Water leaks in units
Water leaks and mould are probably the most common emergency that a
condo owner will face in their apartments.
There are several main sources for these leaks.
Units above you
A unit's dishwasher or washing machine may spring a leak. The water
will flow down into the lower units and ruin the drywall along the
walls or the units' ceilings.
These leaks can also be caused by old or damaged toilet and bathtub
seals or leaking piping.
A small leak may first be detected when you see a small brown or black
spot in a bathroom or kitchen ceiling. This spot will gradually get
bigger and will be very soft. Putting a small hole in the ceiling, with
a screwdriver will allow the water to escape and will limit the damage.
You need to inform the superintendent or building manager to have these
leaks investigated, the leaks stopped and then the damages repaired.
On 30 June 2013, an owner on the 6th floor of 40 Scollard
the Yorkville area) created a flood when he pulled a water valve apart
shutting the water off.
The water poured down on to the units below and leaked down the outside
of the building. It took the plumber
over an hour to get there and by then there was an estimated $70,000 to
$100,000 of damage.
plumber told CTV that he is called
to do-it-yourself plumbing disasters a couple of times a month.
Since the owner did not hire a licenced and insured plumber, he may
have to pay the full costs himself.
When copper piping gets old, small pin holes will develop in the hot
water pipes, usually in the elbows. At first, the condo will repair a
few pin holes but that is a sign that all the hot water risers
Building envelope leaks
Leaks, caused by rain and melting snow, can be caused by a
roof, window seals or by cracks in the outside brickwork or in
pre-case concrete caulking.
Leaks enter through the outside walls, damages the insulation and mould
builds up. Drywall, ceilings and flooring can get damaged.
Often eastern winds with driving rain causes water to enter the east
side of apartment buildings.
These are extremely serious leaks and should be quickly dealt with.
However since they are very expensive to fix, many condos keep
putting off repairs.
& washing machines
The standard rubber hoses that come with dishwashers and washing
machines will deteriorate in a few years. It is far safer to install
stainless-steel reinforced water lines for these two appliances.
Also if too much soap is put into these front-load machines, they may
overflow onto the floor. Many owners start these machines on their way
out and find the flooding only when they return home.
down the sinks or toilets
There are a lot of things that should not be dumped down the toilet.
Female hygienic products and cat litter are part of a long list.
Some people dump kitchen grease and coffee grinds down the sink.
Kitchen and bathroom drain pipes are connected in stacks and if someone
plugs the stacks, then sinks or toilets can back up and flood several
Flooding can happen anywhere in a condo tower and massive flooding will
happen if a large diameter water pipe bursts. If a pipe bursts on the
top floors, as the water flows downwards, up to 100 units can get flood
damage, the elevators can be put out of action and the underground
parking garage may collect up to three feet of water.
If the electrical room is
in the basement, your electrical power may be cut off. When
pits get flooded, you lose the use of the elevators.
Any water leaks coming into your unit or escaping from your units must
be reported to the manager, superintendent or security immediately. You
have a duty to help limit the amount of damage that results from a leak.
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