Seattle Home Inspector's Blog


Let’s not talk about bathroom odors!

When I walked into the master bathroom there was the ever so slight odor of mold present.  I did not think too much about it.  Musty odors in bathrooms are not all that uncommon, and perhaps that is why plug-in air fresheners are so common in bathrooms.

When I opened the shower door, it became clear where the smell was originating, as the smell of mold cascaded into the room like an avalanche.

Someone had installed tile inside the plastic shower pan for fun.

tile shower base

The tiles were now loose and the grout was badly cracked and loose.  This made a perfect environment for growing mold and bacteria.  Even in properly installed showers with glass doors, it is very difficult for these enclosures to dry out when the doors are left closed.  Mold growth inside them is very common.

When tiles are is installed in such a manner, they retain moisture even more, and mold growth is guaranteed.  It might be possible to install tiles properly in such an enclosure, but this base was not designed for tiles to be installed in it.  In all likelihood, the tile can be successfully removed and the base cleaned and returned to normal function--unless of course, the tiles were installed to conceal some sort of mechanical damage to the shower base.

Removing this failed tile installation, that is conducive to the growth of mold, is important to maintain and improve good indoor air quality.

Mold growth in homes is rarely “rocket science.”


Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

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37 commentsCharles Buell • April 21 2014 07:08AM
Let’s not talk about bathroom odors!
When I walked into the master bathroom there was the ever so slight odor of mold present. I did not think too much about it. Musty odors in bathrooms are not all that uncommon, and perhaps that is why plug-in air fresheners are so common in… more
The problem of warm moist air being lighter than cold dry air.
I was thinking about doing a long and involved treatise on the myriad ways that air moves out of homes and into roof structures. The reality is that air moves in and out of our homes in too many ways to cover in a post that would not result in… more
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What is it with fried foods anyway?
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