Thursday, January 8, 2015

Surprises You Don’t Want to Find in a Bath Remodel

Bath Remodel
We work with homeowners on their bath remodel and can create spa-like, storage-filled, glamorous spaces.  At times, we run into a homeowner that is interested in completing their bathroom remodel themselves.  It is normal to get the DIY bug from time to time, but we do want to point out that when remodeling something that is used as much as a bathroom, and involves plumbing, working with a professional is ideal for ensuring that your important space is not out of commission for a prolonged period of time.  Unfortunately, the bathroom is one of those spaces that you can’t live without but is often full of surprises during a remodel, surprises that can cause delays.
Here is what you don’t want to find in the middle of your project.

The missing leak.  This is a big one.  Bathrooms are notorious for developing leaks in unidentified places.  Given the number of pipes and features in the bathroom this is easy to do.  For example, a five piece bathroom may have a leak in the plumbing leading to the tub but because of the location the leak may appear to be by the shower.  This can lead to many frustrated homeowners making holes and searching unsuccessfully for the missing leak.  As a contractor, we know where to look and can get to the bottom of leaks much faster. 

Mold.  Yikes!  Mold can be a major issue, and as the existing cabinetry or tub surround is removed during a bath remodel, it is fairly common to find mold behind these spaces.  Since there is so much moisture in the bathroom, there must be clear ventilation options.  Unfortunately, many older homes weren’t built with a fan or a window, and while this may seem crazy today, this common practice makes for a moldy situation.  When mold is identified, it may be possible to clean the area with bleach and treat it with a special type of paint.  In many cases, however, we recommend replacing the drywall in order to be safe.  Since mold can make your family sick, this is not something that you want to mess around with.  We also install proper ventilation to ensure that the problem won’t develop again. 

Electrical issues.  Many of the homeowners we work with have challenges with their existing electrical. When older homes were built there simply weren’t the same amount of appliances, televisions, hair dryers, machines and electronics needing constant electricity.  Our world runs on the electrical grid, and if the wiring in your home has not been updated in some time, it may not be able to support the demands that you are placing on it.  This can lead to outages at the most inconvenient of times, for example, when trying to curl your hair.  With that in mind, we recommend having a contractor complete your bath remodel so that we can update your electrical as needed.  If, however, you have started a project and see fraying or damaged wires when you open the wall up – call us immediately so that you can stay safe.