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Unread 06-17-2021, 12:26 PM   #1
blue_can
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Leak Question

Visiting after a really long time but I thought this would be a good place to ask. This is on behalf of someone I know.

This is next to a walk in shower. It seems like there is a leak somewhere.

Any good ideas on how to find the leak. Also based on the mold growth can we determine how long the leak has been in progress for? Can something like this form quickly or would it require several week or more to form?

Any insights would be helpful.
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Unread 06-17-2021, 01:23 PM   #2
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Welcome back, Ravin.

Would help to have some idea what we're looking at. A photo or two from a but further away to give some perspective would be helpful, too.

And, of course, more information about how the shower was constructed.
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Unread 06-17-2021, 03:29 PM   #3
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cx - good to see you are still around. I trust you are doing well.

Here is another photo - the issue is in the lower left corner of the shower. We don't have any details about the construction - it was done by a contractor - not DIY - and before the current owner.

The back wall is an outer wall but as it is a second floor shower access can be gained from below. No sign of water damage from below. I'm guessing something has failed between the shower wall and pan.

I'm guessing the only way to find out would be to cut the drywall from below and observe?
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Unread 06-17-2021, 08:45 PM   #4
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Ravin, what exactly are we looking at in the first picture?
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Unread 06-17-2021, 09:38 PM   #5
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Sorry Kevin - I guess my friend is not very experienced and it turns out the black stuff on the studs is some kind of tar like substance.

That said there is mold on the back of the section of drywall he cut out and dampness so there is leak in progress. This is what the back of the drywall looks like.

He is trying to figure out how to find out what is going on.
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Unread 06-17-2021, 10:00 PM   #6
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this is pure speculation but the level of detail that went in to the install of that bathroom/shower, I would think that the installer would be competent to build a lasting shower. I would look at the where the glass guys mounted the brackets for the shower door. they might have ruined the whole job with their penetrations (if there are any)
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Unread 06-18-2021, 02:07 AM   #7
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Given your location in California, my first thought was that the first picture was part of the hot mop waterproofing.

I see that this is a zero-entry shower, but it looks like maybe there's a bump there to keep water in? Hard to tell for sure.

What I can say, is that if that is in fact mold on the back of the sheetrock, and that's from outside the enclosure, I can't imagine what the walls inside the shower look like.

Plus, I'm hoping there's more than just plain sheetrock inside the shower.

I'll second the theory about penetrations to the floor from the glass hardware. If they're through the wall, that's acceptable. But through the floor is a definite no-no.
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Unread 06-18-2021, 12:56 PM   #8
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Yes when he said what the black stuff was I also thought that it was likely hot mop.

I have not seen the shower in person as he only recently purchased the place. I will be going over in the next week or two and will get a better idea of the shower build.

From what I was told the shower was built in 2015 and has been in regular use since. So either there has been a small leak all along or the leak sprang up recently.

Again I guess it is hard to draw conclusions without looking at the back of the shower and underneath to see what s going on. When a shower like this starts leaking I guess there is no easy fix other than a partial or full demo and rebuild.
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Unread 06-18-2021, 01:19 PM   #9
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No such thing as a partial demo and rebuild, Ravin, unless you're just patching it until a more convenient time for the rebuild.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 06-18-2021, 02:43 PM   #10
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Being a pretty small stall shower, curbless, and frameless, I can't help wondering what the splash-out situation is during showers. Is the glass sealed to the floor or is it only suspended by those clips? Pure speculation but it might not take much for some water to wick up the drywall there and lead to that growth.
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Unread 06-18-2021, 05:50 PM   #11
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The studs dont really look that bad to me; maybe the tar paper is doing its job? Also looks like the drywall came in one piece instead of falling apart from moisture. I wonder if all those small tiles with all that grout (plus gradual slope) could be acting as a conduit for water to spread itself around (under the glass wall) and the drywall is wicking up some of the moisture? Did he already try to reapply grout sealer on walls and floor? Looks like a lot of work went into that shower, its a shame if it ends up having to be ripped out!
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Unread 06-18-2021, 07:15 PM   #12
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It sounds like it is wetter behind the drywall than in the front. Yes if it is simply seeping from under the door then the solution may be straightforward. The fact that this is recent is of concern - if this were a result of water seeping under the door I would have thought it would have been visible before 6 years had passed.
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Unread 06-18-2021, 07:29 PM   #13
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Sealing the grout won't keep a shower from leaking.

It's hard to say what's going on. It's possible the hot mop is flat on the floor and not pitched toward the drain.
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Unread 06-20-2021, 06:26 AM   #14
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A good way to see what kind of method was used on the walls inside the shower is to remove the handle and cover plate on your mixing valve so we can see inside there.
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Unread 06-20-2021, 03:06 PM   #15
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Good point - I will suggest that to him. I think he planning to have someone - possibly a plumber - have a look to see what could be going on.
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