A shower pan leak morphs into a master bath remodel.

I was walking around the back of our house, and noticed a wet spot on the foundation, just below the bricks. It was about four feet long, located by the shower in our master bath. I called to my wife, Holly, to have a look. She confirmed my suspicion. The shower pan was leaking. But why? About seven or eight years ago, this master bath had been completely remodeled, including the shower. A shower pan should last longer than eight years. We remodeled the master bath because our neighbor’s six year old son had driven the family SUV backwards through our wood fence, over a magnolia tree, finally plowing a huge hole into our house. Apparently she had given him the keys and told him to start the car. Not only did he start the car, the little bugger floored the accelerator and put it in gear, launching mom’s Honda Pilot into our master bath. Miraculously, no one was hurt. The Honda was wrecked; our house looked like someone had driven their car into it. Holly got the name of a contractor, Billy, to do the work. This was BMFF (before Mr Fixit Fast) so she did not have access to the competent and reliable contractors she works with now. Billy did an OK job. We were happy about it at the time. However, after about five years, mold appeared on the caulking at the bottom of the shower, a sign that there was a leak. The shower pan had not been poured and sealed properly. This time it would be different. The old shower was ripped out. Fortunately there was only a little mold on the bottom of the sheet rock outside the shower. Our friend Gerry with Puro-Clean checked the shower area, the walls, and carpet in the closet for mold and moisture. The wood and sheet rock were replaced, and the shower was roughed out with hardy board and sealed with red sealer. Holly loves a torn up house, and used this opportunity to add some new touches. The half-bath was remodeled as well. A note for prospective remodelers. Be patient. Clearly state your expectations to your contractor. Make sure they are experienced, licensed and insured. Set a reasonable time table to get the work done. Be prepared for some inconvenience. It will be worth it when it is finished.

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