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Old 08-27-2013, 04:56 PM   #1
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Plumbing Leak Distorting Latex Paint into Bubble, Evidence of HOT Water?


I'm an apartment dweller. I have an intermittent leak coming from my ceiling. Owner (cheap) sent unlicensed plumbers (two separate comapnies) to look at it but they cannot find the source.
During one leak episode the water ran down behind the latex paint on the wall evidenced by distortion of the paint ... ripples leading down to a sagging water filled 'bubble'... then when the water stopped actively leaking it left it's evidence in the form of latex paint stretch marks.
One of the plumbers said that only a HOT WATER leak will cause latex paint to distort or form a bubble like that.

Is this true?
Can one rule out cold water as a source of the leak?

This is important as the owner is telling me that he thinks the source of the leak is brickwork that is cracked and needs pointing a couple stories above. I've seen the cracks in the masonry, but I've also seen the leak not manifest during heavy rains, yet on the contrary manifest a day or two after rain.

Thanks a bunch.

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Old 08-27-2013, 05:16 PM   #2
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Plumbing Leak Distorting Latex Paint into Bubble, Evidence of HOT Water?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovegasoline View Post
I'm an apartment dweller. I have an intermittent leak coming from my ceiling. Owner (cheap) sent unlicensed plumbers (two separate comapnies) to look at it but they cannot find the source.
During one leak episode the water ran down behind the latex paint on the wall evidenced by distortion of the paint ... ripples leading down to a sagging water filled 'bubble'... then when the water stopped actively leaking it left it's evidence in the form of latex paint stretch marks.
One of the plumbers said that only a HOT WATER leak will cause latex paint to distort or form a bubble like that.

Is this true?
Can one rule out cold water as a source of the leak?

This is important as the owner is telling me that he thinks the source of the leak is brickwork that is cracked and needs pointing a couple stories above. I've seen the cracks in the masonry, but I've also seen the leak not manifest during heavy rains, yet on the contrary manifest a day or two after rain.

Thanks a bunch.
It is not true. Any water can cause paint to sag or bubble.

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Old 08-27-2013, 05:22 PM   #3
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Plumbing Leak Distorting Latex Paint into Bubble, Evidence of HOT Water?


Thanks Toolseeker.

If what you state is true then it's useful knowledge on two counts:
1) not limiting the source of the leak to hot water
2) disqualifying the 'plumber' as incompetent to perform the tasks of his stated profession.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:54 PM   #4
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Plumbing Leak Distorting Latex Paint into Bubble, Evidence of HOT Water?


if either was leaking they would be consistant...do you have neighbors above somebody is turning water on and off tub,leaking faucets into the cabinet areas...then a missed one the hand sprayer on a kitchen sink leaking down the hose when not in use...knock on some doors
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:43 PM   #5
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Plumbing Leak Distorting Latex Paint into Bubble, Evidence of HOT Water?


You really need to determine what is above you in the area of the leak. There are a couple problems here 1 if the source of the leak is not evident then walls need to be opened up. 2 Sagging paint is just a beginning that water that was behind the paint went somewhere probably soaked into the drywall. This could end up causing you a lot bigger problems. Make sure he is aware of this the longer it goes the potential for larger more costly problems.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:34 AM   #6
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Plumbing Leak Distorting Latex Paint into Bubble, Evidence of HOT Water?


If it was hot water. one would assume it would be constant, as it was coming from a pressurized pipe rather than a drain. leaks can be troublesome to spot. they are often coming form a remote area and running along the framing. Also they may not leak enough each time to be noticeable.
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:07 PM   #7
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Plumbing Leak Distorting Latex Paint into Bubble, Evidence of HOT Water?


Unfortunately, since you have had a recurring leak, you most likely have a mold issue as well.
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:50 PM   #8
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Plumbing Leak Distorting Latex Paint into Bubble, Evidence of HOT Water?


The leak started one month ago.
It manifested as a glistening horizontal tongue that spread horizontally for about a foot or so along the wall/ceiling seam. Then nothing. Some days later it reactivated and spread further horizontally and then a section advanced perpendicularly across the ceiling along a drywall joint, eventually extending to about 5' in length with a brown water stain. At that time the leak also sent a glistening tongue down the wall from the ceiling ending in a water filled sac or 'bubble' about three inches in diameter about five feet down the wall.

Inspection in the apartment immediately above (I was not present during the inspection, so this is hearsay) showed significant water damage at ceiling/wall over a window, likely caused by damaged window lintel/defective pointing at the lintel; however these lintel areas were replaced/repaired/pointed 15 months ago on both my apartment and the apartment above. The tenants above appear comfortable living with leaks and defects so I'm uncertain if the water damage is from previous years or more recent. The owner simply painted over the defect area with gloss paint, essentially masking the damage. So now it's not possible to use that for further diagnosis.


First 'plumber' thought the lack of external window sill caps (see pic) on the apartment above is cause of leak into my apt (but frankly the water never really pools on the outside window ledge in this part of the building) and wanted to wait until a heavy rain to see the result. Heavy rain did not result in a leak. However, a day or two after a rain with very high summer temps, I noticed the leak spreading at 2am and 5am. I could hear a slow 'drip, drip, drip" inside the wall, describing sounding like a drop of water hitting an aluminum pie plate. I contacted the superintendent and he put his ear to the wall and heard it also ... it was very slow, maybe one drip every 5 or 10 seconds.

So the leak started stooped, then reactivated many days later. SO I'm not getting the leak directly during a rain as far as I can tell. We inspected a defective rain gutter which is clogged 1.5 stories above and oriented directly over the area of the leak (leak is 2 feet in from exterior wall) with pooled water remaining for many many days as well as significant cracks and mortar damage (see pics). I suspect also a possibility of the old cast iron(?) drain pipe leaking connected to the gutter and running just inside the building walls.

Anyway, building manager is calling the leak 'fixed' (although no work was performed!) and now claims it's not the window sill caps but pointing near the gutter. He wants to come in, patch the hole in my room and paint it, then have a pointing guy fix the mortar next week.

????
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:02 PM   #9
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Plumbing Leak Distorting Latex Paint into Bubble, Evidence of HOT Water?


Leaks do not fix themselves. This leak will return as far as the damage the manager deserves whatever happens. For your sake document everything, who you called, what time who came and looked and what was done or in your case what was not done, everything.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:11 PM   #10
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Plumbing Leak Distorting Latex Paint into Bubble, Evidence of HOT Water?


The window has issues water could be getting in between the concrete and the wood. They are really letting this place go. What a waste.
Hate to see quality stuff like slate roofing (that should last 100+years) treated like that.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:27 PM   #11
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Plumbing Leak Distorting Latex Paint into Bubble, Evidence of HOT Water?


The new building owner and his agents are amongst the most corrupt individuals I've ever encountered. Disbarred attorney. Nothing but systemic lies, disinformation, subterfuge, deception at every and all encounters including maintenance issues ... on the order of psycho-pathology. Every related associate is of the same type ... birds of feather.

Piss down your back and tell you it's raining, right to your face and insist upon it.
owner is not primarily interested in repairing things or if things are up to code, but rather in spending as little money as possible.

I'm trying to get some insight into what the cause of the leak is so I can counter this behavior.

I've had a mildew smell entering my room since the rectangular hole was cut in the ceiling.
Getting them to acknowledge and deal with any of that is next to an impossibility. However, I'm wondering if something like a diluted bleach mixture sprayed up there would help kill the mildew before the hole is closed up?

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Last edited by Lovegasoline; 08-29-2013 at 03:36 PM.
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