Tiled bath or shower walls add tremendous beauty to your bathroom however, water can seep into spaces created over time and cause the walls behind to become soggy. This is a common occurrence in older homes where the tiles were installed on dry walls. This could also happen when there’s a leak from the pipes behind the walls. These days, tiles are installed with moisture barriers thus, reducing the likelihood of water damage. Bathroom walls can still wound up soggy if modern construction techniques are used. This is usually due to poor maintenance of grout joints and bad caulking. These cause water to build up behind the tiles leading to leaks, wood rot, and mould. Thankfully, this problem usually occurs near the shower base and if detected on time, it can be fixed with minimal cost and skill implications.
Getting the job done
You will need some tools and materials including but not limited to;Work gloves
Tile grout and sealer
100 percent silicone caulk
Check The Extent of Damage
To prevent the problem from recurring, you must first determine the cause and extent of the damage. Usually, the soggy wall occurs at the lower part of the wall where the tiling lets the base of the tub, for example. A missing grout or caulk here can cause water to seep in easily through the tiles. If this is the case, you should be able to fix the damage by yourself. Signs of damage by moisture include loose rules, peeling caulk, or discolored grout. A rare occurrence is when the damage is due to a leak from pipes behind the wall. In this case, the damage can be located anywhere. The earlier the soggy wall is detected, the better the chances of fixing. However, when the sogginess is due to a leak from pipes, professional help is needed.
Taking down Tiles and Damaged Wall
The tiles around the damaged region should be removed with the help of a putty knife or by hand, depending on how easily they separate. Unless you want to spend some more money getting new tiles, they should be removed gently and cleaned by first soaking in bleach and warm water. Tiles should be removed to a level above the damaged wall, where a healthy dry wall can be seen. Then the soggy wall should be cut out. This should be easy since it is damp. If the wall is still reusable, it should be cleaned and allowed to dry. If not, it must be replaced. Wet or mouldy walls and insulation should be replaced. You can also remove old caulk by scraping it with the razor scraper.
Cement Board Installation
Cut a cement board patch about the size of the space that has been created by the removal of the soggy wall and install it. Ensure that it is as thick as the dry wall. Give a space of 1/4-inch between the board and the dry wall. You can cut the board with your circular saw. Use self-adhesive cement board joint tape around the patch. Ensure that the seams are smooth so that the tiles lie flat when installed.
Tile Reinstallation and Caulking
Next, reinstall the cleaned and dried tiles with adhesive applied evenly across the wall with the notched trowel. The thin-set adhesive works perfectly. Pay attention to aligning the grout joints with the already existing ones. Allow the adhesive to dry before grouting the tile with material that matches what was there before. Then, seal the joints with a good quality sealer. Finally, after the sealer dries up, close the gap between the bottom of the tiles and the base of the tub or shower pan using your 100-percent silicone caulk. If you encounter any problems or find these steps difficult, reach out to a professional for help. Please view service locations here: Port St. Lucie, Tallahassee, Tampa, Miami, Miami Gardens, Davie, Hialeah, St. Petersburg.