Found this forum when researching bathroom problems and repairs - lots of good advice, thanks in advance for the help.
We purchased our house (built in 1979) about two years ago. I won't go into all the details but it was sold by a realtor who flipped it. Had it inspected, some major issues were fixed and overall it's been in good condition. However, let's just say that we have also found a few "homeowner level" repairs/remodel project that left plenty to be desired.
Not that I can probably do anything about this now, but it does appear that the realtor/flipper attempted some repairs. The drain out of the master tub/shower is white PVC, whereas the original drain pipe is black. There's also a slight-but-noticeable shift in the color of the tile on the inside of the shower... it looks like the first 3 rows were replaced, as they are slightly brighter white than the rest of the surround. You can also see where the drywall was repaired around the access panel in the hallway. While I don't know that I can definitively say all of this was done in the 8 months she owned the house, it does match up with some other "homeowner level" plumbing and tile work in other parts of the house I know she did with certainty.
Important note - the house is built on a slab, there is no crawlspace or basement.
The problem at hand is a leak in the plumbing for the master shower. It appeared as a damp spot on the carpet in the hallway (which the bathroom/shower back up to) and mold on the baseboard. This morning I was able to cut into things and see how bad the damage is.
It looks like the cold water into the shower is what is leaking. Specifically, the 90-degree elbow connecting the water pipe to the faucet. It's dripping from there down the pipe and hitting the 2x4 stud plate at the bottom. I can't see any signs up inside the wall cavity of leaking from the shower head connection so I'm pretty confident it is the faucet. Obviously I need to have a plumber come out and fix the leak.
You can also see that the new drain (white PVC) out of the master tub/shower is the simple threaded connection type. It doesn't appear to be leaking but they couldn't even manage to take the time to properly screw on the connections - the coupler is mis-threaded!
Anyway, I'm also quite concerned about two things - the mold on the drywall and the mold(?) and possible rot of the wood base plate. I know that either could entail a very expensive repair job that could/would have to involve professional assistance. There appears to be mold on the backside of the drywall (which is the backer for the new shower surround tile - looks like drywall/gypsym, maybe someone can confirm as the UPC is visible in the photo, and yes I know this is also not good! ) as well as what was on the hallway side. I am capable of drywalling but am worried about proper disposal/removal if the mold is toxic! In addition, replacing part of the base plate is beyond my skill level - especially since I believe that wall may be load-bearing for the roof trusses. It doesn't feel squishy/rotted through but it's certainly wet for approx. 2 ft of length centered around the leak.
One final concern - there appears to be some old water damage to the drywall (hallway side) behind the guest shower. The bathrooms/showers are back-to-back with the drains facing the hallway and they have access panels next to each other. I don't feel any signs of moisture under the guest shower, just see the stained drywall. Not sure if I should just tear it all out while I'm doing the other work.
So, after all that, I could use some advice...
- Any thing else I should search for in terms of leaks? The shower head?
- Should we open up behind the guest shower?
- Thoughts on mold testing/removal and re-drywalling?
- Comments on shower surround tile backing?
- How does the base plate look? Do you think it needs replaced?
Photos below... thanks again in advance for the help!
Wall below master shower after removing baseboard: