Tiles are part of interior design and play an important role in making a wonderful bathroom ambiance. However, your bathroom is attacked by various villains waiting to lurk in the tiles and grout or settle on the glass and walls. Thus, making your showers or bathroom unhygienic, smelly, and even look terrible. Because the bathroom is the domain of water, the result could be water damage behind shower tiles. This is one of the common problems in the bathroom which shouldn’t be ignored.
What Happens If Water Gets Behind Tiles?
Water can cause damage especially if it seeps behind shower tiles. Over time, the caulk between the shower wall and the surface of your bathtub will dry up and crack allowing water to get behind the tiles and soak into the wall. Moreover, if there are missing tiles or grout, water can also seep into the shower wall. This will weaken the wallboard and tiles may fall off. Mold can also proliferate inside bathroom walls.
To sum up the signs of water damage behind shower tiles, check the following:
- Discoloration, cracks, or swells in tile grout
- Misaligned single tiles with the existing grid
- Loose or falling tiles
- Peeling caulk around the shower base and bottom tiles
- Musty odors that stay even after cleaning
Stop The Leak Of Your Shower Tile
Replace the missing caulk or grout to stop your shower tile from leaking. But you need to fix the wall first before applying caulk if the water is leaking. Take a look at the steps of the whole repair process.
Steps to Repair Water Damage Behind Shower Tiles
1. Assessing the Damage
To avoid recurrence and save money, identify the cause of the wall damage. Problems such as loose and missing grout between tiles or missing caulk allow water to penetrate the wall and cause damage.
2. Cutting out the Caulk
Use a utility knife and carefully cut out the caulk so as not to scratch tiles or bathtub. You can also use rubbing alcohol to scrub away caulk.
3. Removing and Cleaning the Tiles
Use a putty knife to remove the shower tiles. Then soak the tiles in warm water to get rid of caulk and adhesive. You may sometimes still need to scrub the tiles even after soaking. Next, set them aside to dry.
4. Cutting Away Damaged Drywall and Drying the Wall
Use a drywall saw to make a straight cut two inches above the water-damaged wall. Then use a fan to dry the wall and studs entirely. You can use a high-volume fan to dry them quickly like in 12 to 24 hours.
5. Cutting and Installing New Drywall
Use a moisture-resistant cement board to fix your shower wall. Just cut a piece smaller than the opening and then screw it to the wall studs.
6. Taping and Mudding the Wall Joint
Apply self-adhesive drywall tape and joint compound so you can seal the gap. Then allow the mud to dry completely before sanding to form smooth seams.
7. Reinstalling the Tile
Apply an even layer of thin-set to the wall using a notched trowel, then press the tiles into the wall. Let the thin-set cure before proceeding.
8. Applying the Grout and Caulk
Use new grout that would match the actual tile. Allow the grout to dry before moving on then apply silicone caulk between the tiles and the bathtub.
Prevent Water-Damaged Shower Walls
To avoid these problems from happening again and save time and money, consider the following tips to prevent water damage from your shower walls:
- Address any water issues such as leaks right away.
- Reseal grout joints at least once a year with a good product.
- Avoid using harsh cleaners such as acidic products when cleaning your bathroom.
- Upgrade the ventilation system of your bathroom to control humidity.
- If possible, open the windows of your bathroom for fresh air.
- Wipe shower walls to prevent molds.
- Tap tiles from time to time to check for a hollow sound.