Exposed drain and plumbers putty

The first picture is of a mushy floor in a bathroom on the drain end of the tub…it was mushy enough to push on and have significant give…as I made my way to the lower level while this tub was draining I could hear loud drain sounds…the second picture shows the drain pipe of that tub exiting the ceiling directly underneath…and the pipe was plumbers putty heaven! It was all over the outside of the area it exited. The picture doesn’t do it justice…there wasn’t any moisture present as it drained or after it drained…but I’m wondering if the tub drain didn’t leak causing the mushy floor and this was the resulting repair?

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I am now wondering the same thing?:roll:

Did you use a moisture meter on the floor?

I guess I just don’t want to be reliant on a moisture meter to tell me what my common sense should already tell me. I’m also afraid of false readings and subsequent false alarms.

Gosh Tony, I’m sorry I asked.

I’ve never had a false alarm on any moisture meter that I’ve used.

I will not do an inspection without one.

Good for you David :wink:

So what did you end up saying in the report?

“This house is a piece of crap, and like every other house i’ve had the pleasure to inspect, i’d recommend complete tear down and instulation of a new home”:mrgreen:

There is a mushy area in the middle floor bathroom at the corner of the bathtub and wall near the doorway. It is unknown what is causing this problem or how old it is. There was not any moisture evident at the time of the inspection. Pic 1
The drain for this bathtub is visible in the ceiling of the bathroom directly below this bathroom. There is visible caulking around this drain that doesn’t show any moisture after draining the tub, however, this caulking doesn’t appear to be the proper repair. Recommend having it evaluated by a licensed plumber.

Would common sense tell you this wall is too damp?

Not baggin’ on you and I’m sure you do have one… but I use mine everywhere. Moisture and it’s related problems are this highest of priorities here in the hot and humid southeast.


Non-destructive moisture detectors are much better.

And somewhat less reliable. That is what I think Tony is leery of…

And how much destruction do you really think is caused?

Those probes are not 1/16th of an inch into the sheetrock and 4 inches above the baseboards… All I ever hear is “oohs” and “wows” when I whip it out :smiley:

I am also leery of the new home buyer finding a leak in a wall that I did NOT check w/ my moisture meter…

I can hear it now:

I watched you use that cool meter on that potential leak in the bathroom…why didn’t you use it on every wall in the house?

The wall in the photo is adjacent to a shower stall where the previous HO had a leak and ‘fixed it’ prior to putting the townhome on the market. The info was in the sellers disclosure.

New HO thought maybe the drywall should have been replaced, but wasn’t. I fear (but did not express in the report) that there will be considerable mold growing in the walls behind the ‘damp wall’.

This picture is of the same wall in the other bathroom. I use a moisture meter where it’s use is warranted by my inspection, or when I learn something from the disclosure that might justify it (as in this case).

Use it where warranted by “your State’s SOP or your personal inspection protocols” (and that certainly is not every wall) You’ll be safer for having checked with a moisture meter than not using one and claiming “that’s beyond the scope” of my inspection (Dr Swift or Joe F. may be able to clarify further).

You, of course may inspect somewhat differently.


I’m planning on getting one this week, finally bringing in the extra funds to afford real tools instead of crayons, if it had not been for the free NACHI pens I would be doing reports with charcoal pieces.:twisted:

So did the meter tell you the wall had too much moisture? Or had it dried out as a result of the previous repairs?
I always find discussions of moisture meters interesting and it would be enlightening to hear the legal angles that Joe Ferry and Kieth Swift could add.
I personally have never used one, but I am a former GC that specialized in real estate work orders and have repaired alot of bathroom floors and shower walls. I know what evidence to look for, and never felt I needed a meter.
For this reason I have to say that I agree with Tonys’ position on meter use. I don’t know of any fellow GCs that use a meter either.
The real factor in my reluctance to use a meter however is the numerous stories I have heard from agents. They impart stories of a listing they had, that the inspector used a meter and reported a high moisture condition, and subsequently the bathroom floor or wall was torn out to find absolutely nothing. I just talked to a GC two weeks ago that was in the same boat. He stated he has a floor that they were hired to repair due to high moisture readings from an inspection. No water damage existed.
I am sure there are many stories to the contrary, but those probably have visible damage to the vinyl floor, or the drywall is soft to the touch. These are visibly evident.
Interesting discussion.

I carry both moisture meters (probes and non-destructive). I find to get more accurate readings with the Tramex verses the Delmhorst. The probes don’t cause much damage (to the testing area) at all, but the Tramex is a much more professional tool and gives me more accurate readings.

I have a Tramex also, but don’t like it in a crawl space. Difficult to get up on the subfloor perfectly flat sometimes. Like the pin meters in a crawl space–they are also easier to put in my pocket.