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Thread: Mold

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Wake Forest, NC
    Posts
    292

    Mold

    I have a mold problem with the grout in my shower. Have tried many varieties of cleaners and mold killers with little to no success.

    Initially when it got bad 3 or 4 years ago, I thought the previous homeowners had just caulked the corners and went in and removed all the grout, regrouted it, and sealed it. Before we had the cleaning service, my wife was able to keep it clean and no issues. Well we got slack with the cleaning service so it is back. Any suggestions on what works to get it out of the corners and where the floor meets the walls short of stripping it all out?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tokiwadai, Japan
    Posts
    2,882
    Bleach and water will clean it up.....but you need to address the source... Ventilation, moisture in the wall...otherwise you are just putting on another band-aid, IMO.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    11,697
    As Glen said, very well may be moisture BEHIND the tile.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  4. #4
    Travis,
    We have a similar problem with our shower. It only occurs under the latex caulk around the tub - the grout does fine. I pull it out, clean with bleach, and re caulk every few years. The installer originally put the caulk in, so I've just redone it. It might be time to rethink this.

    Sorry I can't be more help - just commiserate.

    Wes

  5. #5
    Wes......The caulk where the tile meets the tub is a good idea. Wood framing will flex with changes in temperature. Grout is typically inflexible. I bought a book about tiling after borrowing a friends (and returning it). When I framed and built a shower as per the book, I left 1/4" gaps between the cementous underlayment on the walls and adjoining wall panels and the sloped mortar base I made. Each wall is a floating panel and doesn't physically touch the adjoining wall or floor. Then I shot silicon caulk to fill the gaps between the underlayment. When I layed the tile on the walls, I used a color matched latex sanded caulk to fill the same gaps. You cannot tell where the grout stops and the caulk begins....until the grout gets wet. The end result...the panels can move as temperature changes and no cracks in the grout or the tile. The tile in that shower cost me 100s of dollars. The caulk is good insurance!

    When I retiled the shower/tub combination in our other bathroom I used caulk like you do at the tub/tile interface. I think caulk is a good thing at the interface between these two different surfaces and materials.

    JMHO....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Rio Rancho, NM
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    1,417
    For a temporary fix, until you decide to re-do the shower with cement board and epoxy grout, you can use Tilex. It's pretty good at killing the mold (or at least removing the black color so you don't see it so clearly).

    Nancy (107 days)
    Nancy Laird
    dandnspecialties@msn.com
    FWW Registered Voter and Voting Member
    Woodworker, turner, laser engraver; RETIRED!!


    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to his country for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' If you love your country, thank a vet.

  7. #7
    Very good point Ken, I need to find real a mold and mildew resistant caulk. The GE stuff I used said it was, but not resistant enough.

    Wes

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ozarks
    Posts
    4,992
    the folks who do "good" tile work in this area do not use cement board or caulk, no epoxy either.......they do things the way their grandfathers did, everything is set in a real mud bed that`s reinforced with metal lath, shower pans are hot-mopped, no relying on "membrane" type shower pans.....sure it takes more work and costs slightly more money but with literally centurys of successfull installations using these methods they`re kinda hard to argue with.... all grout is off the shelf sanded, no need for additives so i`m told...
    something to think about...
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Monroe, MI
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    470
    My parents used to have a problem with it and my mom just regularly cleaned with straight bleach. We did a lot of recaulking too.

    The GE Silicone i just bought to caulk between the tile and shower unit in our bathroom has Microban in it. I used epoxy grout too, but never again. The stuff was too sticky and messy, not to mention VERY expensive. It cost more to grout about 1/8" grout lines in about 16 square feet of 6" tiles than 1/4" grout lines in 12" tiles in a 13x9 room. And I have 1/2 a bag of the grout from the floor left.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Wake Forest, NC
    Posts
    292
    Tod, I think you have gotten to the root of the problem. Too much of what is in use today has organics in it and promotes mold. The paperless sheetrock commercials advertising mold free lead me to believe it more.

    I have tried more versions of Tilex to absolutely no avail. I did find one type way back a few years ago that worked, but I can't seem to find it again.

    I tried straight bleach mixed with a little bit of dawn dishwashing liquid last night. Initially, I didn't think it worked, but after waiting a few hours I can see some improvement. I will give it another dosage and if it works, I will seal the grout. Ultimately, I am going to add some ventilation to the bathroom. Have to figure out what to use and how to do it for the ventilation so I don't lose all my heat as well.

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