Renovation Drama: Leaking bathroom

So far our renovation experience has been great. We love the house, we love the process and we love eachother.

Sure we have some days that we are tired and stressed, but most of the time it has been a great ride.

But we’ve encountered our first Renovation Drama and in this post I’ll tell you all about it.

The start of leakage

As soon as the tiles were in and the shower was functional (keep an eye out for a post on this) we started using the shower. Showering was great and we had no problems.

One big bonus was that downstairs all the ceilings were down.

Dining room ceiling and bathroom floor

So we were able to keep a close eye on possible leaks from the new bathroom.


Not a single drop for weeks.

We were comfortable with the progress and the ceiling in the dining room was up for plasterboards and stucco next on the list. So this was done and everything was fine.

Until one day I noticed a slight dicoloration on the newly painted wall in the studio. It seemed to be on the seam of where two plasterboards meet and I sounded the alarm.

Was this moisture from the bathroom?!?!

Shortly after I noticed our flawless ceiling in the dining room having a spot.

small leakage on the dining room ceiling
On this picture you can see it clearly, but it was less obvious in the beginning.

But since the ceiling was drying there was no way to tell it was a leakage. The ceiling dried and so did the spot.

Every now and then the spot came back and started growing.

The conclusion: we have a leaking bathroom…

Leakage first aid

The weird thing was the leak didn’t seem to have a corrolation to us using the shower.

We started testing and making pictures of the growing and shrinking spot in the ceiling. Everything was checked, from the tiles to the fixtures to…well evertyhing else.

Tracking the progression of the bathroom leak

And then the inevitable happened…

They made a hole in the studio wall.

Holes near the floor

And then some more.

Holes and insulation removed

With a small camera every option was investigated, but besides moisture nothing could be found.

We were put on a testing regime. Trying different showering habits and waiting for the leak to grow or dry.

Shower head wrapped to only hit the drain
We wrapped the shower head so it would only use the drain.

Nothing helped.

For some odd reason Patrick produced less leakage than I did when showering, even when using the same shower.

Feeling lost

Within a day after the first discovery everything started to revolve around the leakage and slowly we started to feel a bit down.

You just feel powerless. Not knowing the cause and thus not knowing how to fix it. Not having the knowledge to try to fix this yourself and be dependant on others for this. Having to stop all progress on projects even remotely in the vincinity of the bathroom (floor). And the promiss of Christmas (and a stop in progress to go along with that) around the corner.

So far we’ve had it easy. But this was the first point where we felt it’s not fun anymore.

We had so many plans and things to do before the year was over, but chances of this happening were getting slimmer by the day.

Hole in plastered ceiling

The worst day during the complete renovation so far was coming home from work and seeing a big hole in our previously beautiful flawless ceiling.

I could cry about it. I didn’t, but I could.

This hole showed a lot of moisture, but no cause:

The revelation

Savior of the day was Patrick, who went on all fours and found a small crack in between two tiles!

small crack in between the tiles

Testing revealed this to be The Cause of All Evil!

Now what?

This is the situation as of today: The leak is fixed, but the collateral damage needs to be repared.

Getting more things done before christmas is probably too ambitious. Which is not that great of a feeling when you have people coming over.

We had such big plans: painting walls, putting in a temporary floor in the living room and dining room. And having a christmas tree.

But I don’t see this happening in 2017 anymore.

On the bright side: the leak is fixed and we can move forward again. We feel a lot better knowing we are on the up again, that’s nice.

But just so you know: renovation is not all fun and games. At least not all the time 🙂