Whether you’re taking a quick morning shower, giving the kids a bath before bed or getting ready for a night out, your bathroom gets a lot of use. Not only does it need to be functional to meet your daily needs, it also needs to provide an inviting atmosphere where you can renew and refresh yourself. But more importantly, it needs to be safe for you and your family.
Obviously, bathrooms and water go hand-in-hand and when properly maintained, water flows the way it should. But sometimes pipes break, bathtubs overflow, showers leak – and you’re left with water damage.
If your kids were reading Down the Drain! by Robert Munsch and decided to try to flood the bathroom to make an indoor swimming pool, then you’ll know you have water damage. But unless there has been a bathroom incident that you’ve witnessed, the first signs of water damage are often well hidden and aren’t always easy to find.
Water damage can cause a variety of issues, but knowing what to look for will save you a lot of time and money. Here are a few signs of water damage in the bathroom…
Suspicious Walls: Cracking grout, peeling caulking, crumbling plaster, uneven tiles or blistering paint are all signs that you have hidden water damage caused by water dripping behind the walls from a leaky pipe. When drywall gets wet, it absorbs the water and swells, which causes it to push on the tiles from behind. The damage caused by a leaky pipe that is dripping often causes symptoms slowly. If the pipe bursts, you’ll know instantly!
Musty Odour: You may not notice any visible signs, but if your bathroom has a damp odour then you may have water damage that is hidden. If the smell persists after the bathroom is dry and after you’ve cleaned the room, then you probably have mold growing behind the shower walls or underneath the floor tiles. A hidden leak or water that has found a crack in the floor can cause moisture to linger – if it doesn’t have a chance to dry, it can cause the perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow, which will cause the musty smell.
Damaged Floors: Bathroom floors are designed to be waterproof to a certain extent. Water can be easily wiped off tiles, but persistent moisture that isn’t clean up can cause water to seep through. If there is a leak under the floor or behind the shower tiles, it can also trickle down to the bathroom floor. Cracks and staining in the grout or caulking is the sign that water has caused damage underneath the tiles. If the subfloor is exposed to water, it can cause the wood to rot and the floor itself may become damaged.
Visible Mold: Mold and mildew develop from the inside out – so when you notice them, it probably means there has been moisture build up for a while. No matter how hard or often you scrub the tiles and walls clean, unless you eliminate the leak that is creating the perfect environment for the mold to thrive, it will keep coming back. Remember that mold can pose very serious threats to your help, so you want to deal with root cause of the moisture build-up as quickly as possible.