All homes have at least one of these rooms. Many have two or more. The fixtures in these rooms are rather standard. A sink, a shower, a toilet. Some homes may have a variation on these items, but at the end of the day, the bathroom is a standard area with certain expectations. During a professional home inspection, we are testing water pressure, wastewater drainage, the security of the fixtures, and any points where the presence of moisture can evade the fixtures and come into contact with the building materials surrounding the area.
Bathroom Inspection Checklist
- Test Sinks for Water Flow and Pressure
- Test Water Pressure from Tub/Shower and Toilet
- Check Water Flow at the Tub Spout and Shower Head
- Monitor Drainage Rate
- Take Note of Sealants Around Tub Rim
- Check Toilet Placement
- Check the Flooring Around the Toilet
- Inspect Subfloor (if necessary)
Detailed Bathroom Inspection Checklist
We test sinks for water flow and water pressure. We will run the sink, turn on the faucet at the tub/shower and flush the toilet. Because the sink has the greatest standard flow restrictions, this is the fixture that will show us if there is a water pressure concern. If the house was built in the 1970s or earlier, we can expect the pressurized potable water supply to be running through steel water pipes. Steel pipes will corrode over time, restricting water flow to the fixtures. If the house is newer than that, we would assume there is a blockage at the valve or the water pipes running to this room were undersized and cannot support the flow request.
While the fixtures are in use, we turn our attention to the tub or shower. The same process is observed here, but this time we already have a working theory processing in the background. Here we are checking the water flow at the tub spout and then at the shower head. Concurrently, we are monitoring the drainage rate of the water use fixture only so far as making sure the water can drain as quickly as it is supplied. If water starts to pool and build on itself, then the assumption is the drain is clogged. While reviewing this area, we take note of the sealants applied where the shower surround meets the tub rim and where the base of the tub meets the floor. If cement grouts are used, they often crack over time and will need to be examined for repair. A good replacement for cement grout is flexible caulking to elongate time periods between reapplications.
Lastly, the inspector turns his attention to the toilet. The toilet has already been flushed when the sink was reviewed, so we don’t have to do that again, but we should take a moment to check the security of the fixture to the floor and passively observe the flooring around the fixture to monitor for leaks at the drain below the unit. If the floor is wet, spongy, or discolored, the inspector should note the floor around the fixture and also review the subfloor from below if possible. The most common damage that occurs to the structural components in a bathroom is when the toilet is loose and wastewater is missing the drain pipe. People don’t like to get on their hands and knees below a toilet. It’s often gross. So instead, people just adjust to a loose toilet and allow the damages to occur over time. This is an expensive gamble. If the subfloor rots, the entire bathroom may need to be gutted and the subfloor replaced. The bill could tally above $10,000.
A Recap of Our Bathroom Inspection Checklist
Monitoring your home in areas where water is used is a good personal policy. Good habits in these areas will elongate the service life of this space. These good habits will save you money and improve your overall health. And when it is time to upgrade your bathroom, paying for fixture replacement, paint, and a new finished floor is less than half the cost of having water-damaged framing materials replaced before the finished fixtures can be installed.
Get Your Bathroom Inspected with Octopus Home Inspections
At Octopus Home Inspections, we are passionate about our work. Our home inspections are extremely thorough, fairly priced, detailed, and accurate. We strive to be a home inspection company that you can trust completely, knowing we have your safety and well-being in mind. If you’re looking for a home inspector you can trust in the greater Portland, Oregon area, contact us here.
“Chris and his team at Octopus Home Inspections blew my mind when it came to the service and skill you receive from a home inspection. Chris and his team were specific and thorough with the overall inspection. More so, the way he delivered this information to us was in such a friendly and helpful way and it was like we were family and he was walking through my future home showing me little things that needed to be taken care of and reaffirming and empowering me to take it on! I would recommend this team and specifically the owner, Chris, to anyone looking for a home inspection — I’ve already personally shared his info 4 times with friends who are buying and under contract since my inspection last week. Overall, an absolute delight amongst the chaos of the home-buying process!”
– Sarah (5 Star Google Review)