Modern families and homes use a huge volume of water in the bathroom. Therefore, the risk of water damage behind the walls and under the tiles is higher than anywhere else in the house. One of the most vulnerable surfaces to water damage in your home is that bathroom floor.
When moisture gets under the bathtub or between the shower liner and the wall, it supports mold and mildew growth. Over time and with continuous humidity, this leads to wood rot in walls and the sub-floor. Since bathrooms are used several times a day, with many hours in between uses, it might take a while to even notice the damage. Then it can be difficult to identify the source of water damage. Challis is here to help find and correct these problems.
The smell of mold or mildew is a surefire sign of water damage, but the tricky part is finding the location. If your bathroom smells musty, do what you can to improve the airflow. If a proper exhaust fan and ventilation system still doesn’t help, you probably have moisture build up walls or under the floor.
Look for visible mold and indications of opportunity for mold growth. Broken tiles, decaying grout or caulk and poor waterproofing may lead to moisture forming behind the tile, painted surfaces and wallboard. Since the mold and mildew are actually growing from the inside out, repeated scrubbing won’t help this problem. When there are gaps in your grout, shower spray or bath water may be seeping into the walls and sub-floor, causing mold, mildew and wood rot.
Next step, feel around for trouble. If a tile looks loose, check to see if the wall behind it has soft or crumbly spots. If your home was built with a wooden floor truss system, the sub floor is usually made of plywood, which forms the actual floor of your home. If this material is subject to moisture or hidden leaks, the plywood will rot and the floor will start to feel soft or spongy in places. Your toilet may also feel unstable (rocking) when you sit down.
Different Floors= Similar Problems
Hard tiles of ceramic or porcelain are inflexible. Therefore, it requires a strong, rigid surface beneath it to prevent it from cracking. If you notice cracks in your tile floor, it may mean the sub-floor isn’t firm enough to hold it up. Vinyl flooring is the most waterproof material, but if the seal between the floor and the tub is damaged, water can get under the vinyl and affect the plywood sub-floor. If you have hardwood or laminate floors, they can cup due to the materials below warping.
No matter what material you have in your bathroom, a damp sub-floor will begin to degrade.
Do you Need to Replace the Sub-floor?
Since sub-floor damage is typically caused by a slow, long term overexposure to moisture, the repair team will need to further investigate your bathroom to determine the course of action. A sub-floor is the solid material beneath your floor covering which acts as a base for your finished flooring: carpet, hardwood, laminate, tile.
While the thought of ripping it out is scary, knowing when it’s time to replace your sub-floor will allow you to head off more serious problems. Challis will repair or replace based on your specific situation.
When you decide that it’s time to address the water damage in the bathroom, Challis will make sure to fix the source of the problem as well as all of your water damaged materials. Without addressing the root cause of the damage, you’ll eventually need to replace your entire sub-floor all over again. Let Challis fix it right- once and for all.