A slow leak underneath a bathtub can result in an expensive disaster if the leak isn't identified and fixed before water damage occurs. Unfortunately, such leaks that are out of sight aren't noticeable until there's a sudden rupture of the plumbing pipes or water spots start appearing in the ceiling below the bathroom. If a slow plumbing leak caused extensive damage to the structural integrity of the flooring beneath the bathtub, you'll need to hire a water damage restoration service. Here's why and what you can expect.
A standard-sized bathtub, when filled, can weigh as much as 500 pounds. If the floor framing underneath the bathtub has wood rot from water damage, the structure would no longer be able to hold the weight of a bathtub full of water. However, if your bathtub is made of cast iron, it could weigh as much as 1,000 pounds without any water in it at all. Therefore, if your bathtub is cast iron, you definitely want to avoid filling the tub until after you've had repairs made of the bathtub's supporting structures.
Thermal Imaging Scanner
Since water damage inside walls cannot be seen by the naked eye, most water damage restoration services use thermal imaging scanners to assess the level of water damage that is hidden behind walls, underneath floors, and behind and under bathtubs and other visual obstructions. These scanners use infrared imaging to show where there is excessive moisture behind obstructions.
Water Damage Restoration
Depending on the amount of water found by the thermal imaging scanner, the restoration service may need to remove the bathtub and other fixtures in the bathroom, as well as drywall and flooring. If the damage is truly extensive, the service may need to replace structural beams underneath the bathroom. Should this be the case for the water damage in your home, you definitely should contact your homeowner's insurance company if you haven't already done so.
Inhibit Mold Growth
After the water-damaged materials and structures have been restored, the restoration service may need to dehumidify your home, which can help to prevent the growth of mold and mildew, particularly inside the walls and flooring. Again, depending on the extent of the damage in your home, this may involve using large dehumidifiers before the wall framing can be covered with drywall and the floor framing can be covered with underlayment and flooring. Speak with a water damage restoration service for more information regarding the amount of work involved for your particular situation.