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Unread 08-29-2011, 09:38 AM   #1
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Crack in Terrazzo shower base


I recently just purchased a home and got a little surprise when I started using the upstairs shower. Apparently, my home inspector completely missed the fact that the upstairs shower stall has a crack that extends across two edges of the lip of the terrazzo shower base and leaks water into the closest of the bathroom in the floor below.

The inspector claimed to have turned the shower on for 10 minutes and didn't notice any issue. But apparently, its only when the shower is turned on using both the hot and cold faucet that enough water fills the basin to reach the crack and then leak into the closet below.

So why my home inspector never noticed this to begin with (because there is clear water damage in and around the the closet ceiling, not to mention a huge hole that someone cut out for access to the above plumbing inside of the closet) is a mystery to me.

However, my question is, can this be repaired? The crack extends along the north and east side of the terrazzo shower basin and is long and fairly straight. Can some kind of acrylic sealer or an epoxy be placed over it that can seal it so that the shower can still be used?

The fact that water is leaking through the floorboard tells me that the water barrier has been broken so I am guessing that the answer is no, but I would like to hear any suggestions folks on here may have.

BTW, I bought home buyers insurance in case something like this would happen and the worthless leaches tell me that is not covered (its not a plumbing system at fault).

I feel like this is fore-knowledge that legally should have been disclosed when the property was sold.

Anyway, sorry for the rant, any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
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Unread 08-29-2011, 09:58 AM   #2
HooKooDoo Ku
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Personally, I don't understand why anyone ever spends the money on home buyer's insurance. I understand the desire/need for it. But, I have never known someone who successfully filed a claim and got paid from one of these insurance products. I've personally known several people who have tried to utilize this type of insurance. But every claim was either turned down or the company simply went out of business before the claim was filed.

Of course that comentary isn't helping YOU at all... so all I can say is that about the only way you're going to get some help with this situation is sueing someone. Either the insurance company or the inspector himself. As you say, the inspector SHOULD have caught this problem, especially if it has obviously already caused water damage BEFORE the house was sold.

I have personally known someone who went after a home inspector and (eventually) got a positive settlement. (However, that lawsuit was a bit more significant than your situation as it was a case was on the order of $50,000 to $125,000 and was settled out-of-court.)
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Unread 08-29-2011, 10:15 AM   #3
Tool Guy - Kg
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Sorry to hear your troubles, Paul.

The short answer is that it can't be repaired properly. The crack is really too tight to attempt a fix with anything like a heavily bodied silicone. Even if you could get silicone in there, it would be a weak repair that wouldn't last. About the only thing that could get in there would be an epoxy that's specifically mixed for low tension to get deep into the crack. But the existing crack is going to be wet and terribly difficult to dry out to attempt something like epoxy. Even if you did get it dried, it's very likely to have an accumulation of dirt/soap scum/whatever that will prevent the epoxy from sticking.

A crack in a terazzo shower floor is one big item for an inspector to miss. With the supporting evidence of previous water damage to the ceiling below, it makes it even a bigger mistake. I wish I could advise you on a procedure against a poor inspection but many states allow for poor inspections w/o any sort of retribution. Can you tell us your location, as we may have folks in your area that can give you specific advice on this.

However, on the sellers end of this transaction...
A leaking shower is a very large item not to disclose if they knew it was a problem. If you used your own buying real estate agent, I would contact them for more info on their legal responsibility of disclosure. Around these parts, the seller would be on the hook if they knowingly didn't disclose a major defect.

We'll get you some more opinions...hang tight.
Tonto Goldstein... but my friends call me Bubba

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Unread 08-29-2011, 10:59 AM   #4
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Welcome, Paul.

I can't see anything in your User Profile indicating in what part of what country this shower problem might be located, and I know some parts of the USofA pay a lot more attention to real estate transaction ethics than do others.

But ol' Goldstein is correct in the technical requirement for disclosure of that sort of defect if known to the seller. And it's the seller's real estate agent and her broker that should be most concerned.

The inspector? Naaa, he don't give a rat's patooti. He worked for the seller, more than likely recommended to the seller by the seller's real estate agent and he has a very large disclaimer near the bottom of his contract that says he's not liable for anything he overlooked, failed to properly understand, or lied about. OK, OK, prolly don't have the "lied about" part in there, but it's covered by them others. The disclaimer will read about the same as the one used by your code compliance authority's inspector; "don't matter how poor a job we do, you're still liable for anything that goes wrong."

But I'd be writin' letters anyway. To the inspector, to the seller's real estate broker, to the seller, and up the chain if there is still no satisfaction.

And I agree with Tonto that it's not likely to be an easy fix, and without seeing it, or a real good photo, there's not much more we can tell you. I'd try a repair if it were mine, though. No real downside.

My opinion; worth price charged.

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