Dealing with water damage can be tricky. In fact, water from a leaking shower can do a lot of damage in a slow manner. The thing with water damage is that it accumulates over many weeks, months or even years depending on different circumstances. The bottom line is that some building materials wear out and it can lead to be a structural issue or even a health hazard if not addressed.
A lot of homeowners today deal with water damage due to the presence of a leak in their shower. It can get costly to solve the problem if you don’t act fast. There are many instances when it is not too obvious where the leak is coming from.
The most obvious signs of a leaking shower are cracked, porous grout joints, damage to vanity units, mouldy silicone, visible pools of water, musty smells, cracked tiles, dripping shower roses or taps and many more.
In most scenarios, you will need to get the help of a specialist leak repairer or professional plumber, especially when dealing with taps and pipework. However, the good news is that general leak assessments really don’t need plumbing expertise. A little common sense is all that is required to potentially isolate the leak.
There are also some basic repairs that can be done using minimal plumbing or trade skills.
Therefore, prevention is always better than cure. This can help in preventing problems from worsening. Here are some basic steps on how you can avoid leaks in your shower.
Let’s start with the basics. If you are going renovate your shower or bathroom, be sure that you are going to have a high waterproof membrane installed to the current building standard. A waterproof membrane is the last line of defence in a leaking shower recess.
Whether the conventional tiles and grout are used or a hard wearing, sturdy acrylic shower tray proper installation, products and ongoing care and maintenance are required.
One simple way to find out if you have a leaking shower base is to carry out a flood test. Block the drain and fill the base of the shower with water from another source. Mark the height you have filled to. You will then have to leave the water for approx. 12 to 24 hours. After this period of time, a decrease in the height should be apparent.
Checking the joints in your shower
You will want to inspect other possible culprits for a leaky shower. All grout, silicone and perimeter joints of the shower area should be assessed. In most scenarios, this is the main cause of the leaking shower and damage visible on adjoining walls.
A lot of DIY type products or applications will help you to stop the leak short term, however, to fix it genuinely it is recommended that a leaking shower specialist be contacted to carry out the necessary repairs.
Check for a dripping shower head or taps
One of the habits that you should develop is to regularly check for any drips in your shower head or taps. Not only is it annoying to hear water continuously drip throughout the night, but it is also costly & wasteful.
The good news is that this is a relatively easy repair.
Inside your taps are small consumable parts which wear out over time from the repetition of turning taps on and off. It is these small parts which can allow for a leak to develop. If left untreated the leak can become significant and cause more costly damage to adjoining areas.
The most successful way to rectify this is to have a licensed plumber attend and carry out a pressure test and service of the taps and shower rose as early as possible.
Don’t put additional weight on the shower arm
It is also common practice for people to place shampoo holders hooked on the shower arm. Though it looks practical enough that you don’t have to install a shampoo holder on your wall, it can ultimately be the culprit that could cause a shower leak. It can put some weight on the shower arm causing potential damage to the pipe work inside the wall. The damage typically happens where the male and female adapters meet at the breach causing a drip inside the wall.
Getting a Good Contractor
When it comes to having repairs works carried out, it is a good idea that you stick to the best contractor in the business. There are households that are dealing with water leakage coming from tiles and grout mainly because of substandard workmanship. Wear and tear and lack of maintenance are also other factors. You need to know even a small crack in the grout or separation in the silicone can accumulate water.
Reviews, recommendations and gut feeling are always good to go by when choosing the right repairer for your leaky shower.
Never clean using highly corrosive products
One common mistake is that homeowners use highly acidic or alkaline cleaning products in order to clean their bathrooms. Though it could get rid of dirt, grime and other stains that you find in your bathroom, it can also damage the tiles, grout, and silicone causing bigger problems in your shower down the track.
Constant use of these type of products can accelerate the breakdown of the conventional products used in the shower or bathroom.
Checking the shower screen
It is important that you test the shower screen for any leaks. If there is any type of leak outside the shower, then it is highly likely that the silicone seal from the inside of the shower screen frame has deteriorated.
These are just simple strategies on how to prevent leaks or how you can trace potential leaks in your shower recess. If you think that there is already a problem that must be addressed, don’t hesitate to call the professionals for the proper assessment. Keep in mind that water damage can be quite expensive in the long run and though DIY prevention is suggested, there are instances when you will have no other choice but to ask for professional help.