Basement Ceiling Leak – Part 13 – Drying Out the Floor

In Part 12 we uncovered the improper fold of the water proofing mat that was also letting the water leaking from the wall / floor tile joins out of the mat and onto the particle board, drywall, etc. Disappointing that the en suite shower we had installed as part of our home renovation effort less than a year ago was already giving us problems.

Now, the water proof mat is removed and we see the extent of the water leak.

en suite shower stall repair 050 Basement Ceiling Leak   Part 13   Drying Out the Floor

In the above picture, notice the dramatic difference in the colour along the edge of the cement board that was under the concrete floor. This of course is an indication of significant water escaping from the water proof mat.

en suite shower stall repair 062 Basement Ceiling Leak   Part 13   Drying Out the Floor

Above is a picture of the entire shower floor once the water proof mat is completely removed. Again, notice the wetness of the outer edges of the cement board on the left and top of the picture. Also notice the wet area at the base of the horizontal wood at the top of the picture. A lot of water was leaking.

So, what to do?

en suite shower stall repair 059 Basement Ceiling Leak   Part 13   Drying Out the Floor

First, Alex, Bennett’s son in the above picture, held the drain pipe while his dad was in the basement cutting the drain pipe. This was because the plan was to move the drain to more in the center of the shower floor. This would then allow a more gradual slope from all areas of the shower floor. The current placement close to the shower bench did result in some small water puddles between the drain opening and the built-in shower bench.

en suite shower stall repair 066 Basement Ceiling Leak   Part 13   Drying Out the Floor

Well, over the weekend we placed a de-humidifier inside the shower stall to help dry the floor, wood, etc. Monday would tell the situation. Hopefully the wood and floor will have dried to allow Bennett to continue to install the new floor. And, he mentioned that he would likely use bleach or some substance to kill any mold that might be attempting to grow on the continually web portions of the floor.

To continue to the next article in this series, simply select this link to Part 14.

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  1. Nick says:

    What a long tale, the guy who made this fold mistake is the one if he desirves to be blamed.

  2. Dan says:

    Hi Nick,

    A small but costly mistake indeed.


  3. andrew roe says:

    Great article and I’m having nearly the exact same issue. My question for you though is a) what if it was just the drain – could you have just removed the concrete around the drain, say 5″ all around and then replaced it, filled in w/ quick set (concrete) and retiled – or is it necessary to remove the ENTIRE floor and say the bottom row of tiles – put in a new rubber shower pan or bib, new drain fitting, then re-quick set it.. then finally tile and grout? I’m hoping i don’t need to do quite the extensive job you did but it’s looking like i may have to.

  4. Dan says:

    Hi Andrew,

    I’m glad our experiences could be of help to you.

    Let me put it this way. If we did not take out the entire concrete floor of the show, we would never have found the true cause of the leak, i.e. the inproperly folded waterproofing mat in the corner of the floor.

    Even though it cost more to do, I agreed with Bennett in removing the entire floor ‘just to be sure’.


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