Tub Sinking


  #1  
Old 10-26-01, 07:46 AM
Guest
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
My husband and I are renting his parents old house and making repairs to it so that it will be sellable after we move. His parents moved out of town several years ago and it has been vacant and on the market since then (albeit "for sale by owner"...but that is another story...)

The house has a crawl space foundation.

I noticed that the tub in the main bathroom has dropped between a half inch and an inch in areas (towards the end of the tub and towards the floor side of the tub (as opposed to the side that is up against the wall). I am not sure how long it has been like this, I didn't notice it when we moved in, but I could have missed it. Old caulking indicates that it may have been like this for some time.

I was concerned when I first saw it a couple of months ago, but the tub seemed stable. I became concerned again yesterday when painting the bathroom. I decided to re-seal the tub as the old calk had separated from the wall. While digging out the old calk and grout, I could have sworn that I felt the tub move. I could be mistaken, it could have just been precussion vibration from working on the grout and hitting up against metal. But since I am not sure, I really want to have the tub checked out to make sure that there is no structural damage under the house.

I could go under and check myself, however 2 things keep me from doing it...the first being that I dont crawl under things where bugs might be :-) (sorry, roachaphobia) and secondly, unless the damage were so obvious, I probably wouldn't be able to tell if there was a problem.

So, my question is, who do I call? Would a general handyman be able to detect a structural problem? a carpenter? a plumber? I really dont know.

My husband seems to think I am worrying over nothing and that it is stable (this from someone who doesnt even know how to install and electrical outlet or unstick a frozen lock...). He could be right and tub slippage could be from the house settling...but it could also be a sign of a potentially dangerous and/or costly structural problem.
I tend to be the person to do all the repair work around the house, but this is beyond my knowledge and capabilities.

Any help, suggestions, or ideas you can give me would be most appriciated.

Thanks,
Suzanne
 
  #2  
Old 10-26-01, 09:44 AM
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Northeastern NC On The Albemarle Sound
Posts: 10,701
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Cool

Water leaking under and around the tub has apparently rotted the flooring and subflooring (which is nailed on top of floor joists), allowing it to sink.
The flooring and subflooring probably are 1.25" to 1.5" thick together, and with deterioration of either or both layers, they are not supporting the weight of a cast iron tub. The tops of the floor joists also may be rotted some, but they are probably supporting the tub.
To repair it, the tub will have to be disconnected from the plumbing, moved over so that a carpenter can get to the flooring and repair it (preferably with pressure-treated plywood of the approporiate thicknesses).
The damage should be easily detectable from the crawlspace.
Good luck!
Mike
 
  #3  
Old 10-27-01, 04:39 AM
Guest
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanks Mike,
I was had a feeling that is what the problem was. Who would you suggest I contact for the repairs? A carpenter? or should I go with a building contractor? or what?

My mother-in-law gave me the name of a carpenter to call. But I have a feeling that he is more of a handyman.
This sounds like it is going to be a rather expensive repair and I am hoping that perhaps their home-owners insurance might cover it. (I doubt it will, but hey, it's worth a try)

Oh, one more problem. Someone (notice, I am trying not to use the word "idiot" here) had central heat and air put in. WELL....they put the filter and the air handler in the closet next to the tub (the filter is out in the hall and the unit is in the bottom of the closet...you know, that place where you usually access the back of the plumbing of the tub?) Does this mean that they are going to have to rip out the tiles on the tub-side to get to the plumbing?
(note, the house was probably built in the 40's or 50's and there will be no way to match the color of the tile)

Thanks,
Suzanne (who wonders why ain't nothing ever easy)
 
  #4  
Old 10-27-01, 06:27 AM
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Northeastern NC On The Albemarle Sound
Posts: 10,701
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Cool

A carpenter/handyman would be best since there will be some plumbing and mostly carpentry.
Homeowners insurance will normally not cover this type of damage, unless it happened all at once from a ruptured pipe.
Since the tub is over a crawlspace and the floor is rotted out, they should be able to disconnect the drain pipes from underneath. The tub drain, spout, and overflow plate possibly can be dissconnected from the tub side without tearing into the wall at all, if you're lucky.
It may not be as bad as you think. Every job is different, and you just have to get the handyman to look at it, and give you an estimate.
Good Luck!
Mike
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: