Thankfully we purchased a home warranty with our house which in a mere three weeks we have used twice and has paid for itself 3 times over. Since we knew the warranty would cover the plumbing we had to work with them to get a plumber scheduled which ended up being highly frustrating. But in the end worth it because it meant our $700 dollar plumbing bill was really only a $60 dollar service call fee. A very good thing since we found out our warranty does not cover our ceiling damage.
Right away the plumber informed me our ceiling was toast. The ceiling in our whole downstairs is this ceiling tile which we assume is original to the house. Most of our plumbing appears to be behind it since our exterior walls, and some of our interior walls, are concrete block. To identify the leak he had to pull out several tiles to see what was going on.
Right away it was clear that there was some serious water damage behind them. They came out in crumbled pieces and were a soggy mess.
With a clear shot of the pipes above it didn't take long for our plumber to figure out our problem. Three connections in the galvanized steel pipes coming to/from the kitchen had leaks where copper had been connected to the galvanized steel. We bought this house knowing it had galvanized steel and we actually did a lot of research on galvanized steel plumbing. They tend to have a 50-60 year life span but can last well over 100 years particularly if the system is 100% galvanized with no copper connections. The biggest place problems tend to occur is where copper and galvanized steel have been connected. Something about the metals touch and increasing corrosion. We knew going in replacing plumbing would be in our future but we'd hoped it would all hold steady for 10 years until we could do a major renovation and just redo all the plumbing, flooring and ceilings at once. Meh, onto plan b, which will be to replace sections of piping as we need to/ have the opportunity to.
Our plumber ended up replacing this whole section of pipe with a new 25 year warranty pex piping which is apparently the latest and greatest thing in the world of plumbing. Who knew? I learn something new everyday I own this house.
Once piping was in place and water was on we were left with a big whole in our ceiling, a pile of old soggy tile and some decisions to make.
1. How do we fix our ceiling? They don't make this tile anymore so patching the whole just isn't an option
2. If we have to redo the whole ceiling do we just go ahead and redo all the plumbing in this room now?
3. How do we demo this thing? Is it asbestos? how do we find out?
Our first step is to figure out what we are dealing with regarding the ceiling and any possible asbestos. We are having a contractor come out who has experience and can tell us what we are dealing with. If it's not asbestos we will grab some dust masks and crow bars and demo it ourselves. If it is...we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Until then I'm not allowed in this room because you can't be too careful when you may have asbestos on your hands especially when you are married to a loving and over protective plaintiffs attorney.:)