Author Topic: Master Bathroom Baseboard Gunk: What is this and what do I do?  (Read 1895 times)

Psychstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1352
Master Bathroom Baseboard Gunk: What is this and what do I do?
« on: October 20, 2021, 07:32:40 AM »
Title pretty much covers it. There is something expanding along the baseboard in the bathroom. This is on the wall that is opposite the showerhead. Thoughts on what it is and if so, what should be my next steps?

Sibley

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6299
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
Re: Master Bathroom Baseboard Gunk: What is this and what do I do?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2021, 07:57:58 AM »
Coming from under the paint? Might be something leeching from the wood. Could also be some form of mold. Or interaction between something and the moisture. My guess would be mold since its a bathroom. Is there plumbing in the wall behind it? Or another source of water?

Regardless, humidity isn't going to help. Make sure you use the bathroom fan and try to lower the humidity in there.

former player

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7837
  • Location: Avalon
Re: Master Bathroom Baseboard Gunk: What is this and what do I do?
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2021, 08:16:59 AM »
Looks to me like a source of damp behind the baseboard leading to mold/fungus in the wood.

Follow all your plumbing around the house to see if there is any piping in that wall or its vicinity. What is underneath that wall and could the damp be wicking up from underneath?

You might have to take off that bit of baseboard to see what's going on if there are no other clues.

The other possibility is that I see there is a doorstop a bit further along, so I guess if this area had been inadequately ventilated by having a door up against it or perhaps a piece of furniture then that might have allowed damp to go from the surface of the wood to the inside.  I think damp coming up from behind or below looks more likely just going by that picture.

sonofsven

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 902
Re: Master Bathroom Baseboard Gunk: What is this and what do I do?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2021, 08:22:11 AM »
Scrape it off and if there's still good wood, then  "glue, putty, paint- make it what it ain't".

If the wood is too soft to repair then replace the wood.

I could recite a second corny saying but I'll stop ;-)

zolotiyeruki

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4767
  • Location: State: Denial
Re: Master Bathroom Baseboard Gunk: What is this and what do I do?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2021, 01:32:33 PM »
If it doesn't wipe off, it looks to me like water is either wicking up from the floor (splatter from the shower?), or from inside the wall.

Psychstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1352
Re: Master Bathroom Baseboard Gunk: What is this and what do I do?
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2021, 08:07:30 AM »
Thanks for the ideas. To try and give a little more context, here is a very professional drawing up the master bathroom layout. the substance in question is along the highlighted portion.

The shower is a frameless glass with a hinge door that is opposite of the bathtub.

My first hunch is mold due to the limited ventilation (the only vent is in the water closet), but it just seems odd to be in a space that is not directly in a splash zone from the shower.

Greystache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 509
Re: Master Bathroom Baseboard Gunk: What is this and what do I do?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2021, 09:21:36 AM »
You're not going to like this, but my guess is that the there is a leak in the shower pan or there is a leak in the plumbing in the wall. Either way it is going to be messy and expensive to fix. Hope I am wrong. Start by removing the affected baseboard and see what is behind it. If you see wet studs and drywall you have a serious problem.

lhamo

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1985
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Master Bathroom Baseboard Gunk: What is this and what do I do?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2021, 12:27:00 PM »
Do you use both of those showerheads, or mostly just one of them?

Agree that the likely problem is somewhere in/under that left side showerhead enclosure wall.  Either water is seeping through a crack in the shower pan in that area, or there is a leaky pipe somewhere in that wall area.

Psychstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1352
Re: Master Bathroom Baseboard Gunk: What is this and what do I do?
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2021, 12:37:18 PM »
Do you use both of those showerheads, or mostly just one of them?

Agree that the likely problem is somewhere in/under that left side showerhead enclosure wall.  Either water is seeping through a crack in the shower pan in that area, or there is a leaky pipe somewhere in that wall area.

Pretty equal. We essentially treat it as his and her sides. DW uses the showerhead in question.

TrMama

  • Guest
Re: Master Bathroom Baseboard Gunk: What is this and what do I do?
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2021, 02:33:42 PM »
You're not going to like this, but my guess is that the there is a leak in the shower pan or there is a leak in the plumbing in the wall. Either way it is going to be messy and expensive to fix. Hope I am wrong. Start by removing the affected baseboard and see what is behind it. If you see wet studs and drywall you have a serious problem.

That would be my guess too.

My dad added a very clever "feature" when he had a similar leak in the pipes that fed his shower. He cut a large rectangular hole in the drywall on the backside of the wall. After the plumbing was fixed he made a nice looking cedar panel/magazine rack and simply hung it over the rough drywall opening. The panel looked like it was "built in", but it was really just hanging from the studs like a big piece of art.

If he ever had to access those pipes again he only had to lift the panel off the wall.

lhamo

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1985
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Master Bathroom Baseboard Gunk: What is this and what do I do?
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2021, 05:09:41 PM »
We did something similar to when we had our water main replaced.  The flipper who we bought the house from had built a wall over the main water shutoff thing (!).  So when we replaced the pipes and the valve we made a little panel to go over the opening.  It is in a storage closet so it doesn't even have to look nice.  And removing a small panel when you need to shut off the water main is WAAAAY better than having to tear the wall out!

Sibley

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6299
  • Location: Northwest Indiana
Re: Master Bathroom Baseboard Gunk: What is this and what do I do?
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2021, 05:29:30 PM »
Ouch. Based on that drawing, I agree you've got something leaking in that wall. Good luck.

BudgetSlasher

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1138
Re: Master Bathroom Baseboard Gunk: What is this and what do I do?
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2021, 11:15:06 AM »
I am also in the camp that you have a leak.

I've lived in a couple houses with a leak in a shower. The first was a failed/improperly installed shower pan which necessitated pretty much replacing the shower. The second someone had hung the drywall from the copper shower head riser pipe, one the screw corroded away enough every time the shower was used it would leak out the hole.

Basically, my take is you have a leak either from the plumbing or the shower itself. Likely the only way to tell/fix it is to open the wall. Plus if you have water you probably have mold, if not rot, that you might want do address depending on your sensitivities.

yachi

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 981
Re: Master Bathroom Baseboard Gunk: What is this and what do I do?
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2021, 02:12:10 PM »
Any update?

On the off chance it isn't a leak inside the wall, you might want to start with something like a hole large enough for an access panel:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/14-in-x-14-in-Access-Panel-with-Frame-APD14/204352607#product-overview

Psychstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1352
Re: Master Bathroom Baseboard Gunk: What is this and what do I do?
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2021, 11:40:28 AM »
Any update?

On the off chance it isn't a leak inside the wall, you might want to start with something like a hole large enough for an access panel:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/14-in-x-14-in-Access-Panel-with-Frame-APD14/204352607#product-overview

Not yet. DW is not comfortable with me digging in and taking a look, so I am going to call a plumber to come check it out after I get back from work trip next week. In the meantime, we have stopped using on the gunk-adjacent side until we get it looked at. Will post an update when I can.

Thanks for the rec, I def like the idea of improving access for future repairs.

geekette

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2283
Re: Master Bathroom Baseboard Gunk: What is this and what do I do?
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2021, 11:51:54 AM »
We had something similar in a baseboard adjacent to the shower.  It turned out to be that the shower arm washer (where the shower arm connects to the riser in the wall) got mispositioned over the years and leaked. 

Too bad we went through a LOT of other things before we figured that out.

lutorm

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 624
  • Location: A large island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean
Re: Master Bathroom Baseboard Gunk: What is this and what do I do?
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2021, 03:21:46 PM »
Looks like tannin spotting to me, but I agree it's probably because there's moisture in the wood drawing it out. Deal with it soon before you have major moisture damage.

Psychstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1352
Re: Master Bathroom Baseboard Gunk: What is this and what do I do?
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2021, 12:01:59 PM »
Small Update: Plumber came out and checked and the pipes are fine. His leading theory is a leak in the shower pan. Working on getting someone to come rip things up and put in non-broken versions.


Psychstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1352
Re: Master Bathroom Baseboard Gunk: What is this and what do I do?
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2022, 07:37:39 AM »
UPDATE TIME:

@Greystache is the winner!

You're not going to like this, but my guess is that the there is a leak in the shower pan or there is a leak in the plumbing in the wall. Either way it is going to be messy and expensive to fix. Hope I am wrong. Start by removing the affected baseboard and see what is behind it. If you see wet studs and drywall you have a serious problem.

The shower pan and liner were not installed properly which led to the leaking in the wall. A full demo/replacement and two weeks later and things are back to normal.

Thanks for the info everyone!