Water may be essential to life, but it can spell destruction for your home. Water damage can cause all sorts of headaches for homeowners, but a lot of the long term issues can be prevented if the damage is treated quickly. Of course, the first thing you need to do when you discover a leak is to stop it, if you aren’t able to stop it yourself call an emergency plumber. Once the leak has been repaired you can start assessing the damage. In some cases, the damage from an escape of water can be quite minimal, but in others, it may be severe enough to cause structural damage. It’s important to deal with water leaks quickly, mainly because the damage can be worse than is visible, resulting in mould growth, wet or dry rot the longer the longer it is left. But what exactly do you do after you’ve had a major leak in your house?

What Is A Major Leak?

Let’s start with the basics. In terms of definition, there are a few things that separate major leaks from minor leaks for a tradesman. A minor leak is anything that causes:

  • Staining or a small amount of water penetration.
  • Intermittent leaking that is containable.
  • Minimal property damage – staining to the walls or ceiling, non-permanent damage to furniture and fittings all caused by clean water.
  • Running external overflows.

However, a major leak looks more like this:

  • Water running in the property that can’t be contained.
  • Persistent and constant leaking, with no let up of flow.
  • Water running persistently through electrical fittings
  • Dirty water causing permanent damage (by dirty water we mean waste water, not clean water that has picked up debris on its journey).

Generally, if you’re having a major leak, you will know about it fairly quickly. These will often require a plumber to

Leak Detection

It may not always be obvious where moisture or damp is coming from in the property, which may mean instructing a leak detection service to help establish the cause.  This could involve using a plumber to undertake a pressure test, listening test or even a dye test to locate a leak. A Thermal imaging camera may be used to detect a leaking pipe in a solid wall or floor, or Salts analysis tests to either rule out or confirm rising damp. Moisture maps using a moisture meter, are useful in determining the spread of the damp and can also help in pinpointing the source.

Drying

With most leaks, there is almost always an element of drying needed. For example, imagine a water pipe in your upstairs bathroom burst, causing flooding in the upper room and also permeating down into the living room ceiling and walls. If this happens, you will need to dry out the room before you can carry out any repairs.

There are various methods of drying following a leak, if the leak was only minor, a dehumidifier may be installed to speed up the drying process, and help to stop the spread of damage caused by the water. Some minor stripping out works may be necessary to remove damaged material.

If you have had a major leak effecting numerous rooms in your property, then specialist drying equipment may be needed. This could include Thermal dryers that apply heat as well as dehumidification to the wet building, along with air movers and dehumidifiers which will help to extract moisture from deep within walls and floors

Restoration

Once the property is dry, you can then work on cleaning, sanitising and restoring any damage. This could be as simple as stripping the walls and applying new wallpaper, or it could lead to more extensive works like re-plastering, replacement of joinery or floor finishes, or even replacement structural timbers such as floor joists, if they have been affected by rot. Minor or major, the goal of restoration is to bring your home back to the state it was in before the leak occurred.

At Goodyer, we provide a full range of drying and restoration services for domestic properties across the south. Our experts will take the time to understand where your leak is coming from and ensure it has been repaired before moving on to repairing the damage. We work with small or large scale water leaks and will recommend the most effective drying solution for your unique property. For more information, just get in touch with our team today.