vapor barrier in shower walls


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Old 12-08-10, 06:57 AM
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vapor barrier in shower walls

Neighbor installed a 3 mil vapor barrier in the walls surrounding his shower about 3 years ago. From inside the shower it's TILE -> BACKBOARD -> FIBERGLASS INSULATION (soundproofing) -> 3 MIL VP.

He has massive water damage on the floor and up the walls.

Was the vapor barrier the right thing to do?

On a side note, will fiberlass batts wick?
 
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Old 12-08-10, 07:50 AM
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Wrong order and wrong VB. Should have been tile--cement board-- VB (6 mil minimum, I believe)-- then insulation. Expanded styrofoam probably would have been better for sound.

What did he use for backer? Regular sheetrock, greenboard?

Basically he trapped the FG between the wet side and the plastic..therefore it could never dry out. Water will penetrate the grout and the backer. Won't hurt either if correct backer was used and VB prevents moisture from getting to framing/insulation.

Did he use a pre-formed shower pan..or tile over a mud bed? Did he use the correct liner?
 
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Old 12-08-10, 08:00 AM
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OK, understand the order of things.

He used greenboard so he is OK there.

For the pan he said he poured it himself - not sure if he used the correct liner but it is definately not a pre-formed pan. I'm thinking that may be more the issue - either that or a roof leak - he has floor damage in both adjoining rooms, mold up the walls (2+ ft) in the bathroom nearest the shower, AND damp FG on an outside wall in an adjoing room. I had him tear out the drywall laterally until he could get a view into the back of the bathroom walls... mold. Sill plate looks ok but soaked and up the bottom of the studs. I've had him airing out the walls since he insists on continuing to live in the room.

I know the FG can get wet and stay wet but I wasnt clear how much it could possible absorb from the ground up - I thought very little.
 
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Old 12-08-10, 08:20 AM
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Well...he's in for a complete re-do. Although greenboard was supposedly ok for showers, I don't think anyone would ever use it now w/o a water barrier like Kerdi or Red-guard before tile. My last place (built in '90) had greenboard and when I finally got fed up with the install and ripped it down I had soft studs, mold galore, and the greenboard was soft almost everywhere in the bottom 2 ft. Of course they didn't use a VB (more properly I should say Moisture or Water barrier) either.

He probably didn't do a pre-slope and the water just sat in there til it finally started leaking out.

There's no repairing this...it's going to be a complete rip out.
 
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Old 12-14-10, 06:27 AM
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result

It was the "pan" to tile floor interface. The crease between where one steps off of the tile and into the shower floor. It is raised but wasnt properly sealed around the bottom. Moral of the story is to be fully researched and prepared before attempting something like this yourself.
 
 

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