Most everyone has seen home renovation shows on TV; and by and large, it seems the bathroom is the worst offender for “hidden” problems in the home. Some of these issues are due to age – and some are due to contractors that cut corners, thinking that the problems will never be found anyway, so why waste the time? The following are the most common problems you may find when renovating your bathroom.
- My floor is solid – isn’t it?
Once you take up the old black and white tile in your bathroom, you may find that the contractor or builder for your home played fast and loose with the idea of “floor framing.” You may find floor joists that have been notched to fit pipes and such in, which essentially leaves the floor not structurally sound. This is essentially important if you are laying tile, which needs a stiff flooring, otherwise it will crack.
- Old corroded plumbing
This is an age issue; cast iron or galvanized drain lines, and galvanized water supply lines, can corrode just from Father Time. Renovating your bathroom is an excellent time to take care of these issues, which can cause major problems in the future – corroded pipes can crack, which can then lead to a wet floor – or ceiling.
- Plumbing not done correctly
When you begin your renovation, you might just find a maze of pipes going everywhere – and nowhere. You might find pipes that don’t connect to each other properly, causing potential leaks, or extra pipes that are completely unneeded. (Perhaps they were installed for a future bathtub or sink that never came about?)
- Tile tub/shower surrounds not waterproof
Tile tub and shower surrounds must be waterproof – but this is almost never checked by home inspectors. To properly waterproof your surrounds, you need to install waterproof membrane in behind the tile and grout, as these, by themselves are not waterproof.
- Bathroom drainage not working
Ever notice when you are having a shower that you end up with a puddle at your feet, rather than having that water drain nicely? This is the perfect example of a drain that is either clogged, or not working somehow. Even if you are not renovating your bathroom, you can easily check the first part of the pipe to see if it needs to be cleaned – just take out the top of the drain, and see if there is any hair or particles stuck there.
- Vent fan not working
Vent fans may make noise – but they don’t always work. Do you find yourself having to wipe the mirror after a shower or bath, even with the fan on? An easy way to check if your fan is working properly is to place a piece of toilet paper underneath the fan – if the paper sticks to the fan (when it is on), then it is working properly.
Mold has to be one of the most common problems ever found in a bathroom renovation – even for newer homes. Bathrooms are naturally moist environments, which mold loves to grow in. The causes for mold can be any number of reasons, including a fan that doesn’t work or tub/shower surrounds that are not waterproof.