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Old 08-20-2010, 11:17 AM   #1
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Repair Advice needed

~3 years ago I had a bathroom refinished. Several months later I started getting a spot on the bathroom wall adjacent to the tub/shower where the paint was bubbling. The plaster itself sort of bubbles over time and crumbles away dryly.

To make a long story short, I had the contractor, the tiler, and the show glass installer all look at it and give me different advice. All agreed there must be dampness or mildew in the wall. Periodically I will scrape it down, replaster and paint the spot (about a foot by 3 inches). Each attempt to fix would take about 3 months for the problem to come back. Needless to say it never got fixed. I've sealed every possible thing in that shower in every possible way so I've been stumped. The contractor is gone by the way, retired and out of business.

Yesterday I was in my basement underneath the spot and noticed something I never realized before. Inside the wall where this problem exists, the stink pipe is running up to the roof. So now I'm thinking that the stink pipe may have a nail or screw in it. This would explain a lot about why it takes so long to develop. I don't think a lot of water comes down the stink pipe and only a small fraction of that would work its way out a nail or screw.

This is an enclosed wall. One side a tiled shower and the other side is in a closet with builtin shelving. The leak is on the small 5 inch wide edge exposed to the room. Is there any way I can confirm this is punctured before ripping open the wall in the closet?

thanks for any suggestions
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:27 AM   #2
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The only way to be sure is to open up the wall where the dampness is coming from. I had a similar problem in my shower and I finally gave in and opened the wall and found a small pin hole leak in my pipe not by a nail but from the pipe being so old. Fixed the problem patched the drywall and havenít had a problem since.
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:21 PM   #3
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Open the wall behind the bathroom and take a look.
"Stink pipe".... I love it.
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Old 08-20-2010, 03:26 PM   #4
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Most of the time a vent pipe is between the studs and would be out of the way of most framing nails or screws, however if you or your contractor has added a hand rail or some other item to the wall in this area the pipe might have been hit... Some other things to look at are - did you install any sound barrier ( insulation ) in this wall without a vapor barrier on the shower side of it,,, are there any water pipes or drains in this wall that might have started to leak,,,. Here's one other thing,,, your problem might not be in the wall,,, it might be on the roof where the vent pipe goes threw the roof,,, your leak might be there,,, or,,, some place above that area,,, and following the pipe down,,, look for stains and damp spots in the addict and inside the wall after you get in there,,, MY BET - IT"S @ THE ROOF !!! check it out and let us know...
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