Tiled shower problem -- any repair advice?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Due to either earth settling under our addition or (more likely) the earthquake that was epicentered here about a year ago, our upstairs tiled shower has a crack in the grout at the top of the pan where the glass wall meets the tile wall, and one of the tiles has shifted. As a result, water seeps into the adjacent drywall. So we stopped using the shower. There's also seepage in the corner of the glass wall at the other end where I can see mineral residue from our lovely hard water.

    It's time for me to get off my duff and get this fixed, either by moi or a professional (preferably).

    What's the best way to address this? Should the whole enclosure be removed to repair the shifted tile? (We have some extra tile left over from the job). Is simply caulking it enough (I worry that it won't solve the problem and potentially make repairing the tile later on more of a problem because then you have all the caulk mess to remove).

    Not really sure who could best fix this for me... a handyman? A tile pro? And what about the glass enclosure? Is that another company to hire? Keep in mind the husband is the King of Kluge, and I am not in the mood to do this myself.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    You have three options- 1) If it's a small area exposed- around 1/8 inch or less- try caulking it. You can do this yourself but make sure you get the right kind of caulk. Ask the rep at a good supply store. 2) Rework the tile- you would be better off getting a professional with experience and references for tile work; or 3) these days, there are companies selling a system that is put over the older tile tubs/shower enclosures. I'm not sure if it's acrylic or fiberglass or how well they work but it would seem that it would work fine as long as you checked out their record of doing this successfully and having happy customers.
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! I would recommend poking around on the Home Depot website. They have spelled out instruction on all types of repairs that you can do yourself - I printed one out the other day for repairing fairly large holes in sheetrock. When I say "step by step" instructions, this detail is amazing.

  4. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    If the grout is cracked and water has seeped in already you are looking at a potential mildew problem down the road - Mildew grows, it doesn't dry out and go away. However unless you can crawl under the house or remove the drywall behind the leak (opposite wall) and see what damage has been done? I'm more inclined to say it's not a repair. The problem being you have NO idea if the missing grout got into the shower pan (plastic-rubber type liner) and is now poking holes in the pan. - IF THAT HAPPENS? ----you end up with HUGE problems like we had. The sills rotted out - These are the notched ends of the floor joists that connect to the foundation of your home - unless you are on a concrete slab - you have them. Even if you are on a slab - they may have built the house up and you'll have joists. Then the joists act like a river from the shower pan to the sills and when those rot out? It's a complete tear out. (like mine) ---in ours someone screwed the a/c return to the bottom of the shower pan (IDIOT).

    I think if I were you? I'd get a professional out that knows what he's doing, not a handy-andy. I'd get someone that can tell you IF the water has done damage- IF there is going to be a quick fix and IF you can barter for services. :tongue: (of course that last idea is optional depending on the looks of the tile man) :laugh: - So far for me? I'm doing it myself. ===the remodel....not myself.
  5. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    I gotta agree with Star. I had an almost identical problem a few years ago. Band-aid approach caused my floor to rot, and then the fix was very expensive. Had to replace floor all the way down to the dirt. Sorry. Important to be sure it's done right the first time.
  6. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Isn't this an issue that would be covered under your home owner's insurance, since it was related to the earthquake?

    If water is getting in, you probably have a mold problem and that most certainly needs to be addressed. This is probably something that needs more than just a do-it-yourself job.

    In our old house, the tiles were cracked and very old. husband took all of it down and there was mold all inside the wood and drywall. It was a lot more work than he anticipated.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I agree with everyone who suggests you may have a much bigger issue than tile. Don't know where you live but if you are in a warm climate the spread of mildew can be rapid and really needs to be accessed by one or more professionals pronto. If you don't have tile and use of the shower that's inconvenient. Mold and mildew can cause immediate problems and long range results can be more severe than having a dozen difficult child's. Yikes. DDD
  8. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    In my case, once I realized I had a significant leakage issue going on, I did stop using that shower until I had the money to get someone to fix the problem. My understanding, though, was that once that rot process had begun, to stop using the shower slowed it down but did not stop the damage from progressing, even while I was putting put up with the inconvenience of having one less shower. I wouldn't put it off too long. By the time I fixed mine, I was told I wasn't too far from falling through to the dirt while taking a shower or sitting on the potty. What a jolt that would have been! Too bad that couldn't have happened BEFORE the divorce, when dear ex--who had the skills to have fixed the problem but wouldn't--could have been the "victim." [Fun fantasy.]

    One tidbit I learned from my handyman... if you have an ant problem anywhere in the house, you probably have a water problem and need to find it. I'd never heard that before. Must be true though. I'd had an ant problem (seasonally) in my kitchen for years--since moving into the house. No obvious leak and never thought to look for one, but once my handyman started poking around, he found a hidden leak underneath. It was a slow one and I'm not even sure it was still actively leaking. Once he repaired the floor underneath, though, my ant problem disappeared. Not immediately, but probably the next "ant" season. He said it takes a little time for them to figure out to go somewhere else. I'd had the same problem in the bathroom I already knew had issues, but I had no idea I had an issue in the kitchen.

    Checking to see if your insurance will help is a good idea. Since I'd had no earthquake, I was on my own, but you might be able to get at least partial help. When I had to replace my roof due to hail damage, the insurance paid about half. The roof had quite a few years on it, just as your shower probably wasn't new. Worth getting the help though. Good luck!
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Okay, a pro it is.

    It's on the second floor, so no way to get under to look at anything. And our earthquake insurance (which is a separate policy in my state) has a $30K deductible. Plus, the earthquake was a year ago... I think the statute of limitations has likely run out.

    We have a HELOC, so I guess I'll have to use that to pay for the work. Rats. Did not want to take on more debt, but this does need to be fixed, and so does the other bathroom (which I'm afraid will be a MUCH bigger job...). A year of not using either bathroom for bathing is getting tiresome.

    Thanks everyone!
  10. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hey! You may be able to be covered depending on the type of homeowner insurance you have. Check the front of the coverage page (Declarations Page). In the section showing coverage see if there is something that says HO3 or All Perils. If you do, the problem (the plumbing leak repair itself) would not be covered BUT the resulting water damage might be covered.

    If you have replacement cost, that could help too.

    Good luck! This type of damage is a pain in the butt!

  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I was going to say total repair, too. Bandaids are just a bad idea for homes and showers. This means no in-laws, right?
  12. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Ahh, Witz, you are reading my mind! :rofl: