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Less than a year ago we remodeled our bathroom. A new tub and shower panels were installed. I was told by the contractor that it was not necessary to caulk between tub and shower panels due to the new interlocking panel designs. I requested it still be caulked.
In less than a month, a crack had formed in the caulk. I wasn't overly concerned based the prior discussion with the contractor.
Well, now I have a water leak that trickles behind the caulk out to the edge of the tub/panels. My drywall is wet and hole has now formed! I have had a second contractor in for an estimate to fix the leak. He stated there is really nothing out there to prevent this from leaking. Stated he can remove old caulk and replace it with a upgraded caulk. If that does not work, then possibly having to replace new shower panels with tile.
I can not justify this huge cost for a new bathroom less than a year old. Any suggestions?
Betsy

  • There should be a lip of the tub behind the panel so water can't get behind. It sounds more like something wasn't installed properly versus having anything to do with how it was cauked. – Steven Jun 11 '15 at 2:29
  • could the water track along the lip to the outer edge of tub/panels behind the caulk to leak to drywall? – Betsy Jun 11 '15 at 2:42
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I would avoid caulking again as it's likley to become a re-occuring problem, it's best to fix the source issue.

Contact the original contractor, they may repair the work if it's under warranty.

If they are unwilling, check with your local regulations as your original contractor may be liable for repairs, certainly seems like a fault with the original installation.

Home insurance may also cover you for repairs, if you are insured contact your agent even if only to register a case number early on in case it blows up to something that will need coverage.

If you are stuck without any of those options and don't want to overspend, there are companies that specialise in sealing bathrooms over tiles/panels using specialised sealents, you should be able to find one that will do the job for under $200/$300 - ensure they provide at least year warranty. Google 'over tile waterproofing'.

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Caulking is the culprit, not the cure. Things being caulked that weren't supposed to be traps condensation & is nothing to do with a leak. These caulk-less surrounds are meant to drain & dry as needed, since they remain cold as the heat & steam build-up in the bathroom. Blocking that path then forces the water to collect & find its own way out & it always does. Your installer should've explained this, remove the caulk or cut it open.

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