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Old 03-22-2009, 06:21 PM   #1
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Water damage @ questions.....


In remodeling bathrooms, I have found mold in the walls, floor, as well as on same. I understand grout, thinset (2.9 perms.), and Hardibacker (2.8 perms.) all leak to some degree.
(1) Is the only defense a sealer?
(2) I've read about DensSheild and others that have a waterproof surface from the maker, and a composition that deters mold growth. One stops the water at the thinset, the other can wick 4 times the volume, plus pick one or more of 80-odd holes from the fasteners to wet the studs for rot. Question: Why isn't there a ruling on this by the TCA?

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Old 03-22-2009, 07:03 PM   #2
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Water damage @ questions.....


TCA is for recommend tile installations not a code in any way. Actual installation must match the manufacturers directions based on what you install. However you are correct with what you stated, except the sealer also will not stop water penetration. Redgard is the most common used waterproofing over CBU backed tile installation. The CBU seams are sealed with an appropriate mesh tape, thinset and redgard. The bottom edges are held up so prevent wicking. The waterproof membrane from a tile floor are carried up the walls 12"

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Old 03-22-2009, 07:18 PM   #3
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Water damage @ questions.....


So nothing is set in stone, no inspections, and installers can choose to install cbu that is water permeable, except the joints and nail heads which still leaves a lot of surface area.
Thank you for the quick reply!
Any guess at the life expectancy of this type installation - 10-20 years? Sorry If I'm a pain, this is a question I've thought about but see there is no definite answer. Too many variables. Thank you, GBAR
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Old 03-22-2009, 07:24 PM   #4
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Water damage @ questions.....


If you get a permit as one should, then the inspector will check that all is done right. TCA is not the code is all I am saying. The entire surface is covered with Redgard, so it is all waterproofed. Expected life of a job done correctly should be 50 years or more. Sealing the grout should be done every three years or so. Nothing in stone...well only because there are many approved methods. CBU, waterproofing.. mud job... hot mopped...corian walls, granite walls..Shutler and Kerdi systems... Each has it own rules and methods. Each are not followed correctly by most contractors. this is the only reason they fail.
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:05 AM   #5
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Water damage @ questions.....


When a tile install is done by trained and experienced professionals, and according to tile-setting standards set forth by TCA, or TTMAC, then a warranty should be available for the tile setting...but unfortunately, that has little to do with your bathroom mold.

Now, the technology of today offers us products that can eradicate the #1 reason for premature tile failure in for example a bathroom setting, apart from substandard jobs: molds. For about 20 yrs now, we have gotten a real good grip on "water management" within a tiled subsystem - so much so that we have the products we need to, in effect, make a system 'waterproof' - which goes a long way in to making the entire system "mold proof" - by extension.

Because we now know that water management is a "system", more than a sum of the components...it involves air management (ventilation), the plumbing, the vapour barrier, the insulation, the studs, the fasteners, the wall itself, the tiles, the thinset, the membrane - and of course - the drain. The right product(s) wrongly installed is worth zero, as is a good install of the wrong products. In fact that's the reason there are so many re-dos out there (where for example, a shower stall is taken out - right back to the studs) as opposed to patch jobs.

For example, if you live in most climate zones, have a shower or bath install and...uh...somehow 'forget' about the vapour barrier, you'll have problems. If you disregard the waterproof membrane, you'll also have problems; if you only tile over greenboard, you'll probably have problems too...any one of these situations puts the expected lifetime of such an install in at around 5 years, in our experience.

In our area, and let's take a shower install as a project, we would need permits for any plumbing and any electrical work done. Apart from that, we don't see a necessity of legislating (and therefore inspecting) 'tiling'. Or "grass cutting", "painting" or "plastering" for that matter...why? In order to pass the buck of responsibility to the court? Nope - can't pass that buck!

Like everything else, it falls into the homeowners lap to educate himself as to the "state of the art", then find himself a contractor that presents the technology to meet that, in keeping with financial abilities. It is also the responsibility of contractors to make sure they have the tools in their bag to meet the customers' expectations - and to advise accordingly.

So to answer your concerns, no, a sealer is not the 'last defense', by far. Grout sealers only seal against some water infiltration and (mostly) stains. Waterproofing isn't its job...nor is it the job of cbu, like DensShield, nor the best thinset you can find. But used as part of system, and if the tiling is done according to published standards, then there is a very strong chance the lifetime of a shower install, for example, could reach into decades.

Just a long way of saying what Bob said...
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:23 AM   #6
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Ccarlisle... which is good, I have not patience to type that much. In many areas the inspector will always check the tile waterproofing. With shower bases I need to fill for 24 hours to show they are 100% watertight.
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:21 PM   #7
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Water damage @ questions.....


Mold is a maintenance issue and the responsibility of the home owner, not the shower installer. The mold didn't exist when the shower was constructed new. The mold only came after the homeowner did no preventative maintenance or measures.

I know of no where in this country that an inspector inspects anything except the shower pan and water egress.

A properly installed ceramic tile shower will last five decades easily and longer. Waterproof walls are not necessary to have a long lasting shower. Most of the showers in existence today do not have waterproof walls, they never have until recently. It has been only during the past decade that installers have caught-on to making shower walls waterproof even tho a few products have been in existence for many decades.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:49 PM   #8
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Thank you all for the answers, take care, GBAR.

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