Detecting the source of a ceiling leak
A client from Shropshire had noticed a discolouring on his ceiling. On closer inspection this appeared to be a ‘damp patch’. Within a short period of time the damp had started to spread and the client contacted his insurance company to report this. Our client needed someone to locate the source of a ceiling leak.
Even though the damp patch was obviously the result of a water leak, the source of the leak was not obvious. No water pipes ran close to the affected area and his insurance company advised him to employ a Trace and Access company. The client had Trace and Access cover as part of his home insurance policy, and could therefore claim back the cost of the Trace and Access work from his insurer.
A brief initial inspection confirmed our client’s belief that no water pipes ran close or adjacent to the damp area on his ceiling. We suspected that water was leaking from another location and subsequently tracking down towards the damp area on the ceiling.
We commenced the Trace and Access process with a thermal image scan of the area. This allowed us to quickly identify temperature differences on the surface of the ceiling. Analysing these temperature differences allowed our engineer to narrow down the source of the leak to a small area.
As part of the Trace and Access process, a leak normally has to be exposed. This makes the leak accessible so that it can later be repaired. Whilst we were confident in our identification of the source of the leak, we wanted to be sure. We used an endoscopic camera to examine the area from above. This would allow us to visually confirm the leak, before excavating the area ready for repair.
The endoscopic camera confirmed our suspicions. A small crack had appeared in a water pipe and the pipe had subsequently started leaking. Water had been dripping from the pipe onto a supporting beam below. This supporting beam ran across the length of the ceiling and had carried the water towards the lowest point.
We exposed the leak – allowing access, so that it may be repaired. It was evident that although the leak had only just become noticeable, it had occurred sometime ago. This had caused water damage to the supporting beam and other damp patches had started forming.
Our client employed the services of our leak and damage repair teams, who quickly repaired the leak and prepared a scope of repair works for review by his insurance company. Home repair works commenced shortly afterwards.