Could damp walls resulting from a pretty serious leak be dangerous to the flat below mine later? Let me explain:
3 weeks ago a leak was identified in my flat. The water was gushing out of a pipe in the water cylinder cupboard pretty seriously, and we’ve no idea how long it had been like that (tenants were on holiday). Obviously we turned off the water, and next day a plumber came to fix the pipe. Visibly there was no damage in my flat, but in the flat below the lady apparently needed to have her hallway ceiling repainted, and her electrics checked. (It’s a leasehold block of flats, so of all of that would normally be managed via the buildings insurance taken out by the managing agent – or at least that’s how it should happen I believe…).
3 weeks down the line, my hallway now has damp marks – 4 pictures here:
So I have a few questions: • How bad is the problem – can you judge by the photos? • Given that the amount of water leaking out was pretty significant, where will it all have gone? Is it all sitting in the ‘crawl space’ between my floor and the flat below’s ceiling? Or must it have drained off elsewhere somehow? • Is it dangerous? What is the likelihood that the ceiling of the flat below will suffer future damage resulting from this water, possibly even cave in altogether? • With regard to insurance, is it too late now for me to claim my damp walls on the same insurance claim? I believe the managing agent was reluctant to make the claim, saying that the damage to the flat below was only £200 so no point in bothering, but presumably it could end up being a lot more given the above… • If I ask the managing agent to claim for my damp walls, and any repairs / water removal resulting, and they refuse (which sounds likely), who will be responsible if there is a bigger problem relating to that water in a few months time? • If they agree to make the claim, will the insurance company say that we should have told them 3 weeks ago? (Even though there were no marks on the walls then). • What would you do? I have a few options: 1. I can run a couple of dehumidifiers to see if they dry the walls. 2. I can pay for a professional tradesman to look at it (a plumber? Or another trade?) 3. I can request the managing agent to get their insurance to deal with it. (But they are already annoyed with me because the leak happened at all – as though it was my fault! :/ )
Cheers to anyone who can help with any of that. :)
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