Bathtubs and showers contribute to mold problems if not installed properly

Of all the rooms in a home, bathrooms typically accrue the most moisture, and this moisture can produce mold growth if it is not controlled properly.One such problem that may require mold testing by a Washington, D.C. home inspector is a leaky shower.

Homeowners should always be on the lookout for problems related to leaks in a bathtub or shower. If water seeps out of a shower through a glass door, for example, homeowners may be able to fix the problem by applying caulking at the seem of the shower wall and its base.

More serious problems, such as a leaky tile shower base or water dripping down through a light fixture, will probably require the assistance of a professional. Home inspection professionals have the experience, along with tools such as a shower dam, that is required to spot potential areas of concern. They can also conduct an inspection for mold if necessary. One such inspector, Reuben Saltzman, writes a column for The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

"One of the most common places to find plumbing leaks during home inspections is at the showers," Saltzman said. "Steel showers always leak, glass doors frequently leak and tiled shower floors will leak if they're installed wrong."

Most problems related to shower leaks can be solved by applying caulking to problem areas. This should help seal the shower basin and repel water away from the sub-floor. If caulking isn't installed correctly when a shower or bathtub is put in a bathroom, long-term repair costs from water damage could hit a homeowner's wallet quite hard.

If you are apply caulking yourself, be sure to allow the material sufficient time to dry before you use the shower. Premature use of the shower could compromise the new sealant and render it essentially useless.