Have you ever had to deal with water leakage at home? If so, you already know what a problem it is and the importance of quickly identifying and solving the problem. If you’ve never gone through this, know that it’s something that brings some annoyance (for you and even for your neighbors, depending on the extent).
There are cases where the leak is visible, such as when mold stains appear or when the coatings “burst”. The ideal is to have professional help to identify the source and what needs to be done to solve it.
We invited Higor Teixeira — Cyrela’s Technical Assistance Coordinator — to write this article and explain this matter in some detail. Are you interested in the topic? So stay with us and check it out below!
What are the main causes of a water leak?
Firstly, it is important to go through the construction steps of the apartments:
Apartment Construction: During the construction phase, builders use construction methods and technical standards in the construction of the properties, quality controls and tests are also used at each stage, all to prevent pathologies from occurring after the property is delivered. All work is performed and supervised by qualified professionals: Engineers, Masters, Supervisors, Technicians and Officials.
However, because it is a handcrafted work, failures can occur during this process. In cases of leaks within the warranty period and failure is detected in the construction stage of the property, the request is met by the construction company.
Apartment Renovation: After handing over the keys to the owners, the apartment renovation process begins and it is at this stage that we have identified the largest number of cases involving leaks in the autonomous units. The main reasons that leaks occur in this step are:
- Reforms carried out without the monitoring and inspection of a qualified professional;
- Derivations/alterations of the original hydraulic installations delivered by the construction company;
- Alteration of original coatings in environments with waterproofing, eg bathrooms;
- Lack of knowledge of the unit’s existing facilities;
We emphasize that all renovations in private units must follow the requirements of NBR 16280 – REFORM IN BUILDINGS, in addition to the presentation of ART and Descriptive Memorandum of renovation, the documentation must be submitted and submitted for approval by the condominium investigation.
In cases where the leakage comes from renovations carried out in private units, the owner is responsible for correcting the damage. Therefore, the importance of carrying out the reforms with qualified professionals, in this way, you can count on the guarantee of the contractor for the reform.
Regardless of the reason, it is essential to have a trained professional, as he will know how to say if the problem is really there and what the possible causes are.
For this, it is important to have the help of a qualified professional to identify if there is, in fact, a water leak and, subsequently, why the problem arose in the property.
From there, he will be able to tell you what materials are needed and what actions should be taken to correct the problem as efficiently as possible.
What are horizontal and vertical leaks?
Before explaining the types of leaks, it is important that you understand a little better about how networks and pipes in buildings work. The horizontal has pipes that serve the apartments. The vertical is used to convey sewage and water to all floors.
In view of this, it is necessary to identify what actually caused the leak, and thus address the responsibilities.
- In general, when the resident is held responsible for the repair, the manager monitors the solution of the problem and mediates when the issue involves a neighbor.
- When the responsibility is assigned to the condominium, the manager is the one who goes after the resolutions.
However, these alternatives may vary according to the process adopted in each condominium.
How can water leakage be identified?
There is no cake recipe, as each case is evaluated individually. However, in general, we can say that the owner can identify (as is the case when stains appear) or through the work of a technician.
When you can’t see it, the situation gets a little more complicated. Still, there are some indications that the problem is there and needs to be resolved. See, below, which are the main ones.
More expensive water bill
This is one of the best ways to detect a leak at home. If the water bill has increased without any apparent explanation, it is a strong indication that there is a problem at home.
Odometer changing even without consumption
You can do a simple test to confirm a suspected leak. In this case, just close the water meter for a while (it can be for an hour or two, for example) and stop using any equipment that increases water consumption, such as flushing and faucets. Record what consumption is on the odometer.
After this period without using anything, go back to the odometer again and see what consumption is registered. If the number is not the same as before, it is a sign that there really is a water leak there.
Evaluation of a technician
On the other hand, if you believe that there may be a water leak, but cannot identify it on your own, the ideal is to call a specialized professional, who will make the appropriate assessments and say if there really is a problem and what should be done to solve it.
How to proceed when identifying a water leak?
In a general context, the first step in case of water leakage is to inform the liquidator so that he can take the necessary actions. From there, you should contact a company or a professional specialized in the subject. He will go to the site and carry out the necessary procedures to identify where the problem is and what the possible causes are.
If your property has undergone renovation, it is necessary to contact the person responsible for the services to assist in identification.
At this point, the identification and distribution of responsibilities with regard to repairs begins. Usually, the ideal path is to try to solve things in a friendly way — which is essential to avoid attrition with neighbors and condominium administration.
If this is not possible, a formal notification is issued to the resident responsible for the leak, stating that the solution needs to be adopted as a matter of urgency. This measure is important in case it is necessary to go further and seek legal measures to resolve the issue once and for all.
Despite bringing inconvenience to residents, water leakage can be solved with some agility, as long as it is quickly identified and actions are taken in a short period. Having a professional or a qualified team is essential for this to be done effectively. The sooner the efforts are employed, the lesser the waste of this resource and the financial losses will be (with the increase in the water bill and possible reforms).
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