Archive

Archive for January, 2012

Weep Holes Allow Water to Drain Out of the Shower Frame and Into the Shower.

Hello!

I saw you through Google and hoped you may be able to answer my question.  I am re-caulking my shower enclosure and I noticed that there are some slots along the bottom of the inside of my shower enclosure.  Before removing the caulk, these slots were harboring mildew and mold and spewing it out in gobs.  the caulk ran right under these slots and it too became black and ruined.  My question is whether these should be caulked over or not.  Since water seems to be getting in there and it never dries out, I assume that it is getting in there primarily from the front.  But, if there is some other reason why these need to be open, such as draining water that gets in there from elsewhere, then obviously I wouldn’t want to caulk over them.  What do you think?  Thanks!

Daniel Wells

Hi Daniel,

Yes, those are what we call “weep holes.” They are necessary, as you guessed, to allow the water to drain out of the frame and into the shower. I would suggest spraying a bleach solution into the holes from time-to-time to try to inhibit the mold growth in the framework. If the base of the shower itself (shower pan or tile curb) doesn’t slope into the shower properly, the water will never completely drain out of the aluminum channel at the bottom. There will always be some standing water in there, and that is going to create mold.

There are a few ways to get the water out manually. One is to use a shop-vac or some other vacuum that is approved for wet situations. You could also use a blow drier to force the water out of one hole by directing the flow of hot air into another hole. One other low-tech method of drawing water out is by using a cotton wick. This is simply a piece of string (yarn?) that draws the water out of the channel… you simply work one end of the string into the weep hole, and let the other end hang down into the shower pan. The capillary action of the water being absorbed will actually siphon the water out of the channel and down the drain.  

Best wishes,

-Chris

Is it Possible to Reuse the Glass in My Exisiting Shower Enclosure?

Chris,

I was told by a friend that I could use the current glass I have in my shower to create a seamless or frameless shower.  Can that be done? I have a gold frame now, but want it frameless.

Thanks,

Terry

Hi Terry,

It may be possible to reuse glass from your framed shower enclosure to create a frameless one, but I have never heard of anyone doing it. There are a lot of reasons why used glass from a manufactured enclosure wouldn’t work well in a frameless one. Here are a few things to consider:

1) The glass in a framed enclosure is (or should be) tempered safety glass. Tempered glass is impossible to cut, drill, or otherwise fabricate. You will be stuck using the glass exactly as it is in terms of its size and shape.

2) The glass in a framed enclosure is thin. Normally 3/16” to 1/4”. Much too thin to be practical in a frameless shower enclosure.

3) Once you get the glass out of the frame, you are likely to find that the edges are much different in appearance than the rest of the panel. Since the part of the glass that has been hidden from view has also been spared from exposure to the elements, there is going to be a visible difference.

4) Consider the hazards. Even though tempered glass is safer than regular plate-glass, it can still cut you. I have an employee who had to get a few stitches from a broken piece of tempered glass. Reusing glass in a shower enclosure would be a lot of work for even an experienced glazier, and would yield results the probably wouldn’t be all that impressive.

In my opinion, it just isn’t worth the effort that it would take to take on this kind of a challenge. You may get it to work, but you aren’t going to end up with the beautiful frameless glass enclosure that you really want.

Thanks!

-Chris