By Brendan Rees
Mel Wilson and her family know how lucky they are to walk away unscathed after their ceiling collapsed, spilling insulation onto the floor just days before Christmas.
Ms Wilson said she was walking down the hallway of her Lynbrook home when the ceiling “completely dropped” without warning in the lounge room about 9am on Sunday 16 December.
She heard dad yell for help as he was lying on the couch, and had “to free himself from the plaster.”
“I couldn’t get to him…he just had to break himself free from it,” she said.
“I could hear him, I thought he was OK but it was only when he was yelling out for help that I realised he’s actually stuck under there.”
Ms Wilson said the plaster hit her dad’s head and shoulder but luckily he wasn’t injured.
“He pretty much laughed it off…it was a bit of a shock to the system. He was just lying there watching TV. He saw it all happen really all within seconds.”
Ms Wilson recalled the incident happening “all at once,” after hearing a “crack” sound. “I turned around and see all the rumble coming down.”
“I personally didn’t hear a big bang. I think throughout the shock and adrenaline I probably just didn’t focus on it.
“When you look at the roof you can see all the glue spots but there’s no actual plaster stuck to it.”
A few items were broken but no major damage, Ms Wilson added. “We have cabinets and stuff in our lounge room and thankfully that was all fine.”
“Somehow the Christmas tree and the presents survived.”
Ms Wilson said her family have had to get rid of the couches as they were “completely covered in insulation.”
The family bought the home new when it was built in 1999 by Pioneer Homes, which has since been bought out by another company. “Not really sure what we can do from here really,” Ms Wilson said.
“The SES took all the plaster away. They filled up four bins full of insulation, and then we had to go in and clean up the rest of it.”
In a statement, Victoria Building Authority spokesman Murray Smith advised prospective home buyers to organise a professional inspection to help make sure the home is safe and meets building regulations.
“While a pre-purchase inspection will cost you money, it can save you from nasty and often costly surprise repairs down the track,” he said.
“Cracks in brickwork and plaster, mould, rising damp and structural wear and tear can be hidden by a fresh plaster and paint job that may only be discernible to the trained eye.”