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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default removed grout and found rotted wallboard, mold, wet studs

    We just recently took the grout off of our shower and found we had a water and mold problem. We have removed some of the tiles and are waiting on call backs from local contractors. The insulation is wet and torn and looks like mold may be growing on it. The studs are wet and may have mold as well but are still solid. The shower is on an outside wall but there was never a plastic barrier in place. We want to fix this problem and ensure no more mold grows. What things should a contractor do to make sure the problem doesn't repeat itself? We are considering replacing the shower with a fiberglass shower since they are unlikely to have grout fall off and cause the problems we've encountered. Are there different grades of fiberglass or other non-porous surfaces we can use for a shower? We live in PA.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    821

    Default Re: removed grout and found rotted wallboard, mold, wet studs

    there's no reason that you can't have another tiled shower as long as it's done properly with the correct materials. the formula is pretty simple after remediating the mold issue.
    1. insulation
    2. vapor barrier
    3. hardibacker or cementboard
    4. the proper thinset
    5. a good tile job
    6. a good grout job
    7. a good caulking job
    8. good maintence

    also, in searching for a contractor there's three things to remember.

    1. check references and ask to see some of the work he's done
    2. check references and ask to see some of the work he's done
    3. check references and ask to see some of the work he's done


    if you do opt for a fiberglass shower the most important thing to be aware of is how the pieces fit together to prevent leaks.

    i'm sure "Houston" will be telling you which website to go to in one of the next two responses. i'd do it myself but i don't want to spoil his fun
    Last edited by MLB Construction; 11-12-2012 at 09:44 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: removed grout and found rotted wallboard, mold, wet studs

    MLB - You know me too well.

    What MLB said is correct, a properly built shower will not have mold when properly maintained (good air flow) The construction method he described is one of a number of ways to build a waterproof shower. There are also surface membranes.

    The website for all things tile is the John Bridge Tile Forum. Tell them we sent you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,084

    Default Re: removed grout and found rotted wallboard, mold, wet studs

    I'm in the middle of a bath renovation right now...and today I installed cement boards over moisture barrier, just like MLB described.

    Prior to that, I made sure all studs were clean and undamaged. I also added more backing: I like to add blocking for a future grab bar(s). Tiles will go on tomorrow.

    A tiled shower is just a basic shower, but in my opinion is a lot nicer than a plexi combo - which reminds me of a cheap motel.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: removed grout and found rotted wallboard, mold, wet studs

    How do we remediate the mold problem? My husband is in favor of letting a contractor get to that and I'm allergic to mold and in favor of finding all the mold we can and continuing to take the tile down so we can find just how far the water damage has spread. Outside of the shower tile we have wall board with paint bubbling. (which was hubby's clue that he needed to start working on the grout problem).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: removed grout and found rotted wallboard, mold, wet studs

    You'll need to gut the shower to the studs anyway.

    Once the walls are open and the water problems is corrected the mold will die on its own. You'll still have the spores which can be vacuumed up after they are killed with one of any number of concoctions listed on the interweb. We use plain household bleach as it is cheap and readily available. Bleach kills the mold, then you can vacuum it away if you desire.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,381

    Default Re: removed grout and found rotted wallboard, mold, wet studs

    Bleach will kill the mold that is there, but it won't prevent its reoccurrence. It should not reoccur unless the cavities get wet again, but if you treat the wood with a sodium borate solution such as Timbor or Boracare, you will prevent reoccurrence even if the cavities do have a moisture buildup.

    You can make your own solution by mixing 2 cups (1 pound) of boric acid with 3 cups of Borax (1.5 lbs laundry booster, aka 20 Mule Team). Mix it in a gallon of very hot water. If you have any old antifreeze from your vehicle maintenance, you can use a gallon of 50:50 instead of water, but heat and mix it outdoors. The fumes from the antifreeze are toxic if you breath too many of them. A camp stove or BBQ grill (gas) will work.

    You can apply with a paint brush or a garden sprayer.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: removed grout and found rotted wallboard, mold, wet studs

    Thanks for all your help!

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