Bathtub Cracks Leaking

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  #1  
Old 08-26-04, 10:09 AM
inapickle
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Exclamation Bathtub Cracks Leaking

We moved into a house about a year ago. We hired an inspector, however he was not very good. The first day we moved in I noticed that the bathtub had surface cracks on the tub floor. There were fine, until a couple days ago. We noticed there was water in the basement under the bathroom. Upon further inspection, we saw the tub was leaking. We would like to replace the tub in the future, however at the moment we can only afford to repair the tub. It is a fiberglass tub with built in surround. Are there any kits or products you would recommend to fix the tub. It is a bit difficult to reach the bottom of the tub, so anything we can do from the top would be grateful. We tried caulking the tub, but that is no longer working.

Thank you for all of your help!
 
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  #2  
Old 08-26-04, 11:10 AM
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inapickle,

I am assuming that the cracks are caused by severe flexing. Improper installation is the cause as the tub should have support underneath it.

Unfortunately, no one is going to and nor would I suggest you try and resolve this at the surface. It will not hold once weight is placed upon it. It is time for replacement.

I wrote this awhile back,

Following the directions per the manufacture for installation a new tub and/or shower unit.

*Lack of support causes squeaks, in some cases leaks at drain pipe fittings and worst of all, cracks in the finish material if not all the way through.*

Most manufacturers recommend or suggest installing a mortar base support under the tub or shower bottom before setting the tub or shower unit in place. You can use either a bag of Quikcrete or a 5 gallon pail of pre-mix joint compound. ( usually I use the pre-mix 5 gallon...lazy and it's less mess) You can lay poly down under the tub or shower prior to doing this to prevent any moisture issues while this is drying.

When this sets up, usually with 24-48 hours, your tub or shower bottom will be rock solid supported. This does 2 things, prevents any possibility of potential cracking within the fiberglass/acrylic and eliminates any movement at the tub/shower drain assembly or potential leaks that could happen.

Hope his helps!
 
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Old 08-26-04, 01:46 PM
inapickle
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So, if we were to try to fix it from underneath, what would you suggest?

Thank you!
 
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Old 08-26-04, 02:28 PM
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Whatever you do, less hiring someone to come in and professionally repair it, it will looked patched. You could try fiberglass repair kits in the store but you need to do something with the bottom of the tub to support it and then the patch will look bad. The kits are not color coordinated.

The question is, do you do repair only or replace what you have? Any plans on selling the home? If not, maybe a patch is ok but I would recommend replacement. You'll have to do it later anyway.

Repairs as I mentioned in the previous post would have to be done and this cannot be done to 100% guarantee if you don't have full access. And please don't think that using canned polyureathane spray will reinforce this below - it won't. Others have suggested this and it is a myth.

Hope this helps!
 
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Old 08-26-04, 10:29 PM
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you may want to look around. I believe there is a product that is glued down on the floor of the tub. It isn't a mat,but thicker. In essence a new bottom. That is it's purpose. If the tub is leaking but not really cracked You might try one of the bath tub non skid mats that are glued down nothing gets under them and they don't come up[get the longest one you can]. they come with the adhesive on and as you peel the paper off you lay the mat on. forever. I would support the bottom of the tub with some spray foam[before I put on the mat] so it doesn't flex. I say to support the bottom first so that the tub will be where it is supposed to be when you put on the mat, this will obviously mean that you will not know if it will work before you put on the mat, but if it leaks you really didn't lose anything. If you can't get at it replace the tube you get with the can of foam with a longer one[in the plumbing section in depot]see if they have the foam that sprays in the upright position it is easier to use. Do not use the Dap foam it is soft.Get a feel for the foam and make sure it has somewhere to expand to other than through the tub, you don't need a lot. The whole thing shouldn't cost $20 and considering the alternative it may be worth a try. Another alternative would be to call a reputable bathtub reglazing company and see what they have to say. The bottom may be repairable and if so the whole tub can be made to look like new. for about $400 or so. They clean and repair the tub, support the bottom, sand the tub prime and paint with some serious paint. The whole enclosure could be made to look like new in any color you choose.
 
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Old 08-27-04, 09:12 AM
inapickle
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joneq -

I truly appriciate your advice. As much as I would love to replace the tub, it is just not an option at the moment. Most of the websites I have discovered on this subject seem to be more conserned about how the tub looks. I don't need it to look good, I just need it to work. Your advice was a wonderful breathe of fresh air.

Thank you!
 
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Old 08-27-04, 10:04 AM
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Glad I could help. One more thing is if you really can't get the foam under the tub to support it you could drill some holes in the bottom of the tub obviously under where the mat goes] and spray the foam in through there.Not a great idea, but it is done on shower bases all the time before they are refinished. If you decide to do that you should probably repair the hole a little before you put down the mat with a fiberglass repair kit available in marine or automotive parts stores. Also use a roller to put the mat down real good and get rid of any air bubbles that might be trapped. Putting holes in the bottom of the tub is an absolute last resort but it must be supported. BTW the materials to refinish a tub only are about $25 to $30 total. DO NOT USE KLENKS. If you decide to refinish it pay someone to do it.
 
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Old 08-27-04, 10:10 AM
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joneq,

The information you provided for the most part is good. The foam idea is not going to be sufficient. Since we already know about the leak and your suggestion for repairing it may be viable since we don't really care about the look, the issue is flexing. There is no foam available that totally stops this movement. There are ones that the density is less but nothing available to ensure no flexing but I do like the idea of the mat idea.

Just some thoughts so we are not misleading a member.
 
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Old 08-27-04, 10:44 AM
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The foam can't hurt, but you are right that it might not stop all flexing. My first option would be to support it from underneath with plaster like it should have been in the beginning I guess, but that didn't seem to be a realistic option cosidering the tub is already there and there are access issues. Like I said it is done all the time for shower bases and although not perfect it seems to work pretty good.
 
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Old 08-30-04, 07:59 PM
jschmi
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Hi, I'm Jim, I am new here.

I had a crack in my fiberglass tub 1.5 years ago, and I had to have it repaired. I have one of the Jacuzzi fiberglass tubs, that was probably 12 years old or so, and when I bought the place, there was a tiny crack, that started to grow. I had it repaired, and I was able to find a professional to do it, and it seemed it was too complex for me to have done by myself. But here is what the guy did:

First, he drilled a few small holes at the center of the crack, and he had this foam stuff he was able to inject into the holes to provide some support. Underneath my tub was this Styrofoam base that provided support for the whole thing, but right where the crack was, it must have been damaged. Next, he sanded down the fiberglass around the damaged area, so the different layers of fiberglass were exposed. Then, he "rebuilt" the fiberglass, layer by layer. He made the damaged area thicker than the rest, so unfortunately, there is a bump there in my tub. Finally, he repainted the bottom of the tub.

I don't think I could have done that myself because of the equipment involved. The whole thing took a few hours and cost about $450.

I still have some issues with my tub and my bathroom in general, but I will start my own thread to talk about that.
 
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Old 08-30-04, 08:35 PM
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Sounds familiar. BTW there should be no bump. The cost of a repair is directly proportional to how much it would cost you to replace the fixture and nothing to do with the time it takes. Pity. The refinishing business is very lucrative, but the hazards to your health are many. As the saying goes "When you can't breathe- nothing else matters".
 
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Old 08-30-04, 08:45 PM
jschmi
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> "When you can't breathe- nothing else matters".

Very true, and interesting you would say that, because I think we should say that to the guy who did the repairs too. During the job there was a decent amound of fiberglass in the air in my bathroom, which he had to carefully clean before he left, and also paint fumes from redoing the bottom of the tub. He also had a bad cough and he had the stange habit of giggling at absolutely everything. I think the fiberglass and fumes had affected his brain and lungs, and all the money in the world will not undo that.
 
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Old 08-30-04, 09:10 PM
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Right on all counts.
 
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Old 03-25-07, 08:46 AM
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KLENK'S Tub & Surround

Originally Posted by joneq View Post
DO NOT USE KLENKS. If you decide to refinish it pay someone to do it.
Could you please expand on this? I need to refinish my acrylic shower pan and I'm looking for a reputable product to use. The prior owner of my house used a very abrasive cleaner on the shower pan so it has lost its finish and stains easily. Klenk's was the only item that Home Depot stocked. Is there a good consumer product you would recommend if you don't like Klenk's. Or, is the recommended not to DIY?

The quote I got to have a professional refinish the pan was $325, which is a little steep. The pan is 30x39". I'd rather put that money toward replacing pan, tile and door.
 
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