Smelly Shower, realized there is a leak

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I have been having smelly shower issues after showering on and off for a couple of years. The home is about 13 yrs old. First I thought it was the drain, next I worked on the water heater since we have really bad hard water (city water). I explored all the possibilities. I started to pay attention that there were some areas that have the smells, it is about 2-3 tiles mainly.
I am now 99% sure it is one of the following (or a combination of the following):
1. the shower floor is not waterproofed correctly (crazy to realize a regular homeowner but the builder would not, although it may just be pure laziness or lazziness in who they subcontract).
2. weep holes may be clogged (again due to the really bad hard water). I reached into the shower drain with my hand into the area of the weep holes and felt a cardboard/ paper type material so I am assuming that is some time of waterproof layer, only issue there is none on the sides of shower

I am going to attach some pics, I would appreciate some advice. I shined a light to get a glimpse and there is definitely moisture, gunk in there

We had wanted to do a shower remodel for a few years. And in the last year instead of doing a big remodel, we were thinking of just changing the floor which is ugly and change the current shower door which feels like plexiglass to modern glass frameless one. I do have a few of the old tiles in case we need to redo a couple of spots where the old door hinges are if they differ from the new glass door.

I will be hiring this out if i replace the floor, otherwise the repairs I can do.

Repair all the holes and sides of where there is openings with grout, then follow up with silicone on all the sides of the shower where the floor tile meets the side tile (to prevent any leakage of water)
I am assuming this repair would not be 100% perfect but maybe like 99%? Some water could technically splash on side tiles but there would be low chance of leakage unless the silicone falls off.
How long do I wait after putting grout to put the silicone?
What's the best way to clean weep holes? Or should I fill the shower with a bit of water, plug the drain and see if it emptys to confirm weep holes are working

If changed floor tile:
I was thinking of tile over tile with paintable epoxy type sealer, make sure it is at an angle slopped, however, this method i could only use the waterproof epoxy painted over the old top of tile but not much on sides since I wouldn't be removing the side tiles, otherwise if I can't change just floor, then I would need to have complete change of all tiles

Im in texas by the way


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Jeff H Young

In the Trades
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only way to diagnose is open it up. built improperely any number of guesses as there are a number of differant building methods. plugged weep holes, a shower pan with no pre slope, are a few ideas
Hey, wait a minute.

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