Can a small bathroom leak really be that destructive?
Absolutely… here’s what most home owners don’t realise:
In the infrared photo below, you will see two different leaks on the same kitchen ceiling… and neither could be seen visually. Here’s what the scenario was with this inspection.
There was a bathroom directly above this ceiling, and when you walked across the bathroom floor it was very squeeky. This instantly alerted me there could be water under the tiles and waterproofing, and possible swelling in the particleboard floor that can’t be seen.
When you have a shower up against an external wall, it’s not just a matter of fixing the leak, but what damage has it caused to the timber framing in the wall in the meantime? What about saturated insulation holding moisture in the wall (will take months, if not years to dry)?
Wall damage will continue long after the leak has been repaired if you don’t do an invasive moisture test to confirm the water hasn’t tracked down the external walls below the shower (if on a 2nd floor), and penetrated into the timber. Treated timber will also get damaged if exposed to a gradual leak from and extended period of time.
You can see the track of a leak from a toilet to the left side of the infrared image, and you can also see a seperate shower drain leak captured by the thermal imaging camera (dark spot). The leak tracking across the ceiling on the left was also running down the external wall to the left of the window frame… leaving wet untreated timber in it’s path.
The home owner will not only need to repair the leaks, but also remove the wall lining to assess insulation and let the timber dry out or be replaced if decay and rot hasn’t already set in.
If this home owner had a regular infrared moisture check up of their home, they could have avoided needing to rip up the bathroom flooring etc ($9000 fix!).
Ring today for a free thermal leak detection scan quote of your house!