One of the most alarming discoveries for a homeowner (aside from finding termites) is discovering a major leak in your bathroom. Bathrooms are a significant investment in your home – often representing the most expensive room per square metre. This means a leak could result in expensive replacements and repairs. Therefore, early detection is crucial to ensure costs are minimised. These are typical signs to look for.
1. Musty / earthy smell. It’s normal for a bathroom to smell ‘wet’ often, however if the smell doesn’t go away despite proper ventilation, it is strong indicator that you have a hidden leak.
2. Mould and mildew. While it is common for mould to form inside the shower (particularly in the corners of the shower) it is not normal for mould to show up in other areas. This is a sign that the bathroom is never properly airing out and is a strong indicator that a leak is present.
3. Bathroom surfaces lose their integrity. A water leak in a bathroom could cause surfaces to lose their structural integrity – becoming crumbly, spongey or uneven. Fibre cement wall sheeting, floor coverings such as linoleum or tiles could require replacing in addition to finding and repairing the leak.
4. Staining on a ceiling beneath the bathroom. A rusty or dirty stain on the ceiling beneath a bathroom is a sure indicator that there is water leakage in the bathroom upstairs. Also note that this staining can appear in the adjacent rooms, look out for unexplained water in adjacent rooms or wet carpet.
5. Peeling paint or swollen architraves. Again, any permanent presence of water (from a leak for example) is going to present itself in the form of damage to surfaces, peeling or bubbling paint, swollen timber and architraves.
Discovering a leak can appear daunting for a homeowner, but often the cost of repair is not as serious as one might think. Bathroom repairs can be relatively inexpensive if the leak is detected early enough. Bathroom replacement renovations are of course a more costly endeavour, however with the right tradespeople and professionals to offer advice and options, keeping costs in check and choosing quality, yet affordable fixtures and fittings is always a great option.