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Question DetailsAsked on 11/30/2015

How do I determine mold damage from a shower leak?

I recently notice gaps in the seat under our shower seat. I then found mold on the baseboards connected to our closet wall that is shared with shower. I cleaned the baseboards with bleach and used our carpet cleaner to suck up excess water. We also ran multiple fans to try to dry the area. I'm not sure how long the leak has been going on, but we did notice an area of the carpet was wet about 10 days ago.

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1 Answer


Only by inspecting it - first digging into the known damaged areas, and in the course of that inspecting for how far it spread. In bathrooms commonly fibear optic inspection (takes about 1/2" diameter holes) or small (head size) inspection holes in the edjacent walls and underlying ceilings is the easiest way to determine the extent of the water spread, and what areas only need drying out, which need mold treatment, and which (if a long-time leak) may need structural repair or heavy-duty decontamination and treatment or replacement for wood rot.

I would assume at a minimum that you have mold and possible wood rot between the shower and the place it popped out at the adjacent wall - and drying externally without opening up the wall/floor may work for a one-time leak without problem, but for a long-term leak that area needs to be thoroughly dried out with air circulation after firs detearmining the extent of and treating any mold/mildew/wood fungus so you don't spread the spores all around.

Plumber or Ceramic Tile Contractor is usually the person who opens it up - may do repairs and minor mold treatment, may need a Mold Testing and Remediation firm if significant, and if there is structural damage or rotten flooring (common) may need a Remodeling - General Contrator to handle flooring/subfloor/framing replacement issues as well if this went on for a long time (generally weeks or months rather than days to cause more than mildew/mold).

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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