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Al Launier
01-17-2016, 11:00 AM
The other day I decided to play some pool in my finished basement, something I hadn't done for perhaps a year. While walking around the pool table taking shots I noticed footprints on the carpet. Water! Looking around I noticed water stains on adjacent walls in a corner of the room. Bummer! There is a ceiling access panel in the same corner that I removed to find out what was going on. Just too tight with plumbing & wiring to really see much of anything, yet by reaching in I could feel wetness on my finger tips. Couldn't determine the cause of leakage.

The carpet & padding were both waterlogged, so I pulled up the carpeting & cut out a large section of padding & disposed of it - so heavy - what a mess!

I contacted the insurance co. & they recommended a local contractor.

When the contractor came over to evaluate the situation, neither he nor I could determine the cause of water entry. He left after 1 1/2 hours, planning to come back the following day which he did. In the meantime I opened up a couple of wall sections to expose the problem area further and continued to dry the carpeting & padding with an Air Mover that I had to buy. Water continued to enter the room overnight as it did since I first discovered the problem.

The following morning the guy came & after feeling around noticed the water was warm & upon further checking saw a screw stuck into a hot water pipe. It was a sheet rock screw that the contractor who finished off my basement, back in 1999, had used to secure the ceiling sheet rock & had unknowingly driven the screw into the hot water pipe for the baseboard heating system. All these years with the screw imbedded into the copper pipe it prevented any leakage. Yet, over the years the screw must have gradually rusted & loosened up, finally allowing the hot water to slowly leak out when ever the furnace fired up. The hot water added just enough pressure to force the water out around the screw. Problem solved.

Now I have to: dry everything out to prevent mold, replace the insulation, the sheet rock, the crown molding & wainscoting, the carpet & padding, paint the walls & moldings, and return the pool table to where it was & shim to level it.

What a strange event – never heard of a screw being driven into a copper hot water pipe & causing so much damage, but understandable. Now I have to find out in the insurance will cover this as they mentioned something about a “broken pipe” not being covered. Hope this isn’t true as it will be expensive, much more than a $1,000 deductible. Finished basements can be problematic!

Bert Kemp
01-17-2016, 11:14 AM
Sorry about all your problems but just think how bad it could have been when you reached into a wet area with electric wires in it:eek:

George Bokros
01-17-2016, 11:19 AM
We drove a sheet rock screw into a cold water line when we remodeled my son's bathroom. Showed up much sooner though?like about three days

I once took down a piece of cold air return, the flat sheet across two joists, renailed in the same hole and the next day I had a water leak.

Hope you are covered.

Brian Elfert
01-17-2016, 11:46 AM
Typically, insurance companies will not pay for the repairs to the leaky pipe, but they will pay for the damage caused by the water. My brother had a pipe leak in the ceiling in his finished basement. He had to pay for the repairs to the pipe itself while insurance paid for the damage caused by the water.

A co-worker had a friend of his child use the toilet and plug it up. When the friend flushed the toilet the flapper stuck open and thus the water overflowed the toilet. The resulting water caused major damage to the house by the time it was noticed. Insurance paid for all of the drywall and everything else that had to be replaced. (Nobody was in the house when the friend went inside to use the bathroom.)

Dan Hintz
01-18-2016, 8:21 AM
Pipes should have been far enough away from the face of the wall (or protected by a steel cover) to prevent such a thing... since it's all open now, I'd run through it all and make sure there aren't any other spots that might get punctured in a similar manner.