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Shower stone tiles & grout remain wet/dark

15 years ago

I just finished reading the awful account of a bathroom remodel nightmare posted last year by LadyCFP, along with some similar threads about plugged weepholes and bad pans, and I have the sinking feeling that we're in the same boat. For various reasons (other house defects combined with health problems), our master bath shower received little use for the first 15 mos. that we owned our new home. I still use the tub about as often as the shower.

In the last 2 - 3 months we've finally been able to use our bathroom. Last week, I mentioned to dh that I'd noticed an area at my end (the shower is about 12' long) where the stone floor (4" squares) & grout appeared wet 24 hrs. after my last shower, and there were some discolored areas at his end of the shower. I scrubbed the floor with SoftScrub w/ bleach, which removed some of the discoloration but had no other effect. We run a ventilating fan during/after showers, and currently run a 40 pt. dehu in the master bath nearly 24/7 due to mild, wet weather in the very humid south.

This weekend, I noticed that the stone & grout still have some damp looking patches at both ends, away from where the water hits, 36 hrs. after last use, and at dh's end there are several places where the dark appearance extends up the wall grout 2" - 3", in an area that's not hit by the shower spray. Beneath the bathroom is a garage, so dh pulled out the insulation he installed last winter and found no sign of damp under the shower. His closet abuts the shower, and a Damp-Rid container tucked in a corner by the shower fills in less than two weeks.

Dh removed the metal drain cover and tried to inspect, but didn't have much success. I guess we need something like a dental mirror and strong flashllight to get a good look. Before we start doing any demo, I want to verify that we can get replacements for the stone tiles, in hopes that we won't be pulling up the entire shower floor and will only be replacing a few pieces.

Do I understand correctly that to inspect/unplug weepholes, we will have to remove the stone around the drain? Is there any hope of doing that without destroying it? How do we unplug the weepholes? Are there any special tools required?

I'm hoping this can be a DIY job, because we're tapped out after paying $$$ to repair water intrustion problems, regrade, install proper drainage outside, etc. The builder lost money on this spec house that we bought when it was 98-99% complete, and he has not been very good about addressing other issues. (Actually, he's been a drama queen who's cried, theatened suicide, and said he was quitting everything & moving to FL.)

If it's not a DIY job, could you please suggest questions to ask tile pros to determine if they really know their stuff? I can sell my grandmother's china, or a kidney, if we have to raise funds (only sort of kidding.)

Thanks in advance for your advice. I'll check in daily and will try my best to answer any...

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