If you are interested in not having to spend $1000.00 on a repair, you might invest five minutes of your time in the bathroom. Look for any gaps in the caulking (below the bottom row of tile and the tub or shower pan, and along the grout.) A small hole can cause more problems than you may think. But because you want to make sure these problems do not happen, lets talk about simple prevention.
A small hole in the grout will allow water from the shower to get in. It may not be much at first, but chances are the damage is already begun. Water getting to the drywall behind the tile will damage the drywall, even if it is “water resistant” drywall. When drywall continues to get wet, it has a consistency of something like wet cardboard. When it gets to that point, the tile won’t be able to stick to it any longer and your shower wall will feel soft and moving somewhat.
At this point the only thing keeping tiles from falling down is the small amount of grout that surrounds them. But, this won’t last long and the tiles will begin falling. Let’s say that the bottom row of tile has fallen out. You can’t just glue the tiles back in. The drywall is damaged and won’t hold onto the tiles.
So, the drywall is destroyed on the bottom row, chances are it is damaged on the row above as well. That means tiles have to come off about two or three rows above so that the drywall can be replaced. Once this is done, you’re ready for new tile. You really shouldn’t try to use the old tile (unless you are Andy, the St. Louis Handyman) because the old mortar on the back of the tile has to be completely flat to get it to lie perfectly.
When you get several tiles that don’t lie perfectly flat, you are going to have a messy looking wall. Unless you are a seasoned professional (like Andy, the St. Louis Home Repair expert) that leaves only one alternative: replace the old tiles with matching ones.
If the tiles were installed years ago, you may have a difficult time trying to find matches. That leaves you with the alternative, remove and replace all the tiles. You can see where this is going. If your wall has deteriorated this far, and has to be removed, this is a good time to go ahead and replace the shower valve.
Chances are, if it is old, it’s already leaking into the wall behind the drywall. Then it is necessary to replace the valve and start building the wall back up. Water resistant drywall should be used. Then glue the matching or new tile onto it. Then thoroughly grout, caulk and seal the wall. For an expert repair call Andy’s Home and Business Repair. We are the highest rated professional handyman service in the St. Louis area, and we can help.