Case Study

Residential Plumbing Leak Damage Analysis

Water Damage

recent engineering consultation involved the evaluation of water-related damages to a residence.

The Assignment 

EDT was asked to determine how long a plumbing leak had been in place.

EDT Analysis 

  • Water tests on construction materials such as drywall, nails, wood and metals.
  • During the tests, materials were subjected to constant contact with moisture to determine at what rate the materials would stain, degrade, corrode.
  • The results provide a conservative estimate for determining the direction of exposure to moisture; in particular, whether the exposure was short-term or long-term.

EDT Findings 

  • The area of origin for moisture damage was traced to an ice maker water line installed against a wood-paneled wall of the kitchen.
  • The water line had a small pin hole through which water was dripping at a slow rate. The water being absorbed by the surrounding wall materials.
  • The moisture exposure resulted in rotting of the wood paneling.
  • The metal lath was corroded, and the bottom of the wood framing was stained.
  • It was concluded that the rate of exposure to water was consistent with long-term exposure to moisture.
  • The damage was consistent with EDT tests indicating that constant exposure to moisture takes several months, and longer for wood to rot.