Water leak at ceiling…roof or plumbing? Maybe neither!

We recently were called by a homeowner who was quite distressed about a water leak in the ceiling of their home.   In all fairness to the homeowner, a plumber was called because the leak was in the first floor ceiling so it was apparently not a roof leak.  The plumber had decided that the one piece fiberglass tub/shower above on the second floor was the problem.  So the plumber spent time and homeowner’s money but did not resolve the problem.  

We arrived at the home and opened up the ceiling at the leak area and we did see the tub/shower drain and valve directly above.  We went through our normal troubleshooting but could not recreate the leak. And then…an epiphany.  The homeowner had removed the shower head and installed a hand held shower for their two teenage daughters.  The daughters were each showering at least twice a day.  So what we did next was rather revealing.   Grasping the hand held shower and pointing it directly at the valve and spout on the wall of the tub/shower, a force of water was sprayed.  Immediately water began dripping…no running down onto the ceiling below. 

To make a long story short, we did apply some sealant but the fact of the matter is that the homeowner is creating the problem and should not expect the one piece fiberglass tub/shower unit to prevent unreasonable demands of forced water.    

Most of you have a Primary Care Physician (PCP) to take care of your physical body.  How many of you have a Primary Care Contractor (PCC) to take care of your home?  As general contractors we see the whole picture because we manage and coordinate the entire project.  And with over 30 years of customer service experience and troubleshooting problems, consider Balas Homes as your Primary Care Contractor.

Winter Pipes

With winter coming and the thermometer dropping it is important to consider steps necessary to keep your pipes from freezing.  Here are some things you can do to save on costly repair bills.

  •  Do not leave hoses on hose bibs.
  • Drain frost proof hose bibs with vacuum breakers, when required (check the hose bib instructions).
  • Keep your house heated above freezing (don’t forget garages and crawl spaces).
  • Make sure water meter boxes are filled with sawdust and the lid is on tight.
  • Keep doors and windows closed to keep heat in.
  • Insulated pipes in unheated garages will not ensure you against freeze damage if the garage gets too cold.  If you do not plan to keep areas like this minimally heated, it is our advice to consider installing heat tape.  If your washing machine is in a garage, this is imperative.  The initial cost may save you from future frozen pipes.