A month or two ago, I noticed that one of the tiles on the inside wall of the bath was wiggly. We had zero cash for repair, so I covered the whole area with plastic, figuring we'd look into repairing it later.
We removed the plastic today to clean and to see if we could possibly repair it ourselves (I was hoping that my memory was faulty and that it just needed new grout). Now several tiles around that original one are super loose. We pulled the loosest one off to see how bad the damage was behind it.
I guess what was behind the tile was cement board. It looked like someone punched a hole through it, there was just big chunks of cement. It was completely dry inside, no mold. There's crumpled up paper of some sort that was dry and free of mold, and the drywall that's a few inches in, for the other side of the wall, is dry and solid. There was mold on the outside of the tiles, but that's it.
I'm just wondering what the deal is, why it crumbled like that.. I'm assuming that if it was water damage, it would be damp and moldy, but it's not. I do know that about ten years ago, when this was my parents' house, they broke the soap dish that was installed right there and had to have new tiles put in. It's these different-colored tiles and a few adjacent ones that are loose. The rest of the walls feel solid.
What are our options here? Money is extremely tight, pretty much non-existent until we get our tax return.
Thank you so much for any advice you can give.. we're feeling pretty overwhelmed here. We have some very basic home repair skills, but that's it.