That was the sound of water leaking through our garage ceiling and landing on my car hood, the washing machine, and the floor. The sound of our master bath tub cracking, a tub full of water draining down the pipes and also into the floor and through the ceiling below.
That's our garage floor. We cut a few holes through the drywall that makes up the garage ceiling to be sure no water was pooling up there and to let it ventilate so it would dry faster.
And then we followed the ceiling beam to the end and sliced some more openings into the drywall, because water travels the path of least resistance and there were drips coming out that spot as well. For their part, Luca and Rohan dumped out two plastic bins full of train table pieces all over the floor upstairs so they could bring us the buckets to 'catch the water'. Ah, young helpers.
Once we were sure the water wasn't pooling in the ceiling and all the drips had ended, we went upstairs to survey the damage. And there it was in all its fiberglass glory:
Darrick decided to do two things right away (well, after a brief freak out and a lot of profanity): remove the baseboard by the sides of the tub to check for moisture and pull back one side of the tub surround to let it ventilate more.
He used a utility blade to cut through the silicone cauling around the perimeter of the surround, then grabbed the sides and pulled back. It came unstuck pretty easily, but rather than removing it entirely we left it affixed to the back wall and propped open, to let air flow behind it.
Removing the baseboard was simple enough with a hammer used to pry it away from the wall. Once we had that removed, we could feel a little moisture around the bottom edge of the tub. At this time, it's hard to tell if the moisture there means that water has soaked the subfloor and is causing damage, or if it was just damp because the kids had finished their (splashy) bath in there less than an hour earlier.
The good/bad news is that we have to remove the tub and replace it, but to do so we have to remove the tile in the room. The bathroom has saltillo tile, just like the entire downstairs used to have, and we remember all too clearly how un-fun removing all that tile can be. The tile sits on top of the front lip of the tub's apron, so there's no choice but to remove, at a minimum, the tiles directly in front of the tub. And if you're removing that, you may as well remove all of it. Which also means taking out the toilet until new tile is put in. And while we're in there, we may as well remove the countertop and cabinets, since the counters are a bit short for us (they only come up to my pelvis) and what better time than now to either get new ones or refinish and put risers under the current ones?
Do you see where this is going? Because I do. Which gets back to why this is good/bad news. On one hand, I'm not excited to spend the time and money removing the tile and tub and putting in new tile and tub and possibly replacing the countertops. On the other hand, the opportunity to maybe put in a deeper tub and raise the height of the counters and freshen up the look in that bathroom is pretty exciting.
For now, it's looking like our steps will be:
- Remove toilet and cover hole
- Remove tile
- Remove tub surround (also involves removing showerhead and closing off that pipe)
- Pull out and discard tub (also involves removing and covering drain into floor)
- Have insurance assessor look at damage and determine if it's going to be covered by insurance
- Cut away water-damaged drywall in garage ceiling
- Put in new insulation and replace drywall.
- Potential repair/replacement of subflooring in bathroom
- Potential refinishing of cabinets
- Removal of current counters and cabinets
- Removal of hardware (towel rack, light plates, etc.)
- Repaint bathroom ceiling and walls
- Installation of new tub and surround
- Hook up plumbing to bath and shower
- Installation of new flooring
- Installation of toilet
- Installation of cabinets (either refinished old ones with risers or new ones)
- Installation of countertops (either current one or new)
- Installation of tub surround
That's quite a to-do list, and that's an optimistic one based on the hope that there is no extensive damage to the subfloor, drywall of the garage ceiling, etc. If there is, this could get a lot more complicated (and expensive!).