A leak from the sprinkler pipe had flooded a substantial area of the lobby and lower lobby of the newly constructed office development in London. It was confirmed that the timber floors, solid wood trim panel, stairs and plasterboard ceiling had all suffered significant water damage.
We were contacted by Francis Breen from Skanska who was the Construction Director on the project. He could remove the saturated timber flooring which would be the most expensive option. With an approximate 6-8 weeks lead-time on receiving the new flooring from a bespoke manufacturer in Italy, this could lead to penalties for exceeding the deadline or he could find a drying system that achieved their objectives, without the need for complete strip out and reinstatement and could be achieved within the given 3-week window.
We arrived on site at Fenchurch Street, London, within 3 hours of the call about the water damage, which was received just a few hours after the leak had occurred. By deploying advanced emergency building drying equipment we were able to stabilise the areas within the building. Because of the size of the affected area, we used a combination of inspection tools, thermal imaging and moisture readings, to establish the full extent of the trapped moisture which removed the need for destructive testing.
At the time of our visit, the resulting leak had caused visible water damage to the plasterboard ceilings, cupping to the hardwood flooring, delamination and moisture damage to the solid wood trim panels and stairs. The flood was still in Stage 1 (standing water)/Stage 2 (free water).
Emergency advanced drying equipment was installed at the London site to stabilise the area and start the building drying process. Due to the high level of finish and quality of the building materials, due care was taken with regard to drying the materials to prevent over-drying and warping.
Following Stage One/Two drying, a gentle drying method was required for the bespoke timber floors to avoid any heat damage or warping, whilst the materials were still showing high moisture content readings.
Francis Breen - Construction Director, Skanska
An advanced Low Grain Refrigerant system was used to gently remove the moisture from the timber floor. With lower moisture content and slowing drying rates, the decision was made to install a targeted DADS Mat System with precise drying controls to complete the final stage of the drying process.
The plasterboard ceiling around the source of the leak was beyond economical repair and was removed and replaced during the drying lifecycle.
The current drying requirements in the property put it in ‘Stage Three’ Bonded Water drying process (trapped in materials with low porosity like concrete, hardwood, and void spaces) which required:
Because most of the water was trapped within high-quality building materials, we recommended Injection Drying as it is a low-impact drying method which removed the need for extensive strip-out and reinstatement work.
Effective at extracting moisture from the air even at low temperatures, using a desiccant material. It works by blowing out dry air and absorbing the moisture from the area being dried.
High-pressure air turbine
This takes the dry air produced by the Desiccant dehumidifier and pumps it into the wall cavity under pressure allowing it to push past insulation and other obstruction.
Self-draining Refringent Dehumidifier
This is only required to deal with the wet air exhausted from the desiccant dehumidifier as there is no access to vent these externally.
Drying Mats (DADs)
DAD is a system that significantly improves the efficiency of existing Air Moving equipment to give much faster drying times and freeing up much-needed equipment for the next job. The DAD drying mats come in various sizes and can be used in conjunction with the Drymatic Dryer, Boost Box, Air Movers or dehumidifiers.
Monitoring and Estimated Drying Time:
We monitored the drying process every few days and took whatever action was required (e.g repositioning equipment and altering the type of equipment as required).
Our estimated drying time, based on the level of moisture reading and the drying method applied, was approximately 21 days and we successfully achieved this with time to spare for reinstatement and a successful handover for our client.
Drying Mats (DADs):
On the third week of drying, controlled DADs mats were deployed to the timber flooring to delicately restore the timber flooring as aggressive drying methods may have caused cupping and crowning. To avoid potential discolouration and the high cost of replacing a high-value quality building material, we used specialist drying mats to effectively restore the flooring in situ. Acceptable moisture levels were achieved and the client was extremely satisfied with the pre-incident condition results produced by a bespoke drying regime from CPL t/a Rainbow International.
The main risks identified with this process were:
We also provided a detailed Risk Assessment and Method statement in line with CDM Regulations.
Minor cosmetic repairs to wood panelling and timber flooring were required. However, if the emergency works were not carried out, it would have resulted in huge costs replacing timber panels/flooring and mould contamination in subfloors and surfaces.
Finding an effective building drying solution that avoided total strip-out and reinstatement, saved the customer excessive costs.
Here at CPL t/a Rainbow International, we are the local specialists in water damage restoration in London. When disaster strikes, we are the leading provider in the area, offering professional and reliable services for our customers. At CPL, we do things differently, we’re with you every step of the way to guide you through the challenging process. We don’t just stop at sorting the water damage, we have experience liaising with insurance companies and loss adjusters, and fight tirelessly to limit costs and disruption for our clients. That’s why we are the leading choice when it comes to water damage restoration in London.
Strip out and reinstatement cost
Total cost saving