Plumbing Expert Witness Discusses Water Damage in Condominium

    plumbing expet witness discusses leak in condo This case involves a woman who owned a condominium. The woman discovered a leak beneath the sink in the bathroom of the master bedroom, which she reported to the doorman at her building and she had the leak repaired. The woman began to notice the toilet was leaking as well as additional water damage that started with a small area on the threshold leading from the hallway to the master bedroom, ruining her belongings and causing her to seek a professional to waterproof certain items until the flooding was definitively stopped. The water damage later spread to other parts of the floor. The moisture underneath the floor boards caused the wood to raise, swell, and buckle. Later that same year, the interior condominium walls, crown moldings, base moldings, doors and kitchen cabinets began cracking and warping. Water then began leaking from the heating and air conditioning vents into the woman’s condominium. The woman’s condominium had been having problems receiving adequate heating and cooling. The woman notified the management about the water damage and the management told her that the water damage came from a NIBCO CPI PEX piping leak under the sink in the master bedroom and that it was her responsibility to pay for the repairs.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Could a leak near a bathroom sink cause extensive water damage to a condominium?

    Expert Witness Response

    In cases like this, involving water damage in a condominium, it is usually necessary for the condominium management to hire an investigator to determine if the water damage was caused by a central plumbing breakdown. In some of these cases, there will be water damage in several units caused by various leaks in the plumbing system. These leaks are sometimes caused by rusting steel pipes in the building that need to be replaced. Also, the heating and air condition system in the building may need to be renovated. In cases involving plumbing problems in condominiums, the maintenance and insurance responsibilities are usually divided between unit owners and condominium associations. If the water damage to a condominium unit is caused by a slow-leaking pipe that does damage over an extended period of time, this is usually a maintenance issue. In cases involving maintenance issues, the condominium ownership documents will usually specify who is responsible for paying for the water damage. If the water damage is caused by a part of the individual condominium unit, the cost will usually have to be paid by the condominium owner themselves.

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