We get calls every day from client’s who need us to come look at a water damage situation that originates in a bathroom. So it was not out of the ordinary when a client called and asked us to repair a living room ceiling below a master bathroom due to water damage and to source the area of water leaking from the master bathroom. An appointment was made and one of our project managers met the client on site to see what he could figure out. The repairs to the living room ceiling were very straight forward; replace some drywall, texture to match existing and paint the ceiling complete.
Now upstairs in the master bathroom the investigation began. The obvious culprit was the free standing soaking tub as it was directly over the area of damage in the living room. The project manager’s first thought was it could be the free-standing tub filler fixture or possible the tub drain itself. After extensive testing of both areas, neither of these items was causing a water leak. The tub was free standing so it wasn’t mounted to any surrounding walls, yet it set close to the back wall of the bathroom with about a six inch gap between the tub and the wall. The project manager got down on all four and was looking all around the outside of the tub with a flashlight and could see where the floor tile around the backside of the tub was not finished and there was no grout or sealer. The project manager explained the situation to the client and stated that when someone is in the tub and splashing around vigorously, water splashed out of the tub is literally running through the unfinished floor tile to the ceiling tile below. The client was very surprised and said that the tub is hardly used and that his wife is the only one who soaks in the tub. Then the project manager bent down to the backside of the tub again and pulled out a pair of men’s underwear. The project manager suggested that maybe it would be best if the tub was only used by one person in the tub at a time in order to prevent water displacement out of the tub by two people sitting in it.
The client responded to say that those were not his underwear…..
Team Wheeler was on site within a few days. Our professional carpenters removed the soaking tub and pulled up the loose floor tile that were just sitting on the floor behind the tub. A waterproof coating was applied to the floor and the tiles reinstalled. The tiles were finished off with grout and the entire floor grout was sealed to prevent future water damage. The tub was reset, drain reinstalled and tub filler put back in place. The tub was tested for water leaks and was found to be completely water tight. While the work was being performed in the bathroom upstairs, the crew removed a 4X4 piece of water damaged drywall from the living room ceiling as well as wet insulation in order to expose the floor framing for the master bathroom. The framing was left exposed for a few days. A containment system was created and a fan and dehumidifier left to running for a few days to ensure all framing was completely dried out. The water coming from the master bathroom upstairs had only caused water staining and no rot was present. Once the water testing was completed in the tub, all exposed floor joists/framing were treated with Microban (an antimicrobial to prevent organic growth). New insulation was installed and drywall replaced in the 4X4 inspection area. Tape, mud and finish texture to the drywall to blend it in with the existing and then the complete ceiling was finished off with two coats of paint. Due the highly skilled painters (who also perform drywall work), there was no evidence of damage or a patch.
The project finished very well with a solid master bathroom floor and a restored living room ceiling. With our highly skilled carpenters and painters, we don’t run into much of anything that we can’t fix. However, our team has few skills to figure out who the mystery pair of underwear belongs to and who might be responsible for splashing wildly in the tub. Not all projects have such a funny or mysterious start, but regardless of what the project may be, we are dedicated to handling each project with skill and professionalism. We pride ourselves on doing an amazing job, on time and on budget. Let us know if we can be of service with your next project.
Until we share the next funny story, be well and do good.