Some tips on tiling and the importance of timely maintenance
next to a dam which is 100 percent full.
Ignoring maintenance until there is a problem is not wise. We ended up with broken pumps, leading to empty reservoirs, leading to no water. Having got the pumps working and the reservoirs full, we are now suffering from regular burst pipes as the old underground pipes have been neglected and now can’t handle the increase in water pressure. So don’t put off until tomorrow what needs to be done today, however trivial it may seem.
Following on from last week’s tip of the week, I have had two questions relating to replacing tiles. Bennie asks: “A couple of my wall tiles fell off and fortunately did not break. I would like to put them back as I cannot find the exact tile in the shop and would like to know how. Also how do I get the old tile cement off the tile without breaking it?”
Unfortunately to the best of my knowledge there is no easy way of getting adhesive off the back of old tiles without breaking the tile. With older thicker ones you might have a chance if you scratch away lightly, but I think in 99 times out of 100 it is going to be mission impossible.
If the adhesive is stuck solidly to the back of the tile, I would suggest you hack out the space on the wall to a greater depth, creating room for the old tile and its old adhesive to be bedded flat with new adhesive.
Order at least 10 percent more tiles than needed – 5 percent for breakages during tiling and the rest for repairs at a later date. Ed also has a question about tiles. “Regarding your article about replacing wall tiles – is it the same procedure for floor tiles?”
Basically yes, but for some strange reason, once you start lifting floor tiles, you always end up lifting more than you expected. I guess that’s because of the amount of traffic over them and the fact that more things get dropped on them, and there is always a lot more water involved from cleaning etc. Many floor tiles pop, because once water gets underneath and starts to warm up, they expand.
So before you start trying to replace one tile check out the whole area, either by tapping with a broom handle or something similar listening for hollow sounds, or slide a bunch of car keys across the floor and listen for a change in sound as they move across hollow sections.
Remove the tiles as for wall tiles and replace in a similar manner, but also ensure that you check thoroughly for loose screeding.
Remember to close off the area to traffic once you have finished and give the adhesive at least 24 hours to set properly.
Tony has a query: “I have an unroofed open second-floor deck area. When it rains water leaks from the parapets, with moisture working its way down through the first-floor walls into the room immediately below the deck. The deck parapets are three bricks high.
“Although torch-on was used to waterproof the deck area floor, no torch-on was laid up the inner upstands sides and then over the top of the parapet. Should this have been done initially – or now?
“I’ve been told the deck screed should have been covered by a self- adhesive waterproofing membrane product rather than torch-on. The deck is large (54m Should I replace the entire deck’s torch-on with a selfadhesive system and re-tile it?”
There are many different types of waterproofing solutions on the market, liquids, self-adhesives and torch-ons, and each one has its place. Different consultants will use each product differently, depending on the surface to be covered and the makeup of the sub-strate.
The secret lies more in the overall design and correct application rather than the product.
As to your problem, I would tend to stick to my old adage that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. If you are convinced it is just a problem with the parapets then let’s concentrate on those.
Personally I would never buy a house with parapets; they are a continual nuisance and what they may add in design features, they make up for in maintenance costs.
They need to be constructed correctly, with the top course of brickwork being laid lengthwise across the wall.
They should then be waterproofed from 50mm down the face of the external wall across the top, down the inner face and then linked into the flat slab waterproofing. Your problem lies with the intersection of the parapet and the slab. Possibly have a cement cove plastered into the intersection and waterproof over that. This will keep the water out of the joint between the wall and the slab.
● Keep your questions or comments coming to don@macalis ter.co.za or sms only to 082 446 3859