Sunday 31 January, 2016 by Uncle Spike
Ok, hands up who’s ever owned a house and had a leaky ceiling at some point or other? Most of us have I guess; it’s part and parcel of home ownership. Or perhaps it’s just the bloke upstairs having a laugh at our expense when watching us struggle with getting it fixed…
A few months back, when we experienced the first few deluges of autumnal storms battering the mountains here, we started to see a drip, drip from the ceiling close to the front door. Hmm, not good, but for the life of me I couldn’t work it out. With a solid steel and concrete conscription solid floors, underfloor pipes and all covered in thick ceramic floor tiles, such an event is not something to be tackled head on. It’s not like lifting a carpet and a few floorboards in the room ‘above’ and going “Ah, there it is!”
There was no sign of anything untoward in the bathroom above, but there again, to tell I’d have had to start removing tiles (floor, wall or both) and grab the big impact driver from the depot to start tearing into the walls or floor – with no guarantee there was even a leak there to start with (apart from the pipe damage that was likely from me ‘attempting’ to find one).
A few well placed buckets did the trick, and patience held out. Three days after the storm had passed, the leak stopped… Aha, so not the bathroom then 🙂 I then proceeded to lift roofing tiles in two areas where a problem might have lain undetected for a while. The problem with water is that it takes the easiest route, which does not mean the most direct, so an internal leak point plays no correlation to the source – well, that was the theory anyway.
Nope, no roofing problems – plenty of birds nests though. Eventually I found a problem two floors above, and four metres in another direction from where the water had appeared! A broken plastic sump from an open balcony rain drain had split (under the grill, and so water was slowly seeping down through the concrete, into the outer wall, down to the next level’s concrete floor, trickling along with gravity until pooling over the front door, then seeping through after perhaps two days after the first rains.
But as the title says, Gotcha!
Two hours of ‘attacking’ the tile and then the concrete underneath saw any residual aggression from that weekend dissipate as I managed to get to the route of the problem (1st photo), and then fix it (2nd photo). By the time the 3rd photo was taken, there was just two hours remaining before the next storm hit. Fingers crossed!!!
As with the water originally seen downstairs, it took a few days before the level of confidence was raised to utter a weak yet mutedly triumphant “Yay!” No more water, so no more leak. It was that spot after all…. albeit pretty illogical on the surface 🙂
Life is there to test us, right?