What happens when the water tank in your attic begins to slowly leak, or the pipes in your loft burst? Though the two scenarios are very different, the reality is that if the leaking tank goes unnoticed for long enough, the end result is the same: a destructive deluge unleashed from above, seeking the quickest route down. You could end up with a collapsed ceiling and water-damaged belongings. Whatever you have stored in your attic will inevitably come crashing down, and if that is not enough, your structural walls might be completely saturated. Under the right conditions water can be as destructive as fire.
In the water tank example, it will take some time before any damage is done as water has to accumulate before it becomes heavy enough to cause the ceiling to give way under the weight. In the burst pipe example, the water can burst without warning and if a substantial part of your ceiling becomes too heavy to support itself, the ceiling will collapse. In both cases, the structural walls will absorb much of the water before the ceiling collapses, ensuring a great deal of water damage to the floors below.
It’s a pain
First off, you have to call in the experts to deal with this catastrophe. They will clear the debris and then go about measuring just how much water the walls have absorbed in order to establish how long the process of drying the walls will take. They will strip the plaster and bonding from the walls. Fans and humidifiers might be sufficient to dry the walls, but if they are highly porous, the drying process might require a lengthier and more complicated solution. It is important to dry the walls as quickly as possible to prevent the foul smell of stagnant water mixed with building materials from penetrating your entire house.
In addition to all the inconvenience and schlep, recovering from a collapsed ceiling is an expensive process. It’s made much easier if you have comprehensive home emergency insurance cover. Contact Surewise to find out more about our cover for a range of home emergencies, including burst pipes and boilers.