What to do About a Leaky Bathtub - Greenwich Moms
by: PuroClean of Greenwich | Stamford

Discovering a leak within your home can quickly turn into a homeowner’s worst fear. The concern extends far beyond the immediate damage, particularly in the instance of a bathtub leak, where the possibility of water infiltration through floors and ceilings looms large. It can cause extensive and costly structural damage. We’ll walk you through identifying a leaking bathtub, the different types, and what you can do to mitigate the issue.

Tracking Down the Cause of Your Bathtub Leak

A bathtub leak can be a complex issue to diagnose. Often, the symptoms are more visible in the rooms below the bathroom than in the bathroom itself. However, a leaky tub can lead to severe water damage if left unaddressed. Here are some signs to look for to determine if a leak is present:

  • Water stains or sagging on your ceiling
  • Damp or moist walls, floors, and ceilings
  • Mold and mildew growth
  • Peeling paint or wallpaper
  • Warped drywall
  • Pools of water on your bathroom floor

Water stains on your ceiling are a common sign of a bathtub leaking.

If you notice these signs, you’ll need to act quickly to prevent further damage. Start by closing the water supply to the tub to reduce any active leaks. Then, perform a basic inspection of your leaky bathtub to determine where the leak may originate. Look for cracks in the tub, damaged caulking, and water pooling around the tub and faucets. Additionally, examine the floor for signs of water damage, like soft spots or discoloration.

A surefire way to confirm a leaky bathtub is to fill it with water and let it drain while you inspect the areas below for any water. This test can help identify leaky drainpipes, overflow pipes, and seal failures in the tub. Turn off the water immediately once you find the leak.

Diving Deep into Bathtub Leaks

Understanding the nature of bathtub leaks can be crucial in obtaining the right help and addressing the problem effectively. Here are some of the most significant types of leaks:

Drain Leaks. This happens when the bathtub drain and attached lines beneath your tub weaken, which can cause a leaking drain gasket. Even slow dripping can result in water damage to the infrastructure below the tub area.

Overflow Drain Leaks. Every tub has an overflow drain to prevent it from spilling into your bathroom. However, as the tub ages, this overflow drain may crack, break, or leak, most likely due to the drain gasket. Like a drain leak, a bathtub overflow drain that is leaking may cause damage to your home.

Crack Leaks. Hairline fractures in the tub’s body can also cause bathtub leaks. To determine if a crack in the bathtub is the source of your leak, fill the tub with water and look for areas that pull the water. Those small currents are flowing toward your bathtub crack.

A cracked bathtub can leak at different rates, depending on the size of the cracks.

The Severity of the Leak. The amount of water you find in your living space is a good indicator of the severity of the leak from your upstairs bathroom. If it’s a mere drip or a minor seepage, it might be contained to the space where you found the water, but larger amounts of water can mean the damage is more extensive.

When in Doubt, Call a Professional

When dealing with water leaks, especially those that affect more than one floor of your home, it’s best to contact a professional. While it might be tempting to try DIY repairs, doing so without understanding the cause and scope of the problem can exacerbate the issue.

The Risks of DIY Plumbing Repairs

DIY bathtub repairs can be risky because:

  • You may misdiagnose the problem, causing you to focus on the wrong repair.
  • Without proper training, you might inadvertently damage other plumbing elements or parts of your home.
  • Certain repairs, like those involving water shut-off valves, require specific tools and knowledge to complete safely.

The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Plumber

Professional plumbers use:

  • Expertise to quickly and accurately diagnose the issue.
  • The proper tools and materials to execute repairs safely and effectively.
  • Local building codes to ensure all repairs are compliant.
  • Warranties and guarantees on their work, giving you peace of mind that the repair will hold.

While it may seem like an extra expense, hiring a professional can save you time, money, and significant headaches in the long run.

A professional plumber can navigate the issues of a bathtub leaking better than anyone.

How Bathtub Leaks Are Repaired

Once professionals have confirmed the source of your bathtub leak, it’s time to move forward with the repair process. Here’s what you can expect.

Repairing a Broken Drain Seal or Overflow Drain Leak

It’s essential to have a professional plumber fix any broken seals as soon as possible. This typically involves replacing plumbing components and creating a secure, waterproof seal to prevent further damage.

Fixing a Crack Leak

A professional plumber can use a two-part epoxy to fill and seal the cracks, whether visible or just a tiny hairline fracture. They could also recommend replacing your bathtub if the crack is too large for epoxy.

Preventative Maintenance

Regular checks and proper maintenance can help prevent future bathtub leaks. This includes having a professional reapplying silicone caulking, checking for slow leaks in the drain and overflow, and inspecting for any signs of water damage. Many home service companies offer regular inspections with a service contract for preventative maintenance.

What’s Next?

Once a licensed plumber has located and fixed the leak, the next step in restoring your bathroom is to address the water damage. This involves seeking professional water damage restoration services that can help dry out your ceiling and drywall, remediate mold growth, and return your bathroom to its pre-damaged state.

Searching for Water Damage Restoration Services? Contact PuroClean of Greenwich | Stamford Today!

If your bathtub has been leaking for any amount of time, it’s essential to be aware of the potential water damage that could occur. Once the leak is fixed, you may still need to address any lasting water damage in your home. Fortunately, our IICRC-certified water damage restoration technicians are equipped to handle any water damage caused by bathtub leaks. Don’t hesitate to contact PuroClean of Greenwich | Stamford. Look us up on linkedin, facebook, instagram.

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