by Elias Deukmajian | Bathroom Remodel
Remodeling any room is a project that requires a lot of time and energy just to fix what we can see with the naked eye; but what about everything that is hidden behind walls, tiles, fixtures, or beneath our floors? Unless we build our homes ourselves, it is uncertain what hidden problems we may encounter when we finally decide to renovate. One room that is particularly scary for homeowners to tackle is the bathroom. Bathrooms are the space in a home with the highest potential for mold developing and plumbing issues to occur. In fact, when remodeling a bathroom, those are the two biggest issues one shouldn’t ignore. Owning a home comes with responsibility to maintain and repair when necessary, particularly if you plan on selling it one day. Bathroom remodels have a great payoff in the end; it increases the value of the home, and you can enjoy the upgrades and changes you make. However, plumbing and water damage can create a huge headache for the renovator.
Plumbing system issue
Plumbing that has become corroded, or is simply outdated and not functional anymore, must be updated and replaced. Old plumbing can become a serious issue for homeowners, making you feel like at any moment a pipe could burst. Now, imagine putting all that time, effort, and money into a bathroom remodeling project only to find that your entire plumbing system needs to be replaced. Plumbing is the number one issue that should not go overlooked. Not only does it devalue a home, it can be dangerous. If a pipe leaks over time, it can cause further damage to the structure of the home, making it dangerous and unpredictable. However, if a pipe bursts, it may affect furniture and important belongings that cannot be replaced. Galvanized or cast iron plumbing is significantly susceptible to corrosion; copper piping is a newer, better alternative that is more resistant and lasts a long time, although it can still become damaged if installed improperly.
Often a byproduct of plumbing issues, water damage is equally non-ignorable. However, water damage can also be caused by an excessive amount of moisture and overall humidity without proper ventilation. In bathroom with showers in particular, it is critical to have adequate venting installed. Having a window in the bathroom is a great way to let a breeze through, but it doesn’t solve the problem of eliminating moisture from the air quickly. Furthermore, when bathrooms are not properly waterproofed, serious issues can arise. Leaks can occur in bathtubs, showers, and any area that requires a barrier for water. Areas that are more highly susceptible to water damage should be calked using a silicone-based product. Silicone is particularly water-resistant, and it is critical to use this instead of normal calking in these specific areas of the bathroom. Other issues to consider as a result of water damage are flooring and structural issues; if flooring is damaged beneath the tile, you may not see it—but it is causing the foundation of your bathroom to slowly rot away.
Mold is a silent killer of bathroom remodel budgets. Plumbing issues and water damage often go hand-in-hand with mold. Mold is dangerous to breathe, especially on a regular basis. Remodeling a bathroom isn’t all about aesthetic and design; it includes considerations of safety and functionality.
If your bathroom remodel has taken a turn for the worse, try to see it as an opportunity to add value to your home. Addressing huge issues like plumbing can be daunting, especially because it usually comes with a hefty price tag. Consulting with remodeling professionals is critical in these situations; it is likely that the first contractor installed the bathroom features improperly, giving way for problems over time—choosing a reputable, trustworthy contractor this time will save you money in later years and prevent you from having to remodel again. Proper installation is the key to not repeating the disasters of the past, and is the most efficient way to address serious issues such as mold and re-plumbing. Take confidence in knowing that every improvement you make to the structure or basic functional elements of your home is another step toward protecting your investment for a lifetime.