Recently, we had a real plumbing leak disaster in our Windermere, Florida home. Here is the nutshell version of the story with some real life advice to help others in similar situations…
Our daughters bathroom developed a decent leak due to a poorly installed toilet flange. The toilet never seated properly and recently started leaking, causing a moderate amount of damage to the bathroom and our garage ceiling below. We hired Advanced Drying Systems Incorporated, Tampa, FL to remediate. A professional water-dry company does just that, they dry everything out in hopes that mold will not occur. We originally wanted to keep the responding company’s identity anonymous however, as this situation was negligence, in our opinion, but the intent was not malicious. They removed the toilet, cut the sheet-rock, added some fans to help dry the area.
Our home is newer, built in 2001. Therefore the house is fully equipped with pex pipe. Pex is a very chem-resistant flexible water pipe. It is easier to install and will not become brittle like PVC type pipes will over time. The only caveat is that the fittings are very specific, require special tools and are not compatible with PVC or C-PVC fittings. This is not your old “blue-glue” type piping.
In the process of drying the bathroom, Advanced Drying Systems Incorporated, Tampa, FL (not a licensed plumber)decided the vanity had to be removed, although it was not wet or damaged. They decided to cut the plumbing valves off completely, remove the vanity and then cap the open pipes (sounds like a good plan). –You must be a licensed plumber or work for a licensed plumber to do this btw and a permit should be issued by Orange County, Florida– Well, the workers did as they described. They used PVC cement to attach C-PVC caps to pex style plumbing without letting us know these details.
What happens next
Well, that night as our lovely daughter slept in her bed-room the water was pushing on those ill-fated plumbing caps. Eventually one of them let loose!! This pipe, we estimate, pumped between 750 and 1000 gals of water into our daughters bathroom, bedroom, hall and our garage before we found out!
Between, the bathroom, the bedroom, hallway, personal effects, garage and exterior we experienced roughly $80,000.00 worth of damage due the negligence of the water-dry company! We hired Serv-Pro of Orlando to remediate this damage and have to say they did a fantastic job!! Kept us informed all the way, let us know what they can and can’t do and the pricing was very fair. BTW, they informed us that a water-dry company touching any of our plumbing would not be appropriate in any situation!
- Be involved through the process, DON’T ASSUME
- Know what type of plumbing your home has (PVC, C-PVC, Copper, Pex, etc…)
- Select contractors on reputation, not value for critical systems/issues
- Trust but VERIFY!
- Consider council when a contractor damages your property!
- REPORT UNLICENSED CONTRACTORS!!