There are some tell-tale signs that water has penetrated your tile. How early do they occur? How do you know if you have water damaged tile?
One of the earlier signs of water damaged tile, or damage behind your tiled surface is a musty or damp odor, which cannot be gotten rid of, no matter how much you clean. Odors are a result of moisture in your drywall, insulation, and even your structural wood.
Odd odors coming from your tub surround or shower might be accompanied by yellow-ish or brown staining on surrounding drywall. If you are smelling mustiness, give your tiled area a thorough going-over to look for staining. Staining can be quite subtle at first.
If your paint or wallpaper are bubbling, chipping, or peeling, there is a reason. That reason is no doubt due to water getting behind your tiled surface to areas it ought to have never reached. Over time, that moisture will creep upward, inward, and outward to all surfaces.
Showers and tubs should have protective barriers and special wall finishes that help prevent water damaged tile and damage to the home’s structure. However, even the best barriers and products can fail over time. Proper care and immediate repair are advisable at the very first sign that water might be able to get behind your tile. This means broken tiles and cracked grout. Sometimes, tile and grout damage, especially large areas of breakage and tiles falling off, denote water damage.
While it is always better to avoid an extensive tile water damage repair project, it is not always possible. Many of our projects are in older homes, which have been through multiple owners. Tile that is decades old is most assuredly a potential liability to the health of your home. Even tile that looks pretty good for its advanced age can harbor extensive water damage and mold. We recommend that you look for the signs above, and call on The Grout Medic to begin a regular grout and tile care regimen. It’s never too late to start caring for your tiled surfaces!