By Women Designing Kitchens at Royal Kitchen Designs
It’s easy to be a procrastinator, especially when it comes to home improvement projects.
While that may be okay for simple tasks like mulching the landscaping or painting the guestroom, some projects need immediate action. Generally speaking, when it comes to leaking plumbing or water damage, don’t put off to tomorrow what you can fix today.
Over the past few months we have had three homeowners come to us with basically the same problem…a small shower leak that escalated over time to cause major damage, both inside and outside the home. In all of these cases the damage was so severe that major renovation work was required. This is really unfortunate, because the problem could have been corrected had it been caught early enough.
More often than not, the first area affected is the shower. The problem tends to manifest itself as mold or mildew growth, particularly along the seams of the tub or shower. Handy homeowners typically take out the caulking gun to “seal” the area. This does not fix the problem; it merely puts a band-aid on it. But it may be too late. Water has already seeped into the back of the wall. It is slowly creating mold or, worse, deteriorating the bearing walls.
In some cases, this can create leaks on the outside of the house, damaging the stucco surface. Many homeowners eventually notice these cracks, but assume it is the result of the home settling. Not so. These cracks are caused by water damage inside the bearing wall. Again, many people attempt to simply patch the cracks, but this does not fix the problem it only exacerbates it. Water is now trapped inside the wall, further deteriorating the bearing wall.
Should this happen, the homeowner is no longer looking at a simple fix, but a major repair project. In all three of the cases that came to us, a general contractor was required to not only fix the plumbing, but also to rebuild the bearing wall and repair the home’s stucco. This is both labor intensive and expensive. A project that could have been taken care of relatively easily and inexpensively, had it been acted upon immediately, has now magnified itself.
The bottom line is this: when the shower starts to deteriorate, as will happen as the home ages, the homeowner needs to address the issue immediately. At the first sign of trouble, call a plumber or home repair specialist. They are experienced at identifying the source of the leak and repairing it correctly. In many cases, this will simply entail removing a few tiles, cleaning out the area, installing new waterproofing material and retiling.
As a courtesy to our readers, Royal Kitchen Designs will provide an “exploratory service.” If you notice mold or mildew in your shower area, give us a call. We will determine where the leak is coming from, and provide estimates and recommendations from our general contractor on how to properly repair your bathroom.
Your home is probably your greatest investment, so remember the old saying, “It takes money to make money.” Sometimes you need to make a small investment in your home to maintain your home’s value. By taking care of small problems now, you can save yourself a great deal of headaches and expenses in the future.
Royal Kitchen Designs is a full-service interior design and renovation company specializing in kitchens, bathrooms and luxurious living spaces. The company has been serving Broward and South Palm Beach counties for almost a decade. From custom kitchens and beautiful baths to designer draperies, every Royal Kitchen Designs project receives the royal touch. With over 75 years of combined experience, owners Margie Levy and Eliane Berdah can turn any home into a castle. Call Royal Kitchen Designs at (954) 717-1805 to schedule your complimentary consultation.
Royal Kitchen Designs writes a monthly advice column answering your questions about interior design and home remodeling. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to: Royal Kitchen Designs, 5608 Travelers Palm Lane, Tamarac, FL, 33319. For more information visit www.royalkitchendesigns.com