brand new home - have leak

Greetings. As a new homeowner (moved in 6 days ago), I have already found the need to find and join this list. As we were unpacking boxes yesterday, I looked up to notice that the paint was bubbled up and separating from the the ceiling in the dining room (wasn't like that on the day we moved in). Since there is a bathroom directly above, I assumed that there must be a leak. After finding a pin and puncturing one of the bubbles, I discovered that my assumption was correct. It appears as though there is a leak from a pipe under the floor near the toilet since the grout seems to be wet. There is no evidence of water ON the bathroom floor. Now... to the questions:
1. This house is brand new - we bought it during construction. Shouldn't the builder be responsible for fixing this? Should he also be responsible for repainting the ceiling in th dining room?
2. Once the leak is fixed, is there anything else that should be repaired? Will the floorboards need to be replaced - since they got wet? Will the tile/grout be damaged or prone to mildew? I guess what I'm asking is... aside from the obvious things like the leak and the paint, are there other issues to think about?
As a first time homeowner, I'm rather clueless about this stuff and would immensely appreciate some advice. I'm just praying this isn't the tip of the iceberg for this house.
Thanks!
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call the builder he should fix the leak and repaint anything, also call the building inspector he should go over everything for free. I would not worry at this point, the inspector will be of most help to you.
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On Sun, 15 Jul 2007 07:15:45 -0700, ransley wrote:

Couldn't have said it better myself.
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No only should you have the plumbing fixed, you should insist that all of the sheetrock in the dining room be replaced -- to the edge of the area that got wet. It might be quite small or pretty large, but stick you head up in the hole and make sure all wet sheetrock is removed. Don't let the mold get started.
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There is no reason to replace all the sheet rock just to do so. You dont need the extra mess, just fix what shows damage. A recently found leak will likely have no future issues.
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ransley wrote: ...

Yes, probably won't need to actually replace any except repair the access hole required to get to/repair the leak.
It would behoove OP to try to get to where can see where/what is leaking -- it may be possible to isolate the offending fixture depending on where/what it is that is leaking and mitigate further damage significantly.
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wrote:

Sorry, but IMHO, in a brand new house I'd want the sheetrock in the ceiling replaced as well and not simply repainted. If it was a 15-20 y/o house and the plumbing struck a leak I might try to patch/repair, but if that had already been done when the house was new perhaps that option would then be off the table. I guess if you are going to move in a few years and don't care about the next owner just allow them 'clean it up' with kilz & paint, but if I were moving into brand new construction I'd want the ceiling repaired/replaced to 'new' condition as THAT is what I paid for.
Just my 2cents.
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It does not matter what you want, it matters what the warranty says that counts. If a patch is invisible,, that would be a satisfactory repair. Since neither of us can see how bad the damage is, the contractor will decide what is best.
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I will agree that since we can not see the damage, if any, it is really hard to make a recommendation. However, it does matter what the new buyer (especially on new construction) wants when it comes to the house being 'delivered' with a defect. Contractors who feel otherwise (right or wrong) do end up in court.
I am assuming we are talking about a leak between the upstairs bathroom floor and the dining room ceiling based on the OP. While this could be a simple plumbing mishap, and it does happen, and it probably (hopefully!) isn't an indicator of future issues due to shoddy workmanship throughout the house, there is a responsibility on the builder to deliver the structure free from defect to the buyer's satisfaction.
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wrote:

Good point, if the job is bad, then take photos.
tom @ www.donate-car-2-charity.com
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wrote:

Read again what he said, and you'll see that you have not expressed disagreement with it.
Maybe you want to discuss with the previous guy what he said, but I don't know, because you don't say how much you would replace. Would you replace "all of the sheetrock in the dining room", all of the sheetrock in the dining room ceiling, every entire 4x8 sheet that has the slightest damage anywhere on it, any sheetrock that has damage including 4 or 6 inch borders to make sure of getting everything and to make the cut lines straight and the corners rectangular, or some other possibility?

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wrote:

Sorry, you did say. You say the sheetrock in the ceiling, but now I assume you are agreeing with Pat, who says above to the border of what got wet. The dispute was on wet versus damaged, which I didn't understand before.
I doubt there is much difference between what got wet and what shows damage. And I would think any repairman would leave a few inches of border around what shows damage, or when he cuts that part out, if anything crumbles like it was once wet, he cut out more. So I presume they will do it right.
FTR, I have parts in the dining room and the basement family room that were so wet they were dripping, but I didn't do anything and it's loooked fine for years. However for all I know it is ruined. If a guy came now, when it's dry, I don't have enough experience to know if he could tell what had been wet or not, and if all that had been wet is really damaged.
Based on the OP I doubt the damageed area is more than 2 feet by 2 and should have stopped growing, but whatever, the OP should keep track and tell them before they start. If she says 3x3, I'm sure they'll do what she wants if she tells them in advance. They're not going to want to use their own best judgement and then be told they have to do it again.

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wrote:

I think new homes always have a couple problems.
What the others said, plus turn off the water to the toilet, or tub, or sink, whatever is leaking. There is a toilet valve just behind the toilet, sink valves just below the sink, and you may or may not have an access panel for the tub. If you have to, turn off the water to the whole bathroom, there's a valve for that in the basement or crawl space or somewhere.
Normally none of these things leak unless you have used them. That is, it's usually the drain. But if somehow it continues to leak when your not using it, it's the supply pipe and to be sure you need to turn that off in the basement.
You have a legal and moral duty to mitigate damages, to keep them as small as possible. And it's in your interest too, because the more they have to rip out, the worse it will be for you.
I don't think the floorboards are damaged. Don't they use waterresistant plywood or that other stuff in bathrooms, and floor joists are too big to be bothered by a little water for a short time.
Turn off the water and it will all start drying out now.
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wrote:

It's probably the drain, because if it were the supply, it probably would have been leaking since the plumber finished.
You moved in adn started using the plumbing, so now the drain is carrying water. If so, and you are positive which drain is leaking, just don't use it anymore.
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photoflavor wrote:

The home has serious issues! You should move out, get a motel or some other place to stay. Then contact your lawyer and sue!
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Hi,
I know the feeling. But don't panic yet. I had a similar issue. A brand new home and two months later my roof leaked. Water dripping and a huge bubble which burst with water all over the floor. Turned out my issue was a piece of flashing coming loose. The roof guy was there the next day and within two weeks the painter had come and fixed the paint. Not quite perfect because old and new paint don;t quite match. Two years later still O.K. My builder I think was good. And very responsive.
My guess in your home is that the plumbing was probablly O.K. when it was put in. Supply lines are usually pressured checked by compressed air prior to sheet rock going up. Also as another poster said, if it was supply side, then it woudl have been aparent right away. What probablly happened was that your house is setteling a bit, as did my house. We had some small cracks show up in the tile grout etc. these were a pretty easy fix. Maybe your house moved sufficiently to break a drain seal. Pipe is still O.K. etc, just that you have a seal broken somewhere.
What needs to be replaced depends on how much water and for how long. I think you spotted the problem pretty much as soon as it happened. So that is probablly going to be O.K. Note when a house is built, the frame, wall and floor boards where open to the weather for about a month or so. Builders do put up plastic tarps to keep rain off, but some does get through, and this is the case in all houses. So long as the area dries out O.K. afterwards and remains dry you should be O.K. Take a look when the person somes to fix the leak. He will have to removed the sheet rock to fix the leak anyway. If it looks O.K. then it probablly is. It is is all moldy, then yes you may have an issue. However seeing that you spotted the problem in the space of a day, I think you shuld be O.K.
Best, Mike.
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Thanks everyone for the replies. We discovered some of the grout around the toilet is wet, but there is no other visible sign of a leak on top of the floor. We stopped using that bathroom, and the bubbling paint in the dining room has subsided. SO, as other's have pointed out, wherever the leak is, it's due to use - likely a drain somewhere. I'm not thrilled about the idea of it possibly being drainage from the toilet!
Thanks again!
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photoflavor wrote:

That would indicate probably the toilet flange seal...
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