Dealing with damp in the Philippines – Bad plumbing

May seem a bit odd as its always hot here but the photo below is a typical example of damp getting out of control caused by a water pipe not being repaired and left to leak for months. It doesn’t take much water to cause long term problems for a property especially if left unattended. I may sound a bit over the top about damp but I dealt with it for years in social housing as one of the biggest problems in properties that often led to child illnesses as well as foundation problems for the building. Some were caused by the tenant but others were down to the original build of the property either way the problem needs to be dealt with!

damp in the philippines

The big problem with properties in the Philippines is generally they are built with concrete only. No membrane, no anti-damp treatment just slabbed straight from the ground up. Result being that in this photo you can see the water has started to rise up the wall and infact this photo is taken approx 5ft off the ground the rest of the problem is behind tiles although generally you will find these tell tale signs at skirting board level normally to say there is a problem. Generally its a burst water pipe and in this case it is. Yesterday although not my house I stripped out the pipe and replaced it as I can see this becoming a bigger problem left unattended at the same time with it being inside the bathroom there was risk of the tiles starting to fall off the walls as well an expense that was unnecessary for a little bit of maintenance. This morning dropping by to the location I can already see the water marks on the walls have dropped by around 3” as the wall has begun to dry out.

Who’s fault is it? first thing I will say on this try to avoid mixing types of pipes and fittings! on the junction causing the problem there was metal pipe (which I avoid using as its life is less than 5years in this climate) blue plastic pipe and black plastic pipe. The black plastic is inferior quality compared to the blue and as it was joined into a blue fitting it was leaking as it couldn’t make a good joint. On top of that there doesn’t seem to be any quick fit connections that are common in the UK and everything seems to need adhesive here which is a bit irritating especially as adhesive should be fitted onto clean dry pipe not leaking ones. Best advice is if plumbing stick to one type of pipe throughout the house and generally the blue plastic pipe is good for around 25 years if installed correctly. If you can install ducting or some other easy access method to get to any joints in the pipe work as they may leak at some point and nothing worse than smashing up tiles and concrete to get to the pipe.