First, let me thank our customer for letting us share the results of the leak detection carried out quite a while ago now.
Most of the leak detections we carry out follow pretty standard methods and the leaks are caused by only a few sources. Sometimes a real puzzle turns up and our engineers just love something to get their teeth into.
Our customer had reported an odd round patch of damp on the wall and had investigated themselves and tried another leak detection company without success…
Coming in after another company, always raises the stakes and the customer was not particularly happy at having already spent almost £1000 without a result…we had to get to the bottom of this…
The result was one of the most shocking and weird we have seen and we are sharing to warn that not all leak detection companies are equal and that others may not live by your standards.
The damp area was really clear and saturated, so our engineer carried out the full range of tests.
Thermal Imaging – Negative
Acoustic Detection – Negative
Pressure Test – Negative
Trace Gas – Negative
Drains – Negative
He had also discussed this leak with his neighbour and the leak detection company prior to us had been in and inspected the area on their side of the wall. They had carried out similar tests and all were negative…
At this point, a structural issue would be highly likely as the cause and this is the result suggested by the other leak detection company.
However, the evidence did not add up. The damage was too localised and only in 1 area. It also started too high on the wall.
No further testing had been carried out, but we are able to test the damaged plaster and determine what kind of water had saturated the wall…the results were very clear.
A red result in the smaller pot would indicate high nitrates, often from drains, but this was different. Normally the red is lighter in colour and there are no drains in the area, but this was blood red, it was an incredibly high reading and the yellow had become cloudy.
Our engineer started to inspect structurally the brickwork and finally the roof.
While the customers roof was sound, the neighbours was in a poor condition and clearly leaked, but why the high nitrates from rainwater?
Our engineer promptly knelt in the reason…the neighbours cat had been using the gravelled flat roof as a litter tray and was covered in faeces (yuk).
But if this roof was leaking enough to come through the wall then surely the neighbour would have damage and this would have been picked up prior?
With some persuasion we were able to get into next door, they were insistent that they had already been inspected.
The inside was shocking. Not only was it totally saturated, but it stank of cat waste.
It was clear that this had been a long time occurrence that they knew about and left their neighbour to struggle with.
We were able to assist in making an insurance claim and their house was restored to a clean state.