In the pipeline - Information Blog #43 - Water Leaks Caulfield

November 17 2015

webbplumbing Services leak detection technician was sent to a large Owners Corporation property with a brief to find and fix multiple water leaks​ and the following are the job notes from our attendance.


We attended the property on 10th of November 2015 and inspected and discussed the several areas of water damage to the eaves/soffit and it’s associated cement sheet facade.

We then carried out spray testing and traced 4 sources of water ingress and fixed 3 of the 4. We also inspected unit 23 which has water leaking into 2 rooms and their balcony soffit.

FINDINGS/ACTIONS -Inspected eave and could see at least 3 larger areas where water leaks appear to be active and several smaller leaks close to soffit edge

LEAK 1 (Near U18) -Cut 2 access holes in eave and carried out spray testing and found that the box gutter at edge of the balcony was leaking in 2 areas -Cleaned and silicone sealed both box gutter joints and re-tested and fixed both leaks -These box gutter joints could only be accessed from ceiling cavity

LEAK 2 (Near U23) -Cut one access hole and spray tested balcony and found water to be leaking in where balcony edge tiles meet edge flashing & where balcony support post penetrates this flashing -Cleaned joints with alcohol solution and caulked approximately 2 linear metres of edging -Re-tested area with spray testing and this area of water ingress is fixed

LEAK 3 (Below U28 Entrance) -Utilized existing vent hole and spray tested area where expansion joint and grout lines are cracked and water leaked below -The expansion joint and associated grout lines are in poor condition and membrane has failed in this area, no repairs were made

LEAK 4 (Bedroom, Living Room & Balcony Eave U23) -Was asked by owner of U23 - Toshi Uwabo - 0437 615 006 to look at where water has been leaking into his unit when we have heavy rain -Could see long term water damage to living room and bedroom ceilings as well as balcony soffit -All of the damage was along the Eastern side of this unit and was told that water last leaked in the 1st week of November -I could see that the balcony of the unit above U32 is directly above the area of water damage

Causes of Water Leaks Found on 09/12/15 1. Leaking balcony guttering. 2. Cracking of grout lines and inadequate expansion joints. 3. Inadequate caulking along edge of balcony tiles.

Other Possible Causes of Water Leaks A. Balcony membrane failure. B. Poor caulking along skirting tiles and balcony and adjoining flashing. C. Capillary attraction between vertical balcony edge facade and soffit. D. Cracking in balcony walls. E. Cracking and missing grout. 

Discussion Points 1. We are to cut access holes in soffit and trace and fix leaks. 2. Provide a quote to clad facade at balcony edge with colorbond flashing. 3. The need to fix all leaks so soffit can be reinstated. 4. The need to fix leaks  so no more structural damage occurs. 5.  I am to attend property during or immediately after heavy rain.

NOTE -Timbers below balcony are  rotted and evidence can be seen of long term water damage.  -Balcony has dark grey tiles and existing expansion joints are not adequate.

RECOMMENDATION 1. Reinstate grout and restore expansion Joints. See quote 77663. 2. Install Colorbond fascia cladding.See quote 77664. 3. Confirm cause of water ingress into unit 23. Cost estimate $388.00 + GST + Restoration. 4. Inspect property during heavy rain and confirm leaks are fixed.

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