The master bedroom shower is out of commission, so your help would be appreciated.
The caulk where the shower floor and wall meets on one of the four sides of the shower has continued to split and open-up...my wife has used contractors.
The last guy that came in said we could use the shower after the caulk had 2 full days of drying. My wife used it, but the caulk was still mushy. I told her we needed to wait 5-7 more days since she used it. After 7 days, still mushy...ok, something is going on here.
I decided to pull all the caulk and it started to have that amonia smell like when you pull tons of hair out of a bathroom sink drain that is stopped-up. Once I got all the caulk out, and mostly at the surface, I could take a screwdiver and insert it 1.5" down in the crack before it hit. In essence, there seemed to be a lot of moisture down there with such a depth and nothing would have dried on top.
So after pulling all the caulk out, I put a fan in there and ran it for 8 hrs on high. It has had 3-4 days of unobstructed drying. I am going to borrow my brothers moisture meter and determine the moisture levels, if any.
My first question, should there be that much depth around the base of the perimeter shower floor where the tile/grout ends? if not, what is normal?
If this depth is not normal, what kind of material can I put in there a filler that is appropriate and solid [non-permeable]?
I would then assume once this dries, then it is ready for caulk?
I am all ears...if you have any questions, pls let me know?
Thank you very much,
tstexThis message has been edited. Last edited by: tstex,
First off - How well do you know your shower? (Like, did you see it during construction?)
Remember all those posts on building a shower pan where all us pros harp on making a sloped surface, THEN installing the liner and then adding a second mortar layer? If that first step is bypassed then you get what you have - trapped moisture in the pan that becomes rancid.
Short of rebuilding the pan (which will work but let's face it - who wants to hear that this is the fix?). Try this:
1. Dry it out as much as possible. Take some thin cloth - like blue shop towels. Rip them into small pieces and stuff them down in the crack. make sure that some of the towel stays visible above floor level. These are going to act as wics to help get the water out. Use a fan on low or better - a dehumidifier. Don't be shy - let it run for several days. When the wics remain dry remove them and you are ready to move on.
2. Fill the cracks. Forget caulk, you need something that cures. There is too much moisture and no air flow so caulk down there will never dry. Epoxy will work, but there is a LOT of area down there to be filled so you'll spend a lot of money. I would use a very thin mix of thinset. It needs to be thin enough to work it's way down the crack so the thinner the crack, the thinner the thinset mix. Fill until it will take no more and then wipe up the excess.
3. Once the thinset has cured, you can caulk the line between wall and floor tile as usual.
BTW, 1-1/2" of depth around the edge is about right. What you are measuring is the depth of the base mortar down to the liner.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Jaybee,
Thx Jaybee - I will perform the latter option first.
One final question, can I place a dehumidifier in the shower after the thinset is cured to insure it is indeed cured? How many days will it take for the thinset to fully cure?
No reason to use a dehumidifier after installing the thniset. The whole reason to dehumidify is to try to get as much moisture out from within the pan as possible. Once the thinset is in then all the dehumidifier will do is to make the surface of the thinset cure faster. Under regular conditions, the thinset will cure overnight.
Use the cloth wicks and dehumidifier generously on the front end - that will do the most to help dry things out.
Note that this will really not completely solve the problem if your pan liner is not draining towards the drain. Your shower floor will be sealed but stagnant water will continue to build up inside the base. Eventually, this will deteriorate the mortar within the pan, but this will take years to become a more serious problem.
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