Shower fixture not caulked!


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Old 08-25-07, 07:39 AM
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Unhappy Shower fixture not caulked!

So we are renovating our basement bathroom (the one we normally use) with new tiles, painting, etc. which has forced us to use our upstairs bathroom. The shower in this upstairs bathroom was seldom used by us, only recently. Not sure why I didn't see this before, but I noticed this morning that the tap fixture (one of those big round, sundial-type ones) does not have caulking around it! So water has more than likely been getting in there and traveling down the inside of the wall surface... It's apparently been like this since we moved in 2 years ago as we've never changed the fixture - and as we weren't in the habit of using that shower, we didn't notice.

My current plan is to remove the fixture and see what's what back there (and then caulk it of course). But what should I be looking for? Any way to tell the damage? Should I let everything dry inside or blast a hair dryer in there before caulking? Obviously, I really have no idea how to handle it; just terrified that there's a lot of damage back there. Thanks in advance!!!
 
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Old 08-25-07, 07:58 AM
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The big round chrome trim plate cover? If so, there is supposed to be a foamstrip around the backside of it so that when the trim plate cover is screwed tight, it seals without having to caulk around the outside of it. But if the foam has failed or is not there, you can simulate it by removing it and running a heavy bead of silicone caulk around the backside perimeter, in say 1/4 inch in from the edge. Do not caulk around the entire perimeter, leaving the bottom part free of caulk so that in case water ever did get behind the plate, it can drain out. The problem with surface caulking is that cleaning or lack of permanent adhesion can cause it to leak again.
 
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Old 08-25-07, 09:02 AM
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Check the ceiling directly below the faucet/tub area for water damage. The previous owner of our house installed a faucet set and did not put the actual tub faucet against the wall - instead the pipe comes out of a large-ish hole in the wall, and about an inch later the faucet is attached. Basically an exaggerated version of your problem. The ceiling on the room below the tub had to be replaced. Luckily the water did not pool in the ceiling cavity so the joists are okay.
 
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Old 08-26-07, 05:41 AM
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Thanks so much for the replies! Ahhh yes, the foam is indeed there and though I had noticed it when working on the basement bathroom, it didn't occur to me that its function was to keep water out! Re: upstairs shower, the foam seems to be fine and it does not appear that any water has gotten in. I just cleaned things up a bit, tightened the plate cover and all is good.

Now re: the basement bathroom, in my assumption that the fixture should be caulked, I caulked around the entire perimeter of it (same type of fixture). So it sounds like I would be advised to either remove the caulking entirely or at least cut out a slot at the bottom? Thanks again!
 
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Old 08-26-07, 11:18 AM
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It won't hurt anything. (Edit: Well...you don't want to ever overkill as then removal may be difficult and then fear cracking shower stall trying to remove it. That is why they just used the foam. With the caulk you have to slip putty knife or retractable long-blade razor knife in there to cut caulk to remove cover. And actually, caulking only needs to go around it no farther down than along side of where the hole is through the shower wall.) So yes, to have it where water can find it's way out the bottom is best.

Now we need to get back to what then caused your leak to find it's way into the basement.
 

Last edited by ecman51; 08-26-07 at 11:29 AM. Reason: added more
 

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