Cracks In The Ceiling
August 29, 2013 8:41 PM Subscribe
Cracks in our concrete condo ceiling are leaking water from the channel to the dryer vent. Can we patch the concrete?
posted by fatbird to home & garden (8 answers total)
Our dryer vent in our condo unit is a channel in the concrete between our unit and the unit above. It runs about twenty feet with an 80 degree bend in it to get outside, where it vents over our balcony. When we run the dryer, we see water collecting at the vent and dripping out.
We have hairline cracks in the concrete along the channel, that appear to be normal concrete settling cracks to be expected in a nine year old building. Condensation is apparently building up in the channel and leaching out through the cracks when it gets too dense. When we moved in, the engineer doing our inspection pointed out foxing on our ceiling consistent with a water leak event, and advised us to keep an eye on it. It wasn't an issue until this summer, three years later, when the waterstained area became wet and started dripping water on our floor after we did laundry.
Tonight, the drop ceiling in our kitchen showed a water bubble that gave way when we touched it; I'd done two loads of laundry earlier that day. We pulled out a pot light and saw the same crack extending along the concrete there, along the channel's path, visibly wet and slowly dripping water, which I guess pooled and soaked through eventually.
After the summer incident, a dryer vent cleaning company recommended an expensive booster fan to replace the mediocre booster fan that came with the unit. We'll probaby do that, along with scoping the channel to see if there's any blockage (the vent guy physically probed the channel and pronounced it clear to the bend, and it had been cleaned by the same guys a couple weeks earlier as part of normal maintenance). But we're worried now that we know that condensation buildup is normal, and the crack extends where we can't observe dripping.
Is it possible to patch concrete cracks to reseal the channel? Is it possible to re-line or otherwise seal the channel to prevent water from getting into the cracks? Is there anything else we can do? How much cracking is normal in concrete? We're worried about our kitchen ceiling coming down suddenly.