We're 1st time homeowners & bought our home a few months ago, when the bathroom physically appeared to be fine & passed the home inspection.
Within a month or 2, the tub wouldn't drain and after buying a $60 auger and pulling out a tonka truck tire with axle, the problem actually seemed to get worse. We ended up shelling out a couple hundred bucks to replace the 60yr old galvanized steel pipes that were rusted shut.
It took us a month to save up & replace the pipes (we had another bathroom to use in the meantime), so during that timeframe -- our tub was full of water that wouldn't go anywhere. Now that we've fixed the stoppage/pipes, we've got a new prob: leaks/moisture.
The first sign was the bathroom ceiling (might be plaster) began flaking off like you see on walls with layers of paint, only I can count 2 (layers) and then I can see what appears to be cement color..? At first this appeared mainly almost above the toilet area -- next to the exhaust vent, but now it looks like the paint's flaking/peeling off around the edge closest to the toilet, and there are cracks around the edge as well as throughout the ceiling that almost look like someone used a cheap paintbrush that left strands in the paint... only they're not strands, they're hairline cracks. What's odd is that the most flaking can be seen on the ceiling nearest the toilet, whereas the ceiling in the tub/shower area has only now begun to show some of the hairline cracks. (The tub area should be more humid/wet than the toilet area so you'd think it would have more damage than over the toilet).
The other sign is the surrounding tilework in the tub area. Parts of the grout has cracked, and the soapdish is partially falling off or leaning away from the wall to where I can see the substrate behind it.
The tub fixture's caulk is partially gone and needs replaced, and the tiles under/around it appear to have cracked as well. The tilework under the tub fixture isn't flat/flush against the wall, but it looks like it's been this way from the get-go (newbie tile job) & with the grout coming off, the uneven tiles are becoming more noticeable.
We often keep the bathroom door closed due to pets and their gross practice of drinking out of toilets or shredding toilet paper. ;-) There is an exhaust fan in the bathroom and I recently took the vent off and cleaned the fan; it appears to be working fine. I replaced the vent and held a 2-ply piece of toilet paper to it and it did get sucked against the vent, verifying that the fan is exhausting the air. The fan also happens to be connected to a timer switch so that it can automatically shut off after a certain amount of time specified.
There's an incoming central AC/forced-air-heat vent on the opposite end of the room, blowing into the bathroom, and even with the vent closed -- the tiny bathroom still gets a lot of air/heat from this vent. (I wanted to mention the fan & vent because it seems like the bathroom should then be getting enough air circulation/ventilation.)
We're getting leaks in the basement, right below the bathroom. The guys who replaced the pipes checked for leaks when they were here (via running the tub, filling it, then draining it) and had no leakage, and I checked the work as well and see no probs, so I don't think this is where the leak is coming from.
It appears that the leaking occurs when the shower's in use, not the tub. I can't find any water marks around pipes, nor can I pinpoint a specific joint or what-not for the leak to be coming from. I believe that the leaks may be coming from the bad grout/caulk but I don't know how to test my theory in order to verify the source of the leak. Do you think it's possible that the leak is caused by the missing/cracked grout/caulk?
I've linked to pics of the problem to give you a better look at what I've tried to describe, since I'm having a problem uploading the pics here. They can be seen at this link (remove the spaces):
http ://wp.me /p1dt1X-ne
Here are the things I'd like to do -- which is basically to repair the probs without having to pay for a full remodel of the small bathroom, as I'm still recovering from the pipe expenses we had recently.
- What type of grout to use for tile
- What type of sealer to use on grout
- What tools are needed to repair cracked/missing grout
- What type of caulk to use around tub fixture & materials or tools needed
- What to use (cement?) behind the soap dish to stick it back onto the wall, as well as what tools will be needed
- What materials and tools to use to repair ceiling's paint flaking/cracks (just paint? Or patch first - is it plaster or drywall?)
If moisture is the cause of all this, how do I keep it from getting worse and/or happening again in the future? I don't want to have to redo this job again in a few months.
As I said, I'm a noob so please be thorough in your responses/inputs; let me know steps to take, what kinds of materials & equipment you feel I need in order to get this done, or if you think I'm better off getting a pro to do this work.
I have never tiled/grouted before and although some of the videos I've found appeared to make the regrouting an easy and inexpensive task (not sure about the ceiling work) -- I'd rather not underestimate this job and be prepared for the worst. Thanks for your help!