This was one of the worst-designed showers I’ve ever seen. It was found in a New Westminster condo inspection recently.
First of all, there were two windows in the shower; one window is usually bad enough. This photo (courtesy of Carson-Dunlop) illustrates the problem with windows in showers – they (almost) always contribute to leakage.
Secondly, the workmanship was shoddy and most of the grout lines were severely cracked. Cracked grout ensures that water will enter into the backing board, soaking it and weakening the wall considerably. The wall was so soft I could push it almost 1/2″ in with my hand.
Thirdly, the floor drain (bottom left of photo) was half-buried under the wall, which caused water to pool against the bottom edge of the wall – which had, you guessed it, cracked grout. We found moisture over six feet away in the drywall, beside the sink.
This shower will need to be completely rebuilt. And when the wall is opened up, there may be surprises, such as mold, rotten studs, and destroyed insulation.
The seller, however, negotiated a nice reduction!
Author David Fairbairn is a certified, licensed home inspector serving Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. He has been featured in the media and has contributed to "24" Newspaper, and Global TV. He has spent years working with residential and commercial building projects, and holds a Power Engineering License in BC. Why not give him a call for your next Home Inspection? Call 604 395-2795 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today!