Leaky shower: caulking and weep holes.

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Old 09-16-16, 11:03 AM
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Leaky shower: caulking and weep holes.

First time posting on the forum! Here goes!

I have a Mustee 3232M fiberglass shower base with a tile surround. Recently, I noticed some damage to the drywall adjacent to the threshold on both sides of the shower. I have attached a picture of the base with the damaged drywall removed to the stud.

Although I originally thought the culprit was water was splashing around the curtain, I found some signs of moisture behind the calking that joins the tile wall and the fiberglass base (yellow arrow). In light of that, my best guess is that some water was coming down behind the tiles, traveling around the lip of the shower, and flowing out the front (red arrow).

I have re-grouted and resealed the tile, reinstalled the control escutcheon plate with plumber's putty (it only had small piece of foam from the factory), and replaced all calking. With any luck, this will prevent water from getting behind the tiles again.

When the shower was installed, the small recesses behind the threshold (blue arrow) were filled up with silicone calk. Although I am hopeful my repairs will solve the leak and eliminate the moisture back there entirely, I was left wondering whether these recesses are actually weep holes that are supposed to remain open to allow for drainage.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be would be greatly appreciated.

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Last edited by PJmax; 09-16-16 at 07:27 PM. Reason: added second enlarged pic
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Old 09-16-16, 07:37 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Not the pro here.... just checking your problem out. I added a second enlarged pic to your post.

Figure D in the install instructions shows some type of gap seal. Can't tell if your application requires it. Mustee/product-lines/shower-floors/downloads/pdf/SI_190.pdf

I have a very similar shower pan I think from the same company and I have a swinging glass door that sits on the front curb and fits tight to that gap.
 
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Old 09-17-16, 04:08 AM
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Thanks

Thanks for the larger pic, that makes things much eaiser to see. Tile install is shown in Fig C., without the gap seal product. So I don't think that is the problem. Does your shower door block that hole up?
 
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Old 09-17-16, 04:11 AM
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No experience with this particular base, but does your door sit in that gap or on the threshold? The notch appears to be there to receive the door and allow drips to fall within the confines of the shower. If it does sit in that gap, then it should have a sealant behind and under it, as well as sealant around the entire frame.
 
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Old 09-17-16, 04:18 AM
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no shower door guys
I originally thought the culprit was water was splashing around the curtain
...................
 
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Old 09-17-16, 04:30 AM
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Marksr is right; no door.
 
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Old 09-17-16, 04:59 AM
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Important that the corners are sealed with flexible caulking and not just grouted. That would most likely be the cause of your water getting behind the tile. If the corners where the walls meet are sealed, then I see no need for a weep hole and that can be sealed to the shower side. She has been leaking for a while to get that much damage and most likely splash at the weep hole if that has been wide open. While designed for a way for water to get out from behind the tile, it also provides a two way street for water to get in and that appears to be what has happened.

The cover plate should be sealed with caulking to the tile and not plumbers putty. Use a clear variety and run a small bead around the plate once in place. Putty will not allow the foam to compress and make a seal.
 
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Old 09-17-16, 05:35 AM
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the corners where the walls meet were grouted, thx for the tip! I removed the cheap foam gasket behind the control plate before adding the putty (it was complete junk); but using clear calk sounds like a good idea too.

As for the weep holes, they were calked shut when the problem occured. The pic I posted is after I opened some things up to dry things out & repair.
 
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Old 09-17-16, 06:37 AM
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To me this looks like any typical damage from splashing. The splashing water will tend to run into these areas. It takes years, but will eventually eat everything away.

Once you repair and seal the corners, you should be in good shape.
 
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Old 09-17-16, 06:42 AM
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Do I need to remove the grout from the corners before calking?
 
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Old 09-17-16, 07:54 AM
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Yes and clean thoroughly with denatured alcohol. This significantly improves caulk adhesion. Pure silicone caulk is the best, but hard to work with. I like GE Silicone II. I will sometimes mask the caulk line, tool it with a finger, quickly remove the tape and final tool with a little alcohol on my finger.
 
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Old 09-17-16, 09:03 AM
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If you can lay a decent bead, silicone caulk isn't that bad to work with especially if you keep a rag wet with mineral spirits [paint thinner] handy.
 
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Old 09-17-16, 04:49 PM
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Ok guys: grout in corners swapped for calk, control plate sealed with clear calk, drywall sanded, new baseboard installed, and everything outside the shower painted (phew!). Resealing tiles & rehanging curtains tomorrow.

Since the weep holes were calked shut last time, i'm gonna take a shot at leaving them open.

Thx for the help guys, I'll let you know how it turns out.
 
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