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Unread 07-18-2011, 07:03 PM   #1
HammerMill88
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Compression(?) fractures in shower walls.

Hello all, it has been a while. Hope all are doing well. I am back in search of advice/opinion(s).

I looked at a shower today that has what appear to be lateral compression fractures on three walls and even one jamb-side. They are all in an area from knee to chest-high.

Actually, one of the cracks ran right through the valves. We pulled the hardware off to see what kind of substrate dealing with, and it is a screeded mortar wall...scratch coat, finish coat, tile (is there supposed to be a finish coat in showers...thought that was plaster?).

Also, the mortar thickness was no more than an inch...the only other mortar wall I tore out seemed to be around 1.5" thick, and it was 30 years old with no cracks. Based on light and plumbing fixtures, I am guessing this was built bout 15 years ago.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
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Unread 07-18-2011, 07:07 PM   #2
Brad Denny
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Hi Joey,
Possible that the lath wasn't properly overlapped?
15 years of a little movement can do a lot of damage. Sounds like time for a remodel?
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Unread 07-18-2011, 07:34 PM   #3
HammerMill88
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Thanks Brad, I hadnt thought of that....my first inclination was that the mudding was done over too long an interval (allowed to dry?) since all the cracking is in that one area, but improper lathing makes lots of sense!

This shower jutts out away from the house, with the jambs sharing the only common wall. Could strong winds have flexed/stressed this structure enough for this? We have had several strong tornadic winds in the past few years since she first started noticing these cracks. Actually, she said they began at the bottom and in the two outside corners.

Thanks again.
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Unread 07-18-2011, 08:00 PM   #4
koihito
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If there were enough movement from storm winds or settling to crack the tile walls I'd expect to see some evidence in other parts of the structure as well; have you looked at the drywall, base, widows, etc. to see if they show any signs of movement? If not it's time to start looking for a specific cause.
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Unread 07-18-2011, 08:56 PM   #5
cx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey
has what appear to be lateral compression fractures
What characteristics distinguish these as compression fractures, Joey?

Can you show us some photos of what you're looking at?

Pretty tough to guess much what's going on with as little information as we have over here on this side, eh?
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Unread 07-18-2011, 09:01 PM   #6
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I'll throw this out there -

Had a customer with a cracked floor and shower walls. The toilet was loose too. Took a while to figure out the long time tenant was very obese and not real careful with his landlords' house. I swear he bounced around the bathroom.

Then there was the renter who like "company" in the shower. That took quite a toll on the shower doors.
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