Feb 19, 2011 #18

    phishfood

    phishfood

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    ChrisM, I completely agree with your entire post.
     
  19. Feb 21, 2011 #19

    CHRISM

    CHRISM

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    "Hello Phishfood",

    "Thank You" for your comments regarding my `Post` - it is `Good` to hear that some of my U.S. Colleagues agree with my opinions/recommendations -
    especially very experienced people - like Yourself.

    "Regards",

    CHRISM.
     
  20. Feb 25, 2011 #20

    D73

    D73

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    Report/detailed quote being done next.week. everyones comments are appreciated and have been noted.
     

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