This week’s homeowner U lecture stays with the water theme. We can’t live without it, but this H2O can be a nightmare when it gets behind your walls or under the floors. Do you have loose tiles on your shower floor or walls? During the building boom and now during the renovation boom, our tastes have gone upscale and material costs have come down a bit, allowing us to enjoy tile shower surrounds instead of fiberglass. All that tile requires grout and mortar, which is beautiful and porous.
If the grout has some little pieces falling out (this happens over time, it’s not necessarily a sign of poor craftsmanship), get a tile professional to fill it in. He or she can also evaluate whether or not there is a different problem resulting in the grout to chip off. But usually it’s just a function of time. If you have a tile shower floor, all that weight (not to be too critical, but you do weigh something) over time can contribute to loose tiles.
Even if you have a fiberglass surround, that insert should have been sealed with caulk. Even that silicone wonder doesn’t last forever, so be on the lookout for signs of deterioration.
Get a pro to clean out the old and re-seal with the new. If you let little drips of water get behind those surrounds (or tiles), you are creating a slow-motion rot issue that will be costly by the time it is discovered. It is usually discovered when you smell something foul or fall through the ceiling. Not fun.