Leak tracing & repair
All damage caused by leaks from pipes is usually covered by insurers whether it’s a bath waste, feed pipes to hot or cold water, incoming cold water mains or central heating pipes.
Sometimes you may have a leak which is causing walls and ceilings to become damp but you don’t know where it is coming from. This is where we can help with trace and access works with costs covered by insurers if you have trace and access cover.
Occasionally, you may have a leak from your central heating system but can’t see any damage but you know there’s a leak because your boiler is losing pressure. Insurers tell you to get the leak stopped but you need to take up floors or tiles to get to it. We can help by estimating the costs of all disruptive works to find the leak and convince insurers to pay.
We were asked by the landlord of the property to investigate 3 possible leaks in his flat as he had visible damage in several areas to walls and flooring. The leaks were not visible but only the damage. There was also a damp smell throughout the flat.
The client was told by his insurers that he had to find the cause of the leak(s) and get it stopped but he had been unsuccessful in getting his plumbers to identify the cause. His worry was that quite a lot of damage would have to be done to find where the leak was coming from and as the property was tenanted he wanted to minimise disruption.
HOW WE HANDLED THE CLAIM
The leak had been identified as coming from behind the wall tiles in the shower cubicle due to a failed joint in the cold water feed. We accordingly prepared a scope of works with costs for the insurer to fully access the leaking pipe, dry the areas which had become wet and then carry out all repairs.
In our meeting with loss adjusters on site we explained the order in which works were to be carried out and explained that to access the leak, tiles would have to be hacked off and that as a result all tiles in the shower room would have to be replaced as our client wanted to avoid any mismatch. Once the claim was approved we liased with tenants throughout all the works keeping the landlord informed at each step. The landlord only came to the property at the end to sign off all the works once completed.
The client who lived in a semi-detached house noticed her boiler pressure dropping to zero within 30-60 mins after topping up resulting in no heating or hot water. Damp was visible in an under stairs cupboard but nothing else. Our leak detection engineer explained that the leak was probably in a central heating pipe and that gas tracing of the leak would allow us to pinpoint the location. A leak detection survey was done by the client for which she had to pay but as she had trace and access cover in her policy we explained that this should be refundable after the insurance claim was agreed.
Given that the leak was at the entrance to her kitchen and this area would have to be dug up she was worried that she would not be able to use her kitchen for a few weeks and might need to move out of the property and that this would result in inconvenience and costs. A secondary concern was that the leak had caused damage to next door’s wall decorations and she was getting complaints from her neighbours.
HOW WE HANDLED THE CLAIM
Following the leak detection survey, we assessed the trace and access works and repairs needed to get to her leak and complete repairs. After our report went off to insurers, we met the insurer’s loss adjuster on site to agree the costs of all works to get the property back to its pre-loss condition. We also agreed for hotel costs to be paid by insurers during works. Our surveyor visited the client’s neighbours and offered to assist with sorting out her damage under her own insurance policy but as a no fault claim, with costs to be paid by the client’s insurers. Our contractors carried out repair works to both properties keeping our client and her neighbour both happy.
The client was a landlord whose tenant was a young family. There was a slow leak from the deck-mounted shower mixer on her tub which had caused the ceiling to fall through in her hallway. The walls had become water-stained and the carpet was damaged.
As the mother in the family of the tenant was expecting a baby, the landlord was concerned about how long it would take to agree costs with insurers and how long the works would take as she it would not be practical to re-house the tenant.
HOW WE HANDLED THE CLAIM
We attended the client’s property to survey the damage and within 48 hours had prepared a detailed schedule of costs to submit to insurers. The insurer wished to have a comparative quotation from their panel contractor so we prepared a blank scope of works for their contractor on which to quote. We were able to match the price of the insurer’s contractor as our client was keen to use our tradesmen to carry out her repairs. Once costs were agreed, the very next day we arranged for our drying contractor to install dehumidifiers in the property. Once moisture levels were down to an acceptable level decoration works were started at the property within 48 hours and finished within 2 weeks. The landlord was kept in the loop along the way and the tenant was happy that we were able to work around her.
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