This was the situation that Amy from Robina found herself in just before the New Year when she called us about a leak in her driveway.
Amy and her husband had bought a lovely home in a quiet little street in Robina, Gold Coast. Near to schools, sporting events at the Cbus Super Stadium and close to the Robina Town Centre for fantastic shopping and services.
Robina went through a property development boom in the mid-1980s which was around the time that Amy’s home had been built.
The ’80s were a boom time for things like the Sony Walkman. Our phone cord’s stretched for meters through our homes in an attempt to get some privacy to talk to our “crush” without our parents or siblings overhearing us. ALF was on TV and E.T. at the movies. MTV introduced shock jocks and Apple Macintosh became a fixture in many homes.
Golf course developers became overnight millionaires by enticing Japanese investment dollars.
Let’s not forget the many half-arsed builders of the time whose motto was “greed is good”. These builders were crooked as a butcher’s hook and they did their best to rip off as much as they could from unsuspecting homeowners.
Don’t get me wrong, not all builders were like this; there were many who built quality homes and put their customers before profit here on the Gold Coast. Sadly these decent builders were decidedly outnumbered by the fly-by-night builders who made a quick killing and closed shop before regulators could take action against them.
The reality is that tens of thousands of homes on the Gold Coast have been built like this and ultimately, it is the homeowner who suffers the consequences and cost. You see, the builder doesn’t actually build the entire home. They subcontract out the work to other specialty trades like painters, plasterers, tilers, plumbers and electricians. Sometimes, the builder may not build anything at the property and subbie out everything. The builder makes their profit on the difference between the cost of construction and the sale price to the client. Every cent saved during the construction phase is profit to the builder. This leads to builders selecting subbies who do the work at the cheapest price and unfortunately, the cheapest price is rarely the best quality.
As a local Gold Coast plumber, one of the most common plumbing-related problems we see is the shortcuts undertaken during the construction of homes. Pipes installed incorrectly, whereby water falls back to the fixture instead of flowing to the main council sewer drain. Or water lines buried under builder’s rubble with bricks, roof tiles and metal found amongst the material used to backfill the trenches.
Or in the case of Amy’s home in Robina, the main water pipe supplying the home was installed just a few centimetres below the ground and was so shallow as to be touching the driveway pavers lying directly above.
Three months prior to the Gold Coast Plumbing Company attending, Amy had another plumber repair a water leak under the driveway. As the pipe was shallow and directly under the pavers they had found the leaking water pipe quite easily and simply replaced a small section of the pipe. However, this was never going to be a long term solution to the problem.
You see, holes were developing along the entire length of the pipe. Mostly where the vehicles drove in and out of the garage and the pavers made contact with the water pipe.
Over the years, we have made all kinds of underground water line repairs.
One of my personal favourites was back in November of 2016 when we replaced the entire length of pipe under a driveway without cutting concrete for Michael and his family in Worongary.
The solution we offered Michael was one of three different options to repair the water leak and the option that Michael selected avoided cutting the driveway concrete completely.
In the present case, we were able to provide some information and options to Amy so she could make an informed decision that suited the plans for the future of her home.
To prevent unnecessary future callouts to repair the waterline, it was decided that the best option was to replace the entire waterline under the driveway.
We would install the new waterline in a deeper dug trench, thereby removing the new water line from contact with the driveway pavers entirely. The trench would then be backfilled with material to prevent damage from rocks and foreign objects in the ground.
Once we completed the plumbing work it was easy to pop the pavers back in place, leaving the property looking like there had never been a water leak and a pipeline replaced at Amy’s home.
Amy from Robina has the certainty that there will be no more underground water leaks requiring leak detection. Nor will there be any unnecessary costs for water line repairs and Amy also has the peace of mind that the work is backed by Gold Coast Plumbing Company’s Lifetime Workmanship Warranty.