Plumbing Leak Rots Wall | West Vancouver

Abstract: West Vancouver Home Inspector note on plumbing leak and consequential damage and extensive repairs.

Photo: Water damage to sheeting and the stud walls looks like this. The wood can be stained black, decomposed to a spongy softness and easily flaked off with finger pressure.

Plumbing Leak

Recently a home owner in West Vancouver called us to evaluate damage from a plumbing leak. A contractor had already been at work to remove drywall, in order to find the leak.

Not an Easy Find

Originally the resident had noticed a musty smell and some surface mold growth in the basement bathroom. The contractor removed the drywall here, only to discover that the water was flowing down from the main floor.

At the main floor, the drywall was removed in the bathroom, only to discover the water was flowing from the upper floor!

At the upper floor bathroom, the leak was finally located. The contractor had cleaned up the damage and rot to the studs.

More Worry

The contractor had mentioned that the wall sheeting was not appropriate for era of the house (2012) and the home owner was concerned that the house may not have been built according to code.

Code Compliance

At this point EKAN Inspections was called to review the situation.

We do not review building construction according to the applicable codes of the date of construction. However we were able to advise the owner as follows:

The District of West Vancouver conducts building inspections of all houses during construction. One of those inspections is the framing inspection. Once the plumbing and electrical are ‘roughed-in’, the Contractor must notify the District for a framing inspection, prior to insulation or drywall being applied. Should there have been something amiss at this stage, the framing inspection would not have been approved.

I advised the owner to visit the District offices to confirm that an occupancy permit had indeed been issued. This permit confirms that all applicable permits were issued during construction, inspected and signed-off by the District, including the framing inspection.

Don’t Forget About Home Warranty

Furthermore, I advised the owner to locate their New Home Warranty Policy. This is good for 10 years as of the date of issue. In this case, if the house was built in 2012, there will still be a remaining foundation and structural warranty till 2022.

Unfortunately the water damage from a plumbing leak is only covered under warranty for the first two years, which would have expired by 2014.