Is this normal for a new tub? Little brown pieces come out when you put water in between crack

  1. This. Don't caulk that or moisture from behind the paneling will build up and create mold. It's designed that way. I agree with someone who said it was saw dust if it's a recent install. You shouldnt have any issues once its all gone. The lip behind the panel prevents leaking.

  2. I’m no plumber but I would have thought the channel to drain water is supposed to be the actual drain in the bathtub not an unsealed gap between the wall and the bathtub edge. Never seen a bathtub like that before

  3. I have to disagree w you my dude water is not supposed to get behind the panel in any form. Let it dry for a week without use and caulk it. Almost every tub has that lip, wether paneling or tile, it is supposed to be sealed.

  4. As Camber29 indicated, a lot of commenters here suggesting caulk are not familiar with the construction of these 4-piece surround tubs.

  5. I agree. I just installed a tub and wall system like that in my trailer. That's exactly what they say. Caulk at the top, leave it open and the bottom. Unless you spray water up there you won't have any issues.

  6. I’ve noticed these gaps in showers I’ve had before, but in my current house I don’t see any. It’s a standing shower without a tub and the walls meet the floor pan all the way around. However by the lower corner of the sliding glass’ door frame on the inside of the shower, the caulk looks like it may have cracked/split and now it’s turning black and makes me thing there might be mold growing behind the shower paneling. How screwed am I?

  7. This! Do not pull it down unless you are ready to remodel. It’s not as bad as you’d think. Bleach it quite a bit, dry it out. Then caulk all of it.

  8. This. It should have already been sealed with Silicone caulk. Just place a fan on it overnight before you caulk. Every seam should have been sealed at install.

  9. No, don't caulk it. Please use a mold resistant bathroom sealent. Seems like whoever installed your tub forgot to do that. The brown stuff coming out is probably old saw dust or plaster dust etc. Nothing to worry about, but try to avoid getting any more water down there for the time being.

  10. Isn't this part of the design? The tub base has a skirt that is not visible which runs up a few inches. The wall piece then overlaps this so any moisture can drain. If the tub is installed correctly (level) then there is a sloped trough that drains the moisture to a seam drain into the tub basin.

  11. Your comment needs to go higher before this poor individual makes a huge mistake. Please don’t listen to me either as I am not a professional BUT I have a three piece system similar to OP where every joint is open and the same thing happens but shinning a flashlight in there and I can see the skirt where the water drains. I always thought it needed to be sealed too but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that caulking is not a permanent solution so this must be the way it was designed.

  12. Looks like they never caulked it and now whatever is behind it is rotting apart. Possibly debris from outside, but bad news either way. If you're a renter, your landlord needs to sort this right away as it's a black mold factory.

  13. Yup. Probably a good idea to pull that down, and see how bad the rot is, and if there’s a mold issue

  14. This looks like a surround. They don’t get caulked at the joints. There is a lip to prevent water from getting behind them. Water can sometimes pool and collect debri and mildew.

  15. yeah it’s not rotting away would take a while to rot out a 2x4 to the point it’s just corroding away plus that wall surround sits over the flange in the tub

  16. As a plumber, it is probably just dust and gunk. Most tubs have a large lip that extends behind the tile/wall at least 1-1/2” up. I would not be worried. Just let it dry out and apply some quality mildew/mold resistant silicone or caulking.

  17. Pretty my thoughts as well. Might not be a bad idea to take a wet vac and suck up any crud in there before caulking so it not trapped in behind

  18. Do old metal tubs have this lip as well? Say… a tub from maybe the ‘50s? This happened at my parent’s house and I caulked the gap.

  19. That’s how it’s supposed to be, the bottom is open to let water out that gets between the two pieces. It will have about a 3” flange behind the wall panels to keep the water from flowing out of the surround, the lip at the front keep the water from flowing out the front.

  20. This is super helpful. Seems like just sawdust and things from construction that wasn’t cleaned out enough too.

  21. I had a shower like this once…just horrible design to have a seam there. It’s probably just mildew/soap scum/built up crud but it’s gross.

  22. Dang yeah it sucks. It’s less than a year old too and there are like chunks coming out of it all the time. Idk if I try to seal it or what?

  23. Caulk can go bad and turn into this if it isn’t the proper type. Some get affected by water and develop mildew etc. Looks like that’s what’s happening. Clean it out and then reseal with bathroom sealant!

  24. This is the most confusing comment section ever. What is OP supposed to do? I need to know. Should it be sealed or left like that? Should we do a poll or something?

  25. It’s a caulkless joint that absolutely doesn’t need to be caulked the brown pieces are mold from not being cleaned and dried properly. Before you use anything I would read the manufacturers installation instructions because your about to listen to a bunch of people that don’t know what they are talking about!

  26. I agree. I think a lot of it is actually stuff from the home builder not cleaning it out, doesn’t seem like it needs caulk now that I’ve seen a few people say that

  27. I have this same cheap set up in the guest bathroom of my new home. The builder put the tub in first and then they placed the side panels over it. I complained about the same issue crusty/ build up on my 11 month walkthrough. I had concerns about water leaks to the wall behind the panels. There is a lip from the tub that is about two inches tall and it curves so that when water is pushed into the crevice is washes back out. The design prevents water from touching drywall and then you don’t have to have any maintenance or future use of caulk. Had I known this, I would have selected for an upgrade on the install. Do not caulk this area as you will get mold. My neighbor has the same set up and after the first year she ripped out this type of set up and had a old school tub and tile combo installed because she didn’t feel that this type of set up it was sanitary for here kids. I clean that crevice by spraying 409 on a folded paper towel and swipe the area.

  28. I had a similar issue when I moved into a new place. I got some caulk and re-did the seam. And got one of those caulk edging tools. Have not had the problem in 5 years. Make sure you get something that is made for bathrooms.

  29. Dry it out back in there by setting up a fan. Once fully dry, I would add a nice thick bead of white silicone across it and seal up that gap.

  30. There should be caulking there. It’s pretty ridiculous that not only did you never caulk it yourself, but you think gratuitously pouring water into a crack you can’t dry out is a good idea. Just unbelievable 🤦‍♂️ this is the goofiest shit i’ve ever seen.

  31. Just take a dull knife wrapped in a rag or paper towel. Run it through that crack until mostly clean. Give it a bit more time to dry or blow dry it. Apply 100% silicone to the gap. Dip your finger in water and run along the caulk to smooth. Wait time indicated on caulk. Never think of it again

  32. Please stop pouring water here... you need to clean it out best you can with maybe some bleach alternative and a heat gun to dry it. Then caulk/seal it.

  33. I cringe every time she grabs another huge scoop of water and dumps it into the hole. It's like, what the fuck are you doing?

  34. Need to dry it and caulk it. But I’d definitely put this on the top of your list for things that need to be redone when you can. The sooner the better. You’ve got moisture up in behind that and could have mold build up happening, if you wait too long this could lead to framing needing to be redone, drywall in other rooms under or beside this issue. Baseboard. I’ve done bathrooms for customers and when we do the tear out it has turned into a multi room renovation. Don’t let it slide too long.

  35. Before you caulk, do a really thorough cleaning of the area. The mold will grow in your caulk otherwise and it looks crappy

  36. I would use white caulk over clear. They sell it for tubs. But it’s a lot cleaner and you won’t see the gap

  37. This is why I am remodeling my bathroom 😔. There needs to be a book "homeowner maintenance for beginners" would have saved me so much money. 😂

  38. Spray it with bleach and scrub it then rinse it. Mine does it. It's a 4 piece tub and shower. For when you can't fit a single piece in. I mistakingly caulked my seams when I installed it and they turned black after 3 years. I dug it all out and now it's just a seam.

  39. Is the red stuff gritty, or soft and slimy? If it's soft and slimy, it's likely serratia marcescens bacteria. Washes away easily but always comes back because it's actually in the water.

  40. If the tub is new it could be the drywall underneath that got wet and is warping and peeling. It is mildew and mold resistant caulk on the market.

  41. They sell silicone grout for this seam on a tile job. It should resist discoloration if you are worried about that.

  42. For a really nice job, put painters tape in a nice straight line on tub and wall. Use white or clear silicone to fill. Push in with finger in a long continuous stroke. Peel off tape for the perfect caulk job. Obviously, let completely dry before doing this.

  43. our contractor said it's to let the water out so you can't caulk it. i just used a sponge to wipe it down. it only got bad if i didn't clean the tub for a while

  44. Before you recaulk it. Get a paper towels soaking wet with bleach. Put them in the cracks for 12 hours.

  45. It looks like sawdust from behind the shower wall. The installer did a horrible job. Normally when we install marble and granite we always vacuum the area first and water proof everything as much as possible. Water will always find away. Also don’t do that anymore. Dry it out with a fan really well so you don’t get black mold.

  46. Is that a tile surround? If it is and the method of installing the tile was with a steel lath and mortar it could be that the steel lath is already rusted out and you may have problems down the line.

  47. Personally, I would seal it with white tub and shower caulk, instead for clear. To clear the mold, I would use a spray of mold and mildew remover, or bleach in a spray bottle. Then fold some paper towels into a flat wedge to run down the crack to dislodge any chunks. Prepare the surface with rubbing alcohol so the caulk sticks. There’s several good tutorials on YouTube for getting a good caulk seam. An ugly caulk seam will bug you for years, but a good one will be really satisfying.

  48. Please listen to this guy. You mention that this house is a new build, what you are seeing is construction debris that wasn’t cleaned out before the tub walls were installed. There is no need to caulk, it won’t hurt anything you will just be creating a unnecessary maintenance item for yourself.

  49. Clean with a bleach solution or ammonia to kill bacteria then put a dehumidifier in there close the shower up le run all day and seal up that night with caulk or silicone

  50. Depending on how old the house is, it’s probably durock behind it. You should be fine to just caulk it if it’s a new house.

  51. Don't listen to all the comments saying caulk/silicone it. The fact it's a relatively new build means It's more than likely designed to be open to let water out from behind.

  52. Rent a dehumidifier and put it in there for a couple days after cleaning. Then caulk. Don't skimp on quality for the caulk

  53. Newly constructed houses these days are garbage. We need to start sueing/cancelling developers.

  54. People all over the world don’t even have a roof over their heads, and you b gettin BIG mad about a poorly built tub. Shits wild.

  55. Everyone is saying caulk it, god I hate it. You HAVE silicone it. Caulk does not hold up in wet conditions. Get some good white or clear silicone and seal that, guaranteed there's a lot of water damage on that wall though if you have that much debris coming out of there like that.

  56. Try to avoid the bathroom for a while. Run a dehumidifier in there for a.week to dry it out and caulk it.

  57. Normal. This is organic material from your body. Mix that with water and a moist area that never dries. You get nasty stuff.

  58. As a new homeowner myself you have to get ahead of this this. Mold is the killer of property values and it is very unhealthy to breath in. Consider contacting a contractor ifor a consult and see if you need to get the wall down - if you get in there soon enough you maybe to stop the mold with spraying bleach on it. Not sure why the home inspector did spot no caulk on bathtub on home inspection. If you bought this property as a new home you may be able to make a claim with the builder. If you make a mold claim with your home owners insurance it goes down on the record and buyers will know about it. Personally, I would never buy a house with a mold issue resolved or not. A lady down the road bought a house with an unrecorded black mold problem as it was only discovered after she got seriously ill. She ending up abandoning the house to foreclosure.

  59. We are I'm a simular situation. Old home owners put in a shower in the basement but never chalked the shower. I took steamer to the pinkish residue to it and cleaned it up nicely. Once I get a chance we are going to do a better job on sealing it.

  60. I think you are all missing the lip on the bath. Unless you have been having water hit the area with pressure it would have not been making it over the lip of the bath

  61. It’s not “normal”, whoever installed it today caulk it. At least not properly. Get some bathroom silicone available at any hardware store and caulk the seems and around the outside.

  62. Every cup you pour is adding more black mold to the inside of that wall. Bad idea. The rocky brown stuff is most likely the deteriorating Sheetrock behind the tub surround. You probably could have gotten away with a recaulk when you first noticed it but now due to the cups of water being poured into the crack alone, never mind shower water splashing into it, the surround will need to be pulled, the Sheetrock behind removed, the mold cleaned up and disinfected, resheetrocked then tub surround back up then caulk the crack. Total shit show. At this point If just caulked, it’ll trap the moisture and mold inside creating a bigger mess.

  63. I have a new tub and the caulking is not done yet either, I get these sometimes and it’s just leftover residue from when the grout was put in for the tile. You can just clean it out with a cloth or brush and then put the caulking on to seal it up

  64. I have a brand new surround that was a caulk proof design and I had dark stuff washing out from the crack, dust and sawdust from construction. You can choose to caulk it or quit putting water in there.

  65. After you have dried it out and you are ready to caulk, fill the tub and then do the caulk. Follow the instructed drying time and then drain the tub. This sets the caulk to protect when the tub is full and not separate..

  66. There is no caulk around the edges where the tub and the wall meets. Since it is not caulked the water is getting into the other side of the wall which is not good. That water will cause mold.

  67. YES! A little amount of dusty water may be normal after having a new tub installed. You or your contractor didn't properly clean out between the tub and the bottom of the surround. Try to spray it out! You don't need to caulk here but you can if you'd like.

  68. I’ve seen this movie before. Someone else might be living in that house when you’re not there. You should get out and call the authorities

  69. I heard from a professional plumber that you aren't supposed to call please they are self-cleaning in the back what happens is people put them together and then caulk them and then mold forms behind it. That's what those black and brown bits are. To really fix it you would have to take it down and spray it down with TSP and bleach. This will kill the mold and retard any future growth then you should leave it without one. Or paint something like Zinzer over it.. if you insist on still caulking it or it's an older model that is not self cleaning make sure after doing all that that you use a mold retardant caulking.

  70. That happened to me once. I don't remember if I ever fixed it or not or even figured out what was happening, but it never caused any issues it was just weird.

  71. I work as a Tile Setter, so either the person that did that shower used grout, instead of caulk(see it all the time) overtime it cracks and falls out. Make sure you dry out the whole area between the tub and walls, by a tube of caulk and refill it otherwise you’ll start to grow mold and get water damage.

  72. Yeah it's not properly caulked. (That's what she said.) I currently am considering caulking my tub up because it has the same issue.

  73. I would just get me a tube of silicone and seal that gap up. If only to keep the brown backwash away from my feet.

  74. Really should have a pinned comment with links to top-level comments that are from verified plumbers. Everyone loves to help, but in this instance, the wrong set of advice on a surround could be a very expensive future for op.

  75. This happened to the shower/tub at the rental I just moved into a few months ago. I asked my partner if we can just caulk it up and they said it doesn’t seem to be a problem. I will let you know in a few months if our wall rots out. Wish me luck.

  76. Used to work in the middle East (Dubai). We use wet sand as fillers under the tub and on top of that cement to keep it in place. I think here they were careless with the cement. Don't know which country you are from(guessing America). Always thought my case was a cheap cheat. All the foremen did this way and they had 10+ years experience average. And all were fairly decent 1 million dirham villas.

  77. It’s not normal for there to be that crack. There should be some seal there to prevent water getting in there and becoming a source of mildew. Now that you’ve splashed a bunch of water in there you’ll need to not use it for a week or two to dry out, then seal it up (tub and shower caulk).

  78. Needs to be sealed with caulk. I had a similar issue and I first cleaned with bleach to help with any mold then once it was completely dry I sealed it with waterproof caulk. I definitely wouldn’t leave it like that as you don’t want water getting behind the panel and start rotting out the wall or floor.

  79. From reading these comments I would say to use a knife and get all the caulking out and then re-do it . Or leave it like that because there needs to be an escape route for the water that gets behind it . Or check for little tiny mice leaving their trails of shit in your water escape channel . Or you have a tub that is connected in the back so no water can get behind it and it’s really just a fake channel for eye appeal . Or maybe spray some killz through the crack and then re-seal it . Or check with the manufacturer . Or not .

  80. Looks like someone just did a bathfitters over an existing problem. All it is is pieces of the old wall or tile breaking off behind the bathfitter. Dry it out, maybe even put a fan pointed there for 24hrs, then caulk with something waterproof.

  81. It is normal I currently do home remodels on the side (union construction full time) that's just dirt and dust build up when cleaning your tub just take a small cup of water and rinse that out it's meant to drain excess moisture to prevent mold sealing said crack will trap moisture causing mold down the road everything is as it should be as most new tub and shower surrounds are this way if they are multi piece

  82. Looks like your shower head is leaking beneath the plastic molding and running out of the unsealed crack at the bottom.

  83. I’m no plumber, but suggest you start with the easiest and cheapest fix first, if the problem persists, then work you way up the scale.

  84. Listen to me: spray some mound killer isn’t there clean it and saturate. The. Fan for like a day on it. Then use a silicone waterproof caulk get a high quality one $8-$10. Caulk it. Do not do Ann other drop of water in it.

  85. I Cleaned it out. Old caulk etc. filled It with liquid nails. Let that dry. Then applied bathroom silicone bathroom caulk, no problems since

  86. Use a device to clean the seam, I wouldn’t seal it yet. That’s dirt, the tub could have sat outside prior to install.

  87. That’s normal. That’s a multi piece tub unit. The button lip of the tub is acting as the water stop for the top layer the brown is debris from the install. Once it’s all washed out it will be fine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Author: admin