LESLIE: Pat in Illinois is having some problem in the bathroom. What’s going on? Tell us what you’re seeing. You’re seeing something black? Is it mold?
PAT: I don’t know what it is. It just appeared in the last like two months around the bottom of my stool. The linoleum is turning black but it’s coming from underneath. It’s not the top.
TOM: Mm-hmm. Well, if you’re seeing this mold-looking-like substance around the bottom of the toilet, then chances are you have a leaky wax seal, which is the seal between the base of the toilet and the top of the waste pipe. And if that seal has failed you could be getting some leakage there and that leakage can be causing mold to grow on the vinyl floor.
LESLIE: It could be that the subfloor is completely saturated.
TOM: Yeah, exactly. The water can be getting under the vinyl floor and saturating that whole area and that can cause rot and all sorts of problems, so you need to get that looked at.
PAT: (overlapping voices) OK. Oh. Yeah, sounds like fun. (chuckles)
TOM: Now, fixing it is not that big of a deal. You know, if you were handy I’d tell you to turn the water line off, remove the bolts from the base of the toilet, remove the water line from the toilet and then the whole thing pretty much lifts right up and out. And you’d replace the wax seal, which is a fairly standard product ….
PAT: Right. Yes.
TOM: … and then replace the whole thing and I would inspect – when you had it apart, I would inspect the floor at the same time just to make sure that there’s no rot or decay under there.
PAT: (overlapping voices) OK. OK. OK, well thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.