We were instructed by this central London managing agent to investigate why the lightwell was filling with water. This was a Grade II* listed building, where the client was understandably selective as to whom they allowed into the building to carry out works. Understandably, they wished to make a swift diagnosis and one that did not necessitate the erection of a full scaffold in the lightwell. Scaffolding that was fit for purpose would have had to have been brought ‘up and over’ and would be very expensive indeed. This is a great example where rope access is fast, inexpensive and highly effective. Not only can the survey be carried out from ropes, the repairs can also be effected from the same ropes.
We accessed the lightwell through the top floor terrace areas, and installed mobile weights to allow us to abseil over the edge, into the lightwell. We carried out a full survey of the lightwell and its pipework. One fault was clear and immediately spotted, however two leaks from the soilpipe were much harder to diagnose. We run clean water from the top floor level and upon close inspection of every joint and pipe fitting, we found trickles of water which over the course of time, were causing the lightwell to fill.
Over several days, we repaired all areas, all from ropes. The client and agent were delighted – especially as we power washed before we left.