Bathroom floor sinking

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  #1  
Old 12-23-01, 06:23 AM
rlrcstrs
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Angry Bathroom floor sinking

The bathroom floor has the small ceramic tiles - the little ones about 1.5 inches square. Right in front of the shower stall the floor seems to be sinking a bit. In fact. I can see the crack in the seams of the ceramic tile strips, so there is a definite split in the tile seams for about four feet, although the dip is worse right where you step out of the shower.

I noticed it dipping a little about a year ago but it wasn't bad. I have been planning to sell my home and buy another some time next year, although I haven't fully decided yet, so I stalled on doing anything. Now it appears to be worse.

I have no idea what is going on there or what to do.

Please advise.
 
  #2  
Old 12-23-01, 06:26 AM
rlrcstrs
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Re: Bathroom floor sinking

By the way, is this something homeowner's insurance could pay for?
 
  #3  
Old 12-23-01, 12:41 PM
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A. Your homeowner's insurance will not pay for this long-time problem. Only for a major disaster.
B. The problem is caused by water getting to the plywood flooring (and possibly the subflooring under it) and rotting it.
You will have to have it repaired properly, or disclose it and deduct it from the home sale price.
Good Luck!
Mike
 
  #4  
Old 12-23-01, 01:26 PM
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Mike is right, as usual. Insurance won't cover this. And since you say it's sinking, that tells me the subfloor is gone. With any luck, you can find new tiles that will match the existing.

Remove as much tile as necessary to allow you to replace the damaged underlayment and subfloor. Done right, you will be replacing more underlayment than subfloor. When you have everything back together from the top side, go underneath and make sure the new subfloor is completely supported so that it is solid.
 
  #5  
Old 12-23-01, 06:12 PM
rlrcstrs
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Sinking Floor

Actually, I have only been in this condo three years. I bought an older one (not that old - built in 73) and renovated it. I am still in the process of doing it.

How long does it take for a floor to get like this? I am wondering if the previous owner knew about it.

Who would I call to repair it - plumber, carpenter or who? Also, roughly how much would something like this cost?
 
  #6  
Old 12-23-01, 07:36 PM
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First, forget a plumber. Although the damage was caused by water, it has nothing to do with a leaky pipe or valve. It was caused by water seeping into the joint between the shower stall and the floor.

How long it takes for the damage that you now see to show up could be as little as a month, could be a year or more. Depends on how much water got to the subfloor.

Did the previous owners know about it? Probably not. It was probably not visable at the time you purchased the house (or you would have seen it!), and, if any sort of an inspection was done at that time, very possibly there was no way to detect or suspect the damage (if any even existed at that time).

Cost to repair this should be in the range of $1,000 to $5,000. Way too many variables involved to pin it down much closer than that. But if somebody tells you they can do it for less than $1,000, they are blowing smoke. If somebody says you're looking at $20,000, be wary of their estimate.
 
  #7  
Old 12-23-01, 07:45 PM
rlrcstrs
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Sinking Floor

Yikes! $1-5,000!!!! I suppose all the tile has to come up.

Is that regular retail prices or cost?

I know someone in construction who is very handy. I wonder if he could do it.
 
  #8  
Old 12-23-01, 10:11 PM
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I usually refer these to a general contractor or a tile setter who can do carpentry also. They will need to be able to set the new sub floor as well as renew the shower pan underneath the tile.
 
  #9  
Old 12-23-01, 11:25 PM
rlrcstrs
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Sinking Floor

Okay! Just got a few more questions about this:

1 - How long can I wait before I do this? For example, can it wait until spring or summer?

2 - Is it a long, dirty job?

3 - If I want to replace the ceramic tile in the bathroom, I guess this would be the time, right?

4 - I need to get the carpet replaced throughout the condo, so I would be better to wait until this job in the bathroom is done. Would that be right?

I am just trying to think of how this could have happened. I know there is a dip around the drain area of the shower stall but i didn't think anything of it.

I also had the vanity replaced in the same bathroom. When the plumber/carpenter (general contractor friend actually) did it, he told me that there is usually a piece that separates the sewer from the rest of the plumbing and it was missing. He had to replace all the pipe. He told me it was because this piece was missing that there was a horrible odor inside. Would this have anything to do with the leak?

Now, in this toilet where the floor is sinking, the toilet stopped up once just a few months ago and ran all over the floor - I also got two tiny brown patches on the family room ceiling which is directly below this area.

When the general contractor was working inside right after I bought it, I had the countertops/splashboard replacec along with putting in a new sink and, once again, he had to put in all new piping under the sink. After that, I noticed some of the tiles in the basement (asbestos tiles - removable) were brown in the area right below the kitchen sink. I assumed it was because of changing the plumbing under the sink. Then a short while after that, the garbage disposal went out and the pipe inside the cupboard under the sink broke away from the place where it meets the garbage disposal and it flooded the inside of the cabinet (these are wooden cabinets). As a result the basement ceiling tiles are a little browner than they were.

Honestly, I wish I had never bought this place; that's why I want to sell it. However, after everything I have done to it - including all new light fixtures and some new electrical outlets (more need to be done), installing a new doorwall off the master bedroom, putting in a new vanity and mirror in the half bath downstairs with all new faucets in every sink throughout the condo, and installing a new a/c unit this summer, would I be silly to sell it so soon?

I am in the process of painting the woodwork inside. It is all presently undercoated (looks awful right now) but should be okay when finished. I had someone paint all the walls throughout the downstairs and I am working my own way through the upstairs rooms to paint them. (I have some questions about painting but I will post that to the painting forum, assuming there is one).

I think the items remaining to be done are:

Replace the insides of the one toilet that we talked about.
Get this sinking floor fixed
Replace a few more electrical outlets (they work sometimes but not always)
Replace carpeting throughout
Replace vanity in the main bathroom upstairs (next door to the one with the sinking floor which is off the master bedroom).

Sometimes I get so frustrated and tired of the whole thing and just sit and get depressed about it all. It's a huge undertaking!
 
  #10  
Old 12-24-01, 12:28 AM
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1. Whatever is causing the bathroom floor to rot (water seepage, leaking drain or whatever) is going to make the floor damage worse, until you correct the problem. I would attend to this now.
2. No, not as much as you think. A carpenter can cut out the damaged floor and subfloor and make any repairs in less than a day. Then you can do the cement board and tile work in two days.
3. Yep.
4. I would have the carpet done as the last thing, after all other work (carpentry, plumbing, tile, painting, electrical, etc.).

Apparently a trap was missing under that vanity. I can't imagine that the former owner didn't know about THAT...you can't miss sewer gas. Unless the drain pipe was leaking, this shouldn't have anything to do with your floor damage.

If you sell it as-is, you may take a loss. If you fix it up, you may make a profit. Only the local real estate market can answer that.
But once you get everything repaired properly and remodeled, why move?

Good Luck!
Mike
 
  #11  
Old 12-30-01, 07:03 AM
rlrcstrs
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Subfloor Rotting Upstars; Ceiling Marks Downstairs

Honestly, it goes from bad to worse. My family room is right underneath the upstairs bathroom floor where the floor is sinking. I just noticed to brown spots on the ceiling. The bathroom is definitely right above them, but strangely these spots aren't from the area where the floor is sinking. One of them could be from the toilet area where it overflowed recently.

I also see a few ripples in the ceiling. They look sort of like paintwork that is about to crack. These ripples are over a pice that looks like a 2 x 4 in the ceiling and for about two feet it is protruding slightly.

This was there when I moved in because when the painters finished painting the ceiling I thought they had forgotten this strip by mistake. Well, it still looks like this depending on which way the light is when you look at it. But I looked more closely this morning and went right underneath it. This is the piece that is protruding and has the ripples on top.

HELP.
 
  #12  
Old 12-30-01, 02:11 PM
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Typical sheetrock water damage on the ceiling.
Back to original info, you've got to repair the cause of the water damage first.
Water runs along floor joists and pipes, and may not come through the ceiling directly below where it is actually leaking.
Sounds like you have a lot of work to get done.
Good luck!
Mike
 
  #13  
Old 12-30-01, 03:27 PM
rlrcstrs
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Water Damage

A lot of work to do? That's what I am afraid of. The COST!!!!

As for repairing wherever the water leak began, the only one I know of is the toilet. I am in the process of replacing the tank insides.

I just got back from buying a "channel lock pliers". I didn't have a clue what CL pliers were. I know what pliers are but not the CL type. Well, I know now!!!

I just hope I can budge that water shutoff valve! And the nut/washer under the tank!

How can I find out if there are any more leaks? I think this is the only one and I am amazed the floor has rotted.

What is sheetrock water damage?
 
  #14  
Old 12-30-01, 03:36 PM
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Sheetrock (or drywall) is just compressed dry gypsum between two layers of heavy paper.
It replaced plaster back in the '60's, I think, for walls and ceilings.
One side is finished for priming and painting.
When it gets soaked through, the water can cause the gypsum and paper to swell, ripple, crumble, etc., and once it does, it will never be flat again. It has to be replaced.
That's water damage.
 
  #15  
Old 12-30-01, 06:06 PM
rlrcstrs
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Sheetrock

It's so hard to believe a leaking toilet could have done all this and that insurance won't cover any of it.

Boo Hoo!
 
  #16  
Old 12-30-01, 11:04 PM
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Yep. Sorry.
Insurance usually only covers "floods" from burst water pipes and other major disasters.
Normal leaks aren't usually covered.
 
  #17  
Old 01-19-02, 08:33 AM
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You certainly sound discouraged but it's not that bad. In my oppinion, the very first thing you should fix is the electrical outlets. That is not that exspensive and it could be dangerous to leave them as they are. A short in the outlets could cause a fire or an electricution. This should cost no more than $20.00 per outlet plus the cost of the electrician's visit (minimum charge). The tile floor need not cost $1000.00 if you know a friend that has any handyman knowledge. The key is to either save the tile or find a match. That is the expense. Replacing the sub-flooring is not that exspensive if you get to it soon. The longer you wait the more damage the more cost.
 
  #18  
Old 03-05-02, 11:58 AM
rlrcstrs
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Repairs and Unemployment

Originally posted by ccerow
You certainly sound discouraged but it's not that bad. In my oppinion, the very first thing you should fix is the electrical outlets. That is not that exspensive and it could be dangerous to leave them as they are. A short in the outlets could cause a fire or an electricution. This should cost no more than $20.00 per outlet plus the cost of the electrician's visit (minimum charge). The tile floor need not cost $1000.00 if you know a friend that has any handyman knowledge. The key is to either save the tile or find a match. That is the expense. Replacing the sub-flooring is not that exspensive if you get to it soon. The longer you wait the more damage the more cost.
Discouraged? That's putting it mildly since I was laid off three weeks ago! Can't do any of it until I get a job.
 
  #19  
Old 03-05-02, 12:00 PM
rlrcstrs
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Repairs as Prizes

Don't laugh, but does anyone know of any competitions or drawings on line where you can "win" repairs that need doing?
 
  #20  
Old 04-19-02, 10:18 AM
rlrcstrs
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Update on Bathroom Floor Leak/Kitchen Disposal/Basement ceiling leak

Well it's been three weeks now since the new garbage disposal was installed in the kitchen and the tile replaced in the ceiling in the basement. HOWEVER, the basement ceiling is still leaking and it is right underneath the kitchen sink/dishwasher area.

The leak certainly eased off after the new disposal went in but is now back worse than before.

The leak has also knocked out the tiles that were replaced in the basement ceiling because of the weight of the water (I think).

I thought I'd leave things a few weeks before doing anything else to let all the water that may have been there seep out but surely it should have drained by now.

The person who did the work is not a licensed plumber but is a good handyman. He thought the next step might be to take off the baseboard that runs along the bottom of the kitchen cabinets by the sink to look under the sink and see if water had accumulated under there.

On another topic, the sinking floor by the shower stall in the upstairs bathroom is not causing this leak, at least I do not think so. It would be about five feet over in the basement ceiling if that is what is causing it.

The handyman suggested that the shower stall which is ceramic tile be recaulked at the bottom and also recaulk the ceramic tile on the floor outside. Then when I am ready to put in new tile, he suggested levelling the floor and laying the new tile on top.

I'd like some feedback on what to do next re the leak in the basement and also on the suggested solution for the bathroom floor.

Many thanks.
 
 

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