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Water cleans your bathroom but persistent water puts your bathroom at risk for water damage. Those hidden spaces behind the walls and under the floor have a higher chance than anywhere else in the house. When moisture gets under the hard surfaces, it encourages mold and mildew to form: under the tub, behind the wall, under the shower pan, into the subfloor.
In the worst-case scenario, the floor gives way, sending the bathtub, toilet or shower stall crashing down to the floor below. Be alert for these signs of water damage:
If you have that persistent musty smell, even after repeated cleanings, you may have mold and mildew in the walls and subfloor. A hidden leak or water accumulation in some cracks is causing excessive moisture in your bathroom that never has a chance to dry. Recurrent mold and mildew on bathroom surfaces, broken tiles, decaying grout, 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 scrubbings won’t help this problem.
If you push gently on the tiles or wallboard and feel some movement, there’s water damage behind it! So, call a professional to help locate and resolve the problem quickly.
When drywall breaks down due to moisture, it becomes soft and begins to bubble. If not properly protected, eventually it will warp and break into smaller pieces. Crumbling plaster or blistering paint is just the initial step of an approaching disaster. If water is dripping behind the walls, you will probably have to deal with a leaking pipe. When drywall absorbs water, it swells and feels softer, even slightly wet to the touch. The process is usually slow, so at first, the walls will appear just a little uneven or crooked. Uncertainty as to the nature of the problem may cause you to lower your guard thus allowing very serious problems to develop. However tempted you may be to just neglect the warning signs, mind the fact that any delay will only aggravate the situation and will cost you dearly.
If you feel some movement pressing upon the tiles in your bathroom, notice many gaps in your grout or caulk, or cracks that get deeper, then it is time to address a hidden water damage issue.
Splash leaks are a common source of water damage in the bathroom; even minor leakage can lead to huge problems over time since the water seeps below the tiles and begins to rot the sub-floor. Splash leaks in tubs with shower doors are usually caused by deterioration of the caulk that surrounds the door frame. Signs include:
Bathroom floors are designed to withstand water –unless a leak develops. Then persistent moisture below the floor will cause cracking, buckling, and staining. If your home was built with a wooden floor truss system, the subfloor is usually made of plywood. When subjected to moisture or hidden leaks, the floor will gradually become softer, maybe even somewhat unstable and spongy. The plywood will rot and the floor will start to feel soft in places, eventually collapsing.
When you can see mold growing on the walls, or spreading on the ceiling, or crawling in the corners, it will not go away unless you eliminate the source. After fixing the leaking problem, you’d still better opt for professional water damage cleanup because mold is extremely difficult to remove completely. While not all mold types are cause for concern, they should be addressed promptly to minimize spreading, possible damage, and negative health effects.
Dirt, grease, soap, and hair can add up to a backed up shower drain. The blockage remains since the water can’t adequately go down, and the composition of the blockage creates an inviting space for mold to grow. As the dampness increases, the dark, humid area can become a magnet for mold spores. And since you can’t see them until the damage is done, the restoration process is often more costly.
If you have water damage in your bathroom, you need to clean up the mold and fix the moisture problem. If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. You need a restoration company like Certi-dry in Fitchburg to specialize in water mitigation. Certi-dry will remove any remaining water and debris, sterilize the area, affected furniture, and items, then clean and dry the affected area.