How Serious Are Water Leaks?

West Vancouver Rental Suite in Distress

In January 2022 we received an inquiry from a tenant about water leaks into their suite and if the temporary remediation was adequate until repairs were made later in the year. We also received a video file from the tenant, from which we extracted the four photo clips above.

We replied as follows.


We did not visit the suite in person. All comments are based on the video review.

Existing Conditions

  • Walls are drywalled. 
  • Ceilings are wood, possibly tongue and groove.
  • Water stains are visible on the walls throughout the two rooms. Some stains are near the top. Some are all the way down the wall to the floor. Some floor stains are visible.
  • A Contractor applied (6 mm?) clear poly sheeting on the ceilings. This serves to divert any dripping water from the ceiling to the perimeter walls


  1. Water stains are indicative of water leakage. Mold can grow quickly on wet surfaces, especially on the back side of the drywall. Without demolition, the extent of organic growth is unknown. There is a real risk of airborne mold spores that could cause respiratory and other associated health issues.
  2. There are light fixtures in the ceiling, wall switches and wall receptacles. Water leaks in the ceiling and walls present an immediate safety hazard of electrical shock and fire hazard if water shorts out energized parts.


  1. The installation of the poly sheeting is a temporary measure, if repairs need to be delayed… but only for a vacant suite situation.
  2. Power to fixtures, switches and receptacles in the affected areas should be turned OFF to prevent any shock or fire hazard from occurring. 
  3. Due to the extent of the water staining, at present, we would consider this no longer a habitable or rentable suite and should not be occupied again until repairs have been completed. 

More Posts About Water Leaks