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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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!
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