Grout Seperation On 2nd Floor Deck

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Old 08-22-2010, 10:26 PM   #1
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Grout Seperation On 2nd Floor Deck

Hey guys, been reading the site for a while and am very impressed by all the helpful advice you give each other. Now, I am in need of some advice.

I've been laying tile for a while now, but mostly floors and back splashes. My brother-in-law asked me to come look at his 2nd floor tile deck that has grout cracking problems.

The problems were first noticed when the painters came and painted the trim on the front edge of the deck. The paint started to bubble out after a good rain and when they "popped" the bubble, water came gushing out.

The grout has separated from the brick veneer all the way around, which is to be expected when using cement grout when meeting a different plane. But also, another grout line has opened up the entire length of the deck. Measuring from the outside edge of the deck (shy by about 2 inches or so to account for backerboard and any other furring done by the builder) the full length crack runs right at 8 feet. I'm guessing this is due to substrate movement.

It seems, though I have not tested, that there is a rubber (or similiar) membrane below the tile and backerboard that is allowing the water to run to the front of the porch (it is pitched away from the house) since there is no signs of water anywhere but the front rim of the deck where the bubbling occurred.

My question to you gentlemen, is what should I do to prevent further water damage without completely ripping up the deck floor and starting over. Grinding out the grout and regrouting the field tiles and caulking the lines against the brick was my first idea, but I'm afraid that is just cosmetic. I must stress that my brother-in-law does not want this to become a large project, more of a quick fix (I know, I know.... but something has to be done).

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Old 08-22-2010, 10:41 PM   #2
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Re: Grout Seperation On 2nd Floor Deck

Unless you can verify each and every layer is either leaking or not don't even think about touching that without a contract to tear everything out and start over, if this is over living space and you have never done one please read up about schluter's troba. Quick fix for him long term problem for you.


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Old 08-23-2010, 12:35 AM   #3
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Re: Grout Seperation On 2nd Floor Deck

Originally Posted by tile9 View Post
I must stress that my brother-in-law does not want this to become a large project, more of a quick fix (I know, I know.... but something has to be done)
Outdoor carpeting?

Seriously, it IS a large project to fix. Tell him to start looking for the genie in the bottle otherwise...
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:53 AM   #4
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Re: Grout Seperation On 2nd Floor Deck

You're both right. It is a big job to fix.

But for brevity's sake, a quick regrout and caulking would buy the HO some time.

We're talking half a days work at best. If I can stop the leaks from the surface it will at least give the HO the peace of mind that the ceiling of the entry patio is temporarily safe, until the decision to tear it out is made.

I know that to have any permanent fix the tile will have to come up and the real problems addressed correctly... but for a quick patch job, would you advise against what I'm suggesting?
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:57 AM   #5
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Re: Grout Seperation On 2nd Floor Deck

I'd cut that one line of cracking grout out and fill it with NP1 Joint Sealant. It should come in a color close to the grout and will not crack back through since it'll be very flexible. Not a fix by any means but it will last a while until a complete tear out becomes necessary. We've dealt with one a lot worse than this now where the GC cut off our rubber membrane a few days after it was laid instead of paying his stucco guy to come back and stucco over the edge of it to seal it up. Now days we don't use membranes like that anymore. It's TI Proboard and a good waterproof membrane system like Ditra/Kerdi.
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