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Question DetailsAsked on 5/31/2018

Shower has leaked into my basement for several months causing wood rot, who do i call first?

Has a cement wet bed that is crumbling, at least 3 joists underneath wet

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1 Answer


Well, with that much deterioration, sound like you will need a Remodeling - Kitchen and Bath contractor. And unless repairing with pretty much the same configuration, might need an Architect to prepare drawings to get a building permit - ditto if the joists are rotted so they have to be repaired or replaced.

If using same configuration of fixtures and such, would likely still need a building permit but maybe not plans. But unless you can see up under the floor and confirm that the framing (not including the plywood or particle board subfloor) is not rotten or growing significant fungus, probably best to start with an architect to evaluate the damage and help prepare a scope of work - though in some cases the exact scope of work is not known until the tearout is done, chasing all rotten and wet areas to their end.

Of course, if this is a bathroom which can be left unused for some time, it is a lot easier than for one needing rapid turnaround., because you can get the demo work done, exposing the damage and removing the deteriorated materials, THEN have a firm scope of work (and get plans as needed for structural repairs or general remodel of the bathroom if you choose to go that way while it is torn out) - that makes for a far more defined scope of work and allows for a firm, fixed bid from contractors to do the repair/remodel work. Starting off with unknown extent of damage/wetness prohibits that from the outset - though in that case breaking the job into two parts, with the remodel part being refined and locked in after the demo is done (and possibly thrown open ot more bids if the first contractor is not reasonable with his remodel pricing) works in your favor. you do NOT want to get into a cost-plus or open-ended case, or major change orders once the tearout is done. I always recommend, in cases like this, breaking tearout and remodel/repair into two items, with no committment on second part until it can be bid firm-price based on the torn-out condition and what that shows.

Note basement foundation (especially if any is wood) should also be inspected for deterioration and for mold/mildew - and piping which has been affected might need replacing because of corrosion even if not directly under/at the shower.

Since this has been going ono for some time, almost certain to NOT be covered by your homeowner's insurance - that basically only covers damage/repair of "acute" leaks - detected within say a day or so of occurring, not involving long-term deterioration.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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