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Unread 02-04-2020, 11:16 AM   #1
quikicks
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Is this safely repairable?

We recently purchased a 2 bath home. Both bathrooms look like original tile jobs from when the home was built in 1979, judging by the style of the tiles. We are avoiding taking a shower in one bathroom because there visibly multiple areas for moisture intrusion (cracks in grout a few loose tiles, etc.).

But my question is about the other bathroom which we have been using for showers and baths. The home inspector recommended re-caulking around inside the tub and corners and so I set off on a mission to do so. I removed the old caulk and removed the grout behind it as there was mold on the surface of the grout using an oscillating tool with a grout removal attachment. I don't know if I was too aggressive with the tool or what, but as I was cleaning up the debris I noticed a loose tile and the grout around it fell out. I checked the next few on the same row and they were also loose and so I pulled them off. I also noticed rust above the tub line.

I had a GC out to look at the damage and he believes he can patch it up and described his process as taking off the bottom two rows of tile out and cutting the backer board to see if there's any mold or moisture in the walls. His assessment was based on the thought that the rust is from the bathtub. I tried to explain that I suspect the wall behind the tile is metal lath based on what I see when I open the panel behind the plumbing (looks like thick concrete dreads or noodles) but he dismissed my concern here. The image will show a distinct line between the tub and the rust and so I'm pretty sure it's not the tub that I'm seeing as rust.

So, to my question now...based on the images below and my description of the problem area, is this something that can be patched up for a few months without introducing moisture into the wall? Or do I need to rip the walls out and rebuild the surround? I'm hoping that I can simply patch it up for about 3-6 months so I can redo the shower in the other bathroom.

BTW, I purchased an endoscope from Amazon and will be drilling small hole in the wall behind the bathtub so I can see if there are any mold/moisture issues which need urgent remediation.

NOTE: Sorry, it looks like the images were rotated automatically during upload. The images with tiles are upside down and I'm not sure how to fix it.
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Last edited by quikicks; 02-04-2020 at 11:18 AM. Reason: better describer images
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Unread 02-04-2020, 01:48 PM   #2
speed51133
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take some pics that are not so close-up. It is hard to tell what we are looking at.
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Unread 02-04-2020, 02:56 PM   #3
quikicks
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Sorry about that...here are a couple of zoomed out images

arg! the images are rotated again. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong because when I upload them, they are upright.
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Last edited by quikicks; 02-04-2020 at 02:59 PM. Reason: explain image
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Unread 02-04-2020, 03:26 PM   #4
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almost looks like you could remove the bottom two rows of tile cut the wall board and tuck piece in a sheet membrane like Nobleseal into it running the membrane over the nailing flange..
Unless I'm seeing it all wrong..
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Unread 02-04-2020, 05:15 PM   #5
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Sure looks like old mastic on the walls. With 40 yrs of exposure to dampness.
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Unread 02-04-2020, 05:21 PM   #6
quikicks
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e3, thanks for the response. A colleague, who used to work for a GC many years ago, said it would need to be a rip out and replace job since it's metal lath and hard to cut through without compromising the rest of the wall. And so this was my main concern. Thank you for addressing my concern
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Unread 02-04-2020, 08:44 PM   #7
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Most likely the tiles will come off the mud walls fairly easy. Once the tiles are removed, see how easy the mastic will come off. A surface applied membrane can be used to cover the mud overlapping the tub flange. Then retile the whole thing. Probably out last us all.
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