The Home Inspection Process
You don't have to have a home inspection before purchasing a home in North Carolina; however, it's generally recommended that you do so. While a home inspection is not comprehensive, it may find issues with your home that need to be addressed.
Inspectors don't give homes pass/fail grades. Instead, they do a thorough - though mostly visual - inspection. They make notes on any issues or deficiencies in the house.
Ultimately, the decision to purchase is up to you and your risk tolerance. You can make the purchase of your home contingent on a positive inspection, too.
North Carolina Regulations
As mentioned before, a home doesn't need to undergo an inspection before a sale. However, you may need another kind of bathroom inspection in North Carolina if you're remodeling.
Any bathroom remodel that involves removing or constructing a shower enclosure or adding an electrical point requires a permit in North Carolina. Depending on your municipality, you may need to have a successful visit with your local inspector before the installation is complete.
When it comes to a bathroom remodel, you should have a contractor that applies for the necessary permits, is ready for municipal inspection, and conducts their own high-quality inspection.
Why Go With a Separate Shower Inspection?
A shower inspection is focused on making sure everything is watertight. The main focus of this is the shower pan.
What is a shower pan? It's a single piece of vinyl or metal designed to catch any water that seeps through the tile and grout at the bottom of a shower. It's essentially the shower's subflooring.
If you have a bathtub, then you don't have a shower pan. But checking the tub for leakage is also essential.
Shower Pan and Bathtub Cracks and Failure
Testing the pan or bathtub is central to any shower inspection and the key to seeing if a shower installation is successful. It's also the part of the process that many contractors skip because it takes a long time. Tub testing involves filling the tub completely, testing the drain overflow, and then watching the water drain to catch any leaks or cracks.
Shower pan testing (also known as flood testing or stress testing) involves plugging the drain, putting in water to a depth of 2 inches, and leaving the water to sit for 24-72 hours. While this may seem excessive, this is the only way to determine if a shower is truly waterproof.
For instance, you may have a member of your family who takes long showers or baths and gets water everywhere. Or, consider the situation where your water main is temporarily shut off, and you decide to fill the bathtub with water ahead of time. Don't you want to make sure your shower or tub can handle it?
While your municipal inspectors may be well-versed in plumbing, they may not be shower pan experts. By having us perform a stress test instead, you'll ensure your remodel will indeed hold up. And if your shower or tub fails a stress test, Solace Showers will fix it and make sure you have a genuinely waterproof bathroom.
All shower installations have a Lifetime Warranty
A shower inspection will also be able to spot any leaky fixtures in your setup. Once leaks have been identified, we can determine whether you need all new fixtures or just new gaskets.
Handheld showerheads are notorious for leaks. By checking them right after installation, you can make sure they last their intended lifespans.
What to Look Out For
There are a few additional things you should keep an eye on during your stress test.
Level Entry Challenges
If you're building a level entry shower, a flood test is harder to do but even more critical. A level entry requires that the floor be slightly slanted to keep the water inside the designated area. It also requires a watertight shower pan.
A flood test in a level entry shower requires constructing a barrier to keep water in the shower area for 24-72 hours. Yes, it takes extra time and work, but if your contractor wants to build a level entry, they should be willing to test it properly.
Schedule an Inspection
Are you buying a new home or getting ready to remodel your current one? If you're ready to have the shower experts take a look at yours, book a consultation with Solace today!
The flood test isn't over after the time limit has passed and the seal has held. A good test will also check how the water drains.
Water should drain from the shower quickly and completely. It should have a direct, sloped path out and shouldn't gather anywhere but around the drain.
Plumbers sometimes refer to these areas where water collects as "bird baths." These bird baths are great places for mold and mildew to grow, so get rid of them as soon as possible!
Your shower should also have "weep holes" or additional pathways that help to drain water quickly. These should be unclogged and work correctly during the test.
It may seem like a minor thing to check, but in a true flood situation, weep holes can help save you from disaster.