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Need Shower Caulking/Patching Advice

8 years ago

This is a low budget, not overly skilled DIY question. The obvious answer is call a plumber and have a new shower put in. Not happening.

My shower has leaked, off and on, since I bought the house 2 years ago. It obviously did it before as well because when we pulled up the old vinyl flooring it was molding and wet in the same area. The leak is not visible in the bathroom, only in the basement below where it drips. I knew the general area it was coming from so I've just been caulking and caulking. The leak would stop and then restart later (weeks, months). Finally I got fed up with it and have been ripping out all the old caulk to see if I could find the actual problem. I've spent two evenings soaking in mineral spirits and scraping. There was a LOT of caulk. I've filled a walmart plastic bag already. There's still a lot of residue but the majority is off. Pictures attached of what I've found. It appears there's a gap between the wall and the base. Is there supposed to be? I thought the wall sat down on to the base, in to a lip of some sort.

Rather than just piling more caulk on, is there some kind of a tape or patch I can put to seal the gap?

This is the only shower and we're a bit desperate. We've been going to my sister's house every night but there are three of us and it's not a great solution.

The nasty looking white stuff is mineral spirits (the low odor kind). The dark stuff in the crack is super hard, like a glue of some sort.

Ideally I'd like a wide tape or something that would really seal it for good. I will end up getting a new shower at some point but not right now and I really need this to STOP leaking for good. My bedroom is directly below and in addition to potentially rotting the floor, it's dripping down on my stuff.

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