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Bathrooms photos: P 115-P 116, P 211
Check the bathroom walls and floors for any structural problems or settlement cracks. Check the condition of the bathroom wall and floor coverings. Most houses have ceramic tile floor coverings and part of the walls may have tile coverings. In some houses you'll find carpeting on the bathroom floors. Carpeting isn't used very often because of the possibility of the carpet getting wet. Lift up a corner of the carpet to see what's underneath. Sometimes there are cracked and damaged tiles or water stains.
Press on some tiles, especially in the bathtub and shower area to see if any are loose. Don't press or bang the tiles too hard. I once did an inspection and thought I was lightly banging the tiles. The walls were thin sheetrock without anything between the wall studs. We heard a crash in the next room and soon found I had knocked a glass ornament off the shelf!
Check to see if the tiles need to be caulked at the corners or regrouted between the joints. This is required to prevent water leaks behind the walls. Caulk s a flexible material used for water proofing. Caulk seals corners which are prone to movement from expansion and contraction. Grout s a hard material that is a thin mortar used to seal cracks between tiles. Grout will hold the tiles in place and prevent water leaks at the seams.
If there is a standup shower in the bathroom, make sure you look at the floor for any signs of prior leaks. These floors are prone to water leaks between the ceramic tiles if they're not kept caulked at all times. The reason for this is they're made of many tiles and not a one-piece unit like a bathtub. Water leaks will rot out the floor pan underneath the tiles. If the water damage goes unnoticed for a long time it will lead to extensive damage and costly repairs.
Some shower and tub areas are made of a premolded plastic and fiberglass material. Check these for any cracks and proper caulking around the edges. Check the bathroom cabinets by opening and closing them. Make sure they are securely fastened to the wall. The homeowner should install child guards on the cabinet doors if there are any children in the house.
Check the condition of the bathroom sink area for any cracks or loose sections. Make sure the drain stop mechanism in the sink is working. Often they won't be working properly and will need replacement. Test any bathroom ventilation fans for proper operation. See if there's at least one electrical outlet and that it has Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter protection. Sometimes in older houses there won't be any grounded outlets in the bathroom which is an inconvenience.
Check the water pressure and drainage with the client present. The reason you want the client to watch while you check the water pressure is so he can see for himself the results of your testing.
Check the water pressure and drainage with the client present. The reason you want the client to watch while you check the water pressure is so he can see for himself the results of your testing. Whether or not a particular house has satisfactory water pressure is up to the individual who will be living there. What I mean is that I've seen people who wouldn't buy a house because the water pressure wasn't very strong. I've also seen people who were satisfied with water pressure that I wouldn't feel was strong enough for my usage. It's up to the individual so let them decide if the water pressure is strong enough.
There are usually local guidelines about what the minimum allowable water pressure should be, but generally, most houses will always meet the minimum criteria. To check the bathroom water pressure, run the bathroom faucet hot and cold lines to make sure there's adequate hot water and there are no leaks underneath the sink. While the sink faucets are running, turn on the bathtub faucet and/or the showerhead. While both of these are running simultaneously, flush the toilet and watch to see if there's a drop in the water pressure. It's normal to see a small drop in pressure. What you're looking for is a significant drop in pressure. A large drop in pressure during this test will indicate that if someone is taking a shower and the washing machine, dishwasher, other sinks, etc. are used at the same time; then the shower pressure will drop which can be a nuisance. If you like, you can purchase small water pressure reading devices. These devices can be attached to a faucet for an exact reading of the water pressure. After running the water for a few minutes check to see if the sink and tub drain properly. Sometimes they'll drain very slowly and need to be unclogged.
If there's a Jacuzzi or hot tub in the house, you're not required to evaluate these other than the visible aspects. You don't have to fill them up with water and test the motors. (Unless of course you decide you want to take a relaxing bath yourself while the client waits outside).
Some houses have bathrooms in the lower level area. If the plumbing drainage lines are located higher than the drainage lines to this bathroom, then an ejector pump will be needed. Ejector pumps look like large sump pumps that have an enclosed cover. The purpose of these pumps is to lift the drainage water up to the main plumbing drainage line so it can be removed from the house. Just run the water in this bathroom until you hear the ejector pump turn on and drain some water away.