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Unread 03-06-2009, 01:11 PM   #1
oguer
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White mineral deposit build-up in grout lines and around drain

I am replacing my shower floor tile. I removed the tile. Some chunks of deck mud came up with it but overall its sound and the liner is not exposed except for 1 spot athe size of a quarter. I want to avoid removing the sound deck mud. One of the issues I had with the old tile floor was this white crystalline build up in the grout joints and particularly around the drain area. I suspect some incorrect material was either used in the deck mud or for setting the tile. I was hoping to fill and smooth the existing deck mud and then install new tile. Obviously I don't want the white stuff coming back - any help?
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Unread 03-06-2009, 02:41 PM   #2
Levi the Tile Guy
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Be real careful if you are determined to keep the existing pan. You would hate to spend all that money on tile just to have it leak on you. I would take it all out if I was you, but if you don't want to then after all the tile is out and you are prepped and ready to re-tile, block the drain, and fill with water and let it sit at least 24 hours and make sure you aren't leaking.
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Unread 03-06-2009, 10:03 PM   #3
Tool Guy - Kg
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Sounds like you're talking about efflorescence blooms coming from your grout joints around the drain. It isn't from any incorrect material being used, but rather a moisture containment system (your shower, along with it's constructed methods of dealing with the moisture) that isn't effectively managing the moisture.

Take a look at this article in the Liberry to get a grip on what you may be dealing with.

The efflorescence is likely to come back unless you change the way moisture is migrating right now. Moisture getting into the pan is perfectly common, but perhaps you have clogged weep holes in your clamping drain and the migration of moisture upwards through the grout is the problem? Perhaps there is an excess amount of moisture getting behind the tiles through a crack...or missing grout somewhere in the walls/corners/floor?

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Unread 03-06-2009, 10:19 PM   #4
Shaughnn
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Tonto hit it. Your weep holes are indeed clogged up and the collected moisture only has one way out of the pan mortar: evaporation. When this vapor rises, it's carrying with it salts which were suspended in the mortar or have arrived through the shower water. When the salts get to the surface, the vapor dissipates and the salts are left on the surface of the grout as white deposits.
Remove all of the old mortar, taking car not to damage the pan liner.
Clean out the weep holes using a stiff piece of heavy gauge wire
Inspect the pan liner and repair if needed
Re-test the liner
Float and re-set new tile

That's how I would approach this.
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Unread 03-07-2009, 12:15 AM   #5
ob1kanobee
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If you go through all that, you might want to make sure you have pre-slope under the liner too I would think.
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Unread 03-07-2009, 12:22 AM   #6
Shaughnn
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Ben,
That's covered in the "inspect the liner" part.
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Unread 03-07-2009, 09:32 AM   #7
oguer
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Its got to be clogged weep holes

How do i pre-slope under the liner?
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Unread 03-07-2009, 09:36 AM   #8
Shaughnn
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Well, if there isn't already a pre-slope, then the only way is to remove the liner and install one. Let's hope that you've got one or it's highly possible that anything you do to remedy this efflorescence will return in time if you don't put one in.
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Unread 03-07-2009, 10:09 PM   #9
ob1kanobee
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Put a level on the liner and see if you have pitch to drain from all quadrants. See "inspect the liner".
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