Soft flooring under tub?

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Old 02-08-10, 06:59 AM
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Soft flooring under tub?

Please bear with me...

I have a 2nd floor bathroom with a whirlpool tub. It had a leak due to some strange plumbing which has been taken care of. But I have noticed the caulking is not staying intact. Have tried every type of caulking and it always cracks or pulls away from the bottom surface.

Went into a hardware store, explained the situation, and the person there suggested that since there had been a leak, perhaps the flooring under the tub is now soft, and the caulk cracks when there is weight put on the tub (ie: person, water)

It makes sense to me...but I have no experience whatsoever.

What would be the best way to replace the soft wood underneath? I can't really afford a contractor, so I'd like to do as much as humanly possible. The kitchen is the room underneath the tub.

My ex suggested that I would have to remove the drywall in the kitchen ceiling, run new floorboards the length of the room and re-drywall. Is there an easier way? I can do the dry wall part, but wouldnt' know where to begin with running floorboards.
 
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Old 02-08-10, 03:21 PM
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Your wife is partially correct. Accessing it from the kitchen is a good idea to inspect the damage but it doesn't mean that you won't have to remove the tub or the tile floor. It all depends on what you find.

Did you see signs of the leak in the kitchen when it leaked?
 
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Old 02-08-10, 07:07 PM
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It almost sounded like you said that somebody told you to rip out the drywall ceiling beneath your bathroom in order to remove and replace the subfloor. But that can't be right. I must've misread your post.

What ype of flooring do you have in the bath room and do you know if it runs underneath the tub?
Can you inspect underneath the unit to check for damage through the access? I ask because I think that if your floor was so spongy that it allowed enough movement for caulking to pull away, then there would be other, more obviouse signs of deterieration to go along with that. Does it feel spongy to you?

Caulk is like paint in that it needs a prepared surface and cure time before exposure to moisture.

I dunno find out how to determine whats going on before you take for granted that this is a monster problem!
 
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Old 02-09-10, 07:12 AM
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Ex husband, not wife, I'm a girl, which is why I need help.

Yes, there was leakage in the kitchen. There were two leaks, one because the water trap was the meant for a regular tub, not a whirlpool tub, so every time we drained the tub, apparently it was overflowing the trap. Or so I am told. That is fixed.

The other issue is that the whirlpool is meant to stand in the middle of a room, not against the 3 walls. There is no lip around the edge that goes up behind the wall. When the caulking needs replaced, water gets behind there, and causes moisture and leakage.

I don't know what the flooring is underneath. It looks like plywood but again, I'm a girl, I don't know much about it. I only have access to one long side, unless I rip out part of the wall on the faucet side and look from that room.

I don't notice spongyness...there just becomes about an 1/8th inch gap that opens up when the tub is full, or someone stands in it.

And yes, my ex husband told me to rip out the ceiling of the kitchen to get a good view of what was going on, and then replace the floor boards (?) under the tub.
 
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Old 02-09-10, 07:26 AM
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Ex husband, not wife, I'm a girl, which is why I need help.
I figured that was the case when I read this. Then when I read Pulpo's comment I thought, well, boy is he gonna be in for it.

Its often the case that plywood will eventually dry out, and may be fine unless it was exposed to these conditions for a really long time. There are other possibilities. Some tubs need to be bedded in mortar to support the bottom and limit tub movement. The movement that you see could be caused by improper installation. If you can actually see the movement, then no caulk is going to stay in place until you fix the problem. Gaining access from a hole cut into the wall behind the tub (from the room it backs up to) might give you some insight into what the actual situation might be. I think this would be better than what you might be able to see from the kitchen ceiling below.
 
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Old 02-09-10, 07:35 AM
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Ok, that makes me feel a little less panicky. The water damage probably was over a long time, but the caulking used to hold. But, I can see the slight movement when I look along the caulking and step in the tub.

I can actually access from the other room, the drywall is already cut...I just have to brave my 16 year old daughters room....ug!

The caulking my ex put on last, ..I don't know what kind it was..it dries clear. There are scattered areas that just won't dry. Its been about 3 weeks and we strictly bathed in the tub, rather than showering to make sure it stayed dry for 2.5 weeks. Makes me think there may be a leak somewhere else.

I just hate to call someone because I really can't afford it if its major
 
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Old 02-09-10, 07:41 AM
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Sorry about the gender confusion. Either way, I don't know how you can see the damage from the same floor. You'll get a better view from below.
 
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Old 02-09-10, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Pulpo View Post
Sorry about the gender confusion. Either way, I don't know how you can see the damage from the same floor. You'll get a better view from below.
No problem at all...

That is what he told me to do....remove the drywall on the ceiling of the kitchen, because its directly below the bathroom
 
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Old 02-09-10, 12:46 PM
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I don't know how you can see the damage from the same floor
Im thinking that perhaps the tub is unsupported (no mortar bed), and that could be the reason for movement. She can see that from a hole in the wall. It's possible she may have to look from the ceiling below is well. Hard to tell from here.
 
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Old 02-09-10, 02:08 PM
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Shelster, get a hammer, a keyhole saw, some safety glasses & a dust mask. Cut about a 2 or 3 foot square out of the ceiling under the tub. Shine a good light in the hole. You should see discoloration wherever the water hit the joists & the sub floor. Look for rot.

Then have your daughter jump up & down on the floor next to the tub. Look for movement. You can also try to push the floor or joists from underneath with a large screwdriver or flat bar. You can even hit the joists with a hammer. Try to determine if anything needs to be replaced or if extra support needs to be added.
 
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Old 02-09-10, 02:38 PM
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Just throwing it out there. Is there any possible benefit to not using caulk but instead PL Premium construction adhesive? It's waterproof and adheres very well to a lot of surfaces. Perhaps you could use it as a "hardcore caulk"?
 
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Old 02-09-10, 04:14 PM
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Those are both good ideas...how long does the "hardcore'" caulk take to dry?

Cutting a small hole like that, would be easy enough. Wouldn't some movement when my daughter jumps be expected?
 
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