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Damp behind tiles in shower room...I need to dry out the wall.

(4 Posts)
TheCokeMachine Tue 18-Feb-14 10:39:50

I noticed the sealant was starting to fail on the shower enclosure about a month ago. I told DH but he hadn't got around to it. Then I noticed one of the bottom tiles was starting to lift off and decided to take action.

I've taken all the old sealant out and removed the bottom row of tiles from around the whole of the enclosure, but it's pretty obvious that the wall the tiles are stuck to is damp. I guess I need to dry out the wall before I can replace the tiles and the sealant.

It is an external brick wall (ground floor) with a plaster layer on top, the first row of tiles came off without much force and took the plaster with them.

Can I just leave it with the heating on and the window open for a couple of months, will it dry out naturally or should I be taking all the tiles off?

Or would a dehumidifier from the hire shop get it dry quicker?

SquinkiesRule Tue 18-Feb-14 19:44:07

We had to remove about 4 rows of tiles before finding wall that was dry. Ours had leaked around the sealant and grout.
Dh removed tiles till he found dry wall then had to wait and dry out the damp area before replacing the tiles and re grouting and sealing. He ran the extractor fan for ages (no window) and had a small space heater in the shower room to dry it. We didn't use the room for about a month till he'd finished it.

PigletJohn Tue 18-Feb-14 20:00:47

A fan inside the cube will dry the water out of the wall. You then need to remove the damp air. An extractor, or a dehumidifier, or good airflow which includes the window plus another point of entry would do.

However remember you must not have portable electrical appliances in a bathroom.

If there is an effective extractor fan, leave it running 24 hours x 7 days. It will typically run for 50 hours on 12p worth of electricity. If it is old and noisy, ir ineffective, this is a good time to get a new one.

You could look into waterproof tile backing board but I am not a tiler, see if you can find a good one.

IMO the plastic sealing strips are better than silicone sealant, but opinions differ. Make sure there is not a plumbing leak. You need waterproof adhesive and grout. Tilers tell me the BAL powder is better than readymix.

If your tray needs changing do it at the same time, and insist on a modern shower trap that you can clean the hairballs out of from above.

TheCokeMachine Wed 19-Feb-14 14:50:00

Thanks SquinkiesRule and PigletJohn - that is very informative.

We used BAL powder on our last bathroom so I guess that is the way to go. As for the extractor fan, it's knackered, so my next job might be to work out how to replace it.

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