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Water damage from common area walkway

By Bernia Visser on Thu, 15 Mar 2012 at 13:58

Good day!
I am the owner of a ground floor duplex (with a common area walkway and bachelor flat above me).
In June 2011 my tenant informed me that tiles were "popping" and lifting up in the downstairs living room and I went to repair it as I had a geyser (ground floor, under the stairs) which burst a few months earlier.
I informed the Body Corporate and they said that it was for my own account. The insurance would not pay for the tiles, as they said it was caused by the burst geyser and I took too long reporting it.
Fair enough.
Shortly after, my tenant reported excessive pealing on the wall of the staircase going to the second floor and we found a leaking waste water pipe(which the BC fixed as it’s in the cavity of the wall).
After another month or so more tiles started lifting in the upstairs bathroom and I also noticed damp and excessive pealing on the walls (just underneath the common area walkway) and damp on the carpet in the spare bedroom opposite the bathroom .
Again I informed the BC, who informed me that this problem already came from the previous Managing Agents (end 2010), who contracted a construction company to damp and waterproof the walkway above my unit (you can see the cavity into which the water drains). So according to them, the construction company did not do a proper job and had to come and repair the problem.
The construction company was toing and froing and eventually spun a story about their guarantee was voided as someone tampered with their work (lines of black paint was painted on a wall so that cleaners brooms did not make marks).
It also then emerged that the new BC could not find any quotes or invoices relating to that waterproofing being done, and the old BC just says they handed all documentation over…
I had to give my tenant notice, as tiles started popping up everywhere and it was not safe for him to be there and the carpet was smelling rotten.
I have had independent contractors and leak detection companies out, who all support the fact that the damage in the top half of my flat was caused by rain seeping in from the UN-damp/waterproofed walkway above my flat, but still neither the BC or the contractor will take responsibility and each time it’s some new technical point (between them) that comes up and is just left until I again start enquiring what is happening.
Now, already in the middle of March, the contractor now says that the scope of their work never included waterproofing the section my flat is in, but the section next to it…
(I've requested proof). Again I tried the insurance route but they will not look at the claim until the causing problem (the leaking common area walkway) is repaired and sealed and even then they cannot guarantee that they will pay out, as the problem is caused by maintenance (or lack thereof) and not an actual event – like a burst pipe or something.
Desperate to rent the flat out, I am now retiling, repainting and re-carpeting my flat (at considerable cost), but is this really my cost to bear?
We are heading towards another winter, and I can just see the exact same thing happening again in a few months’ time! And to add to my woes, we are changing managing agents the end of the month. So if this drags on (like it has for the last 8 months) will the new BC also just throw their hands up in innocence???
Please help!

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RE: Water damage from common area walkway

replied on Wed, 09 May 2012 at 11:43

- Do a thorough ionceptisn of your drywall.- Remove/replace any damaged or moldy sections with a water-resistant rated drywall such as Aqua-board or cement board. When installing drywall around a tub, make sure to keep it a minimum 1/4 inch up from the surface of the tub.- Remove any glue or debris from the wall to get a smooth flat surface. Make sure you have no protruding nails or screws.- Install shower surround following manufacture's instructions.

RE: Water damage from common area walkway

replied on Fri, 18 May 2012 at 10:15

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