Preventing water damage inside our bathrooms is as important as directing water away from the foundation. As part of your routine home-owners maintenance, you should inspect the grout and/or caulking in tubs, showers and vanities for cracking.
If cracks are left unrepaired with the high humidity in your bathroom, it can become an open invitation for mould and mildew to grow, often out of sight. Mould is recognized as contributing to health and indoor air quality problems.
Loose grout or sealant usually causes cracks around the bathtub, shower or bathroom tile joints. If these cracks are not quickly cleaned out and filled, they can let in water that can damage your walls and the framing behind them.
To prevent this, immediately remove any damaged caulking (showing signs of cracking or gaps) or loose grout and replace it.
Cracks should be cleaned thoroughly before installing new caulking/grout. New grout should be installed in the joints between tiles. Ensure you follow-up with a quality grout sealer spray as grout is porous and treat with same annually to prevent water entering through the grout.
Since tubs expand and contract slightly due to temperature differences, grout is not suitable between the tub and the tile walls. Silicone sealant is required in that location.
Remember proper maintenance is much less expensive than the costly repairs that may be necessary if you sustain water damage.