What's up with peeling bathtubs? (yep, I'm new. lots of questions) — Brooklynian

What's up with peeling bathtubs? (yep, I'm new. lots of questions)

Ok, we don't have this issue where I'm from, but since arriving in NY I've seen it a lot and now I've got it. Awesome bathtub...but the paint is peeing in the bottom of it. Is this safe to take a bath in? I would LOVE to take advantage of such a huge tub, but are there health risks to bathing with paint chipping off under you? If I scrub the loose stuff off is my landlord going to come down on me for destroying it more?

What's the general take on this from the average New Yorker?

Comments

  • Probably patched up with crappy paint.

    Solution:

    Tinfoil underpants + shotgun + 1 pint of Everclear.

    +1 Stamina if you have a beard.

    +2 Awesomeness if you're a chick with a beard.

  • Hmmm, not as funny as your other post. Also not helpful.

    Anyone else?

  • But... you didn't try it, did you?

    Shameful.

  • I don't think you will be "harmed" but don't know how comfortable peeling paint will be on your butt. Talk to the landlord about it.

    Some older tubs are cast iron with a porcelain finish and those tubs are harder to work with.

    Good luck and welcome to Brooklyn!

  • I stab your words with my spatula of realism!

    You are in DEEP DANGURZ. Do NOT use your bathtub.

    Cracked paint is a possible sign of deep plumbing thrombosis. Shit is real. I had a cousin get all sorts of messed up by getting in a cracked tub with his trousers off. Dude can't even clean himself with a dirty sponge tied to a stick now. He just sits there all stinky and weeping like a little bitch till I spray him down with the hose. You don't want that.

    Stay clean, but keep REAL.

  • M.A. said:Awesome bathtub...but the paint is peeing in the bottom of it.

    That is an unusual problem. Peeing in the shower is one thing, but in a tub that's just nasty.

    Seriously though, I don't think (though I do not KNOW this) bathing in paint chips is dangerous, unless you drink the bath water and the paint chips. But even if it's safe, you don't want to bathe with paint chips. I'd just call your landlord about it.

  • Eat paint chips LIKE A BOSS.

  • M.A. said:

    Ok, we don't have this issue where I'm from, but since arriving in NY I've seen it a lot and now I've got it. Awesome bathtub...but the paint is peeing in the bottom of it. Is this safe to take a bath in? I would LOVE to take advantage of such a huge tub, but are there health risks to bathing with paint chipping off under you? If I scrub the loose stuff off is my landlord going to come down on me for destroying it more?

    What's the general take on this from the average New Yorker?

    Housing stock in NYC is much older than in much of the country. As a result, your tub was probably refinished at some point. While the new finish made it briefly shiny, after a while some of the poor quality jobs flake off as you describe.

    I would post your question on Brownstoner.com, (a website devoted to homeownership issues) and they will likely give you an informed, serious answer to your question.

    BTW, Welcome to the board and good luck!

  • Seriously daveb, let's not attack newbies.

  • I'm with Brownstoner suggestion, however, you will likely read that it needs to be re-finished. Usually a waste of money since a replacement tub - for an owner - would be the way to go. I would suggest buying yourself a sexy shower mat and bath pillow and just reeeelllaax!



  • Maybe the flame is too high. That would cause the paint to peel.

  • You can buy a lead test kit at Lowes or Home Depot or online to ensure that the repair made to the tub was not done with lead paint.

  • Take an iodine tablet before taking a bath. Wear a wet suit for double protection. Epsom salts may neutralize the lead...

  • Typically results from crappy paint jobs as others said. To successfully refinish an old tub you have to prep the surface with acid and sand the hell out of it, then typically use epoxy. In other words you have to be arsed and most landlords aren't, so they just slap a coat of paint on the thing in the hope of making it presentable enough to re-rent.

    The paint chips are really unlikely to be lead and wouldn't affect anyone's health anyway unless you have a child who might eat them.

    You could tell the landlord it's peeling, they may be willing to scrape it and throw down another layer of paint that might look decent for another year or so. Good luck.

  • Old tub, we have tubs in this city older than your city.

    Maybe a bad refinishing job - most likely tenants cleaned... refinish with the incorrect cleaner. $300 mistake.

    I NYC usually the correct tact to take is inform your landlord before doing anything. If you pay for a new refinish it is not his/her obligation to cover the cost without prior knowledge.

    Did you not look in the tub when you first were thinking about renting the place? Next time turn on facets, turn on the stove, flush the toilet, etc... even in other cites they do this.

  • Thanks for all the constructive advice (and the cute photo :-)). It totally looks like a bad refinish job - I can see the seam where the new stuff starts. I'll tell my super, but considering he couldn't understand my request to borrow a ladder so I could replace a lightbulb I have a feeling nothings going to happen there. As long as it's not one of those things where "everyone knows you'll get butt-rot if you do that" I'm fine with it. The bath mat is a great idea, actually, thanks!

  • I used to live in a large prewar rental in Prospect Heights before buying in South Midwood (also in prewar building). I lived in my Prospect Heights apartment for 12 years, and every year the paint lining had to be redone. I'm not sure if the paint is toxic (never thought about that), but it is very frustrating (I sometimes like to take baths). I complained incessantly to my landlord, wrote letters each time it needed to be done, told them that the tub simply needed to be replaced, and pointed out that replacing the tub with an updated tub would surely be both cost effective and lighten their burden of having to contact a service person each time a tub needed to be relined. Don't ever pay to have this done yourself. It is your landlord's responsibility! Take pictures, write letters, and save everything. The best arsenal is always a paper trail.

  • Lead paint hasn't been around since 1980. It's probably just a porcelain paint that flaked off. You can get it at Home Depot or a hardware store. Sand off the stuff that's flaking badly and spray paint it yourself. And no, you won't get sick or die if you bathe in the tub. Hell, if you're living in an older building there's lead all over, usually on the window sills or the door frames. Covering it up with latex paint doesn't help. No need to be paranoid.

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