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Leaky patchwork failed, now what? HELP!!

:confused:About 6 months ago, my shower was leaking from the corner of the base of the wall where the shower and the wall meets. And I mentioned it to a male friend of mine (I'm a female) and he thought he could fix it with tile thinset. But we did not know where the leak was coming from, so he proceeded to bust out the whole bottom of the wall down to the shower floor, looking for this leak. It wasn't until after he did this I figured out it was only a small spot in the corner.:( But now we had this big hole in the wall. So he begin to replace it with drywall and then he firgured that the thinset is waterproof to hold up tiles so why not repair the whole hole with this stuff? :confused: Unfortunatley, it is leaking again, but in a different spot. It is actually leaking under all of this thinset and it is beginning to smell from us using the shower all this time. I think the drywall is molding. But what is the correct way my 20 y/o son and I can repair this? I am a first time home owner, and this is all new to me. But I have done somethings around my house on my own. Thanks all for any help you can offer.

Re: Leaky patchwork failed, now what? HELP!!

Hello Lexy01 -

Thinset is not waterproof. It just does not (mostly) deteriorate from water. Like concrete - water vapor flows thru it... and it can 'absorb' water. But then the water evaporates out of it...

For your problem - you must first determine the source of the water. Is this a leaking pipe - or a water 'control/flow' problem?

A leaking pipe must be repaired. So must a water flow problem. But they are two different issues.

Baths and Showers have a lot of water around them. When we shower - water is flowing downward everywhere. Lots of people try to 'waterproof' the shower tub area. This is a mistake. You cannot waterproof it. You can only control where the water flows to... If you try to waterproof it; and put sealer everywhere - you make the problem worse - by not giving the water a place to go. So it goes where we don't want.

You are going to get water dripping down the sides of the walls of a shower. Where does it go when it gets to the 'bottom'? We want to channel it back into the shower tub area. If we indiscrimantely use sealer all over, or put thinset everywhere - than the water gets dammed up; and goes somewhere else...

If you go online and read a little bit about shower installations, and sealing, and controlling water flow - you might get more of a correct idea.

I like books; and would suggest you go to HomeDepot or some such; and purchase a few remodel books. Actually the HomeDepot "Home Improvement 1-2-3" is an excellent resource for solving problems, and how stuff works. But various Hardware stores sell books about doing bathroom remodels, electrical etc, which can be quite helpful.

Since your a new homeowner - a couple of books would be an excellent resource and well worth the minimal investment.

The mold problem is probably because you have now directed the water back behind the wall... You need to get this area dried out. Of course - if the problem is a leaking pipe - this must be corrected. BTW: 'paint on" waterproofing agents do exist, which could be applied to thinset to 'waterproof' it. Products such as "RedGard" (not a spelling error) manufactured by Custom Building Products - work quite well and are easy to apply and available at various hardware stores. [custombuildingproducts.com]

Hope the above helps.

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