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Thread: Bathtub leaking to downstairs

  1. #1

    Default Bathtub leaking to downstairs

    Here I go as a first-timer ...

    My upstairs guest bathtub now leaks water to downstairs anytime we shower. I discovered that water collects at the back left side of the tub edge & that is where the leak comes from - now dripping to my downstairs kitchen floor ... when I touch the ceiling where it drips from it is SOGGY and I'm sure I could push right through the ceiling.

    I am wondering if I should remove the un-level tub and eval the damage or really just what steps to take. ALL advice is appreciated. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    As you found, a tub that is not installed level can create problems even if the walls around it are constructed properly. If the ceiling is soggy, it needs to come out and be replaced. While you have that out, you might be able to view things above (probably not, though). It should give you an indication if the subflooring is soggy and decaying.

    You probably need to start tearing out at least a little of the wall around the tub. Depending on what is on the walls now, you may be able to reset the tub then repair the walls, or it may end up being a ripout and rebuild. You could have decaying walls and subflooring. You probably need to tear things out enough so it can dry out, then see what is still solid and salvagable. If it is solid, cleanup with some bleach and water should suppress any mildew if it can stay dry afterwards.

    Are the walls around the tub tiled or paneled? Do you know what is behind them? If tile, are they soft or well anchored to solid substance?
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3

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    the wall behind the tub is just panel. what is behind that I have no idea ... other than my neighbors townhome!!! the end of the tub has a seat/tile thing that also connects to the wall. maybe I should remove the tile seat first & see if I can view anything from that angle?

    replace the soggy ceiling ... should a professional be contacted for this?

    thanks!

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Kari, this could be a fairly big job especially for a DIYer with little or no experience. While you might be able to get it done given enough time, you could be torn up for a long time. Do it wrong, and you'd be right back where you started before long. I think you would be very wise to hire professional help for this.

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Is the townhome a condo? Carefully read the by-laws to see who's responsibility it is for this type of thing. Often it is yours, but not always.

    If there is a seat, it may not have been waterproofed properly, or at all. How old is the unit? Could there still be a builder's warranty in effect (often 10-years)? Are the panels those designed to interlock with the tub and the adjacent walls? or just solid materials with caulk joints?

    If the tub is a drop-in and doesn't have an integral tiling flange, or an applied one, the seal between the tub and the walls is unlikely to be good.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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