Tiled Bathroom Wall Water Damage Identification And Restoration

Posted on: 28 February 2022

Although tile looks great when installed in a shower or bathtub surround, it eventually will need water damage restoration. After years of use and being subjected to moisture, water will get through the tile's grout and damage the wallboard behind it.

Determining if a Tile Bathroom Wall Has Water Damage 

While necessary for human life, for building materials water is inherently corrosive, leaves behind an unsightly mineral scale, and its lingering presence leads to mold and mildew problems.

Over an extended period of time, water coming into contact with nearly any building material will pose a problem. An excellent example of typical building material water damage is the drywall or cement board behind the tile in a bathtub surround or shower.

The tile and grout get wet every time your family bathes. Eventually, as the grout ages, it develops small cracks. These cracks allow water to seep through to the wallboard behind the tile. The tile traps the moisture and eventually, the wallboard will degrade and start to cause dry rot in the wall studs and framing timbers.

A tile bathroom wall in need of water damage restoration services can be identified by:

  • repeated mold growth on the grout or caulking
  • a lingering musty smell
  • bowing outward or inward
  • visible cracks in the grout or tiles

Also, if you push on an individual tile and it moves at all, then there is water damage behind it needing urgent attention. 

The Bathroom Wall Water Damage Restoration Process

Once bathroom wall water damage is discovered, it needs to be remediated. Left as it is, the problem will only continue to get worse. This can lead to health problems for your family from the mold and structural damage to your house from dry rot.

Bathroom wall damage restoration involves each of the following steps:

  1. removal of the tile and grout
  2. removal of the drywall or cement board
  3. removal of damaged wall studs or framing timbers
  4. stoppage of any water leaks in the plumbing
  5. replacement of wall studs or framing timbers
  6. installation of new cement board
  7. tar seal the cement board 
  8. reinstall tile
  9. grout the new tile

Finally, once the new tile has been grouted and the grout has had ample time to dry and cure, then a sealant is applied to each of the grout lines. The sealant protects the grout from forming small chips or cracks that can let in water. The sealant should be reapplied every few years.