Leaking showers are very common, so common that they usually take up position one on home warranty insurance claims each and every year. It’s a common occurrence, and if it isn’t handled or corrected properly, it may cause more damage to your bathroom floor. However, if you take care of the repairs, your shower may still be saved. We’ll go through the reasons, symptoms, and best practices for fixing leaky shower floors in this post.
Leaking Shower Causes:
In most showers, there will be 1 of 3 reasons why you have a leak.
- Pipe leaking. A pressure test from a plumber can determine if there is a leak in the wall, although, in newer buildings, this is unlikely.
- Sideways failure, this is due to the wet bar not being installed or installed incorrectly. This allows the moisture received above the membrane to migrate outside the bathroom, usually swelling the skirting board or carpet near the door. The water will not damage the building materials below, as the waterproofing membrane is intact.
- The waterproofing membrane has become compromised and is allowing moisture to travel through the building envelope.
Option 3 is probably the most common reason for showers leaking. If you are wondering if your leak has occurred due to something your tradesman did or not, then often, the age of the shower will assist in making that determination. If a leak occurs in the first six months, then it could be because of the following items:
- Misuse of the wrong waterproofing material
- No waterproofing materials were used.
- During tile installation, the waterproofing was damaged.
- Misusing waterproofing materials and applying them incorrectly
But if your leak has occurred after this period of time, it is usually due to movement that your shower is leaking.
Your bathroom’s shower floor is a vital component. Your shower water is collected and sent to the drain by the falls created. Overuse and neglect can lead to deterioration. In time, cracks and leaks may also develop. If left unchecked, these might lead to more serious issues with rotting parts of the building envelope, making it more difficult to fix your shower’s leak without removing all the tiles.
The majority of leaks in the shower are caused by movement.
Homes are built and move without failure, but wet areas with rigid floors are not! The floor of the shower is not built to move. The majority of homes built with a timber frame will experience movement that cannot be sustained without cracking. Framing members shifts, and over time the screed cracks due to lack of support. Waterproofing is directly adhered to the screed without voids which means it has no elongation to flex with cracks. When cracks appear in the screed, so do water problems. Water always finds a way…
Shower floor leaks indication:
The biggest indication of your shower leaking from the top is missing grout. Grout becomes dislodged due to movement, so although you can’t see leaks occur on top of the tiles, if you see evidence of increased movement, then you can expect the movement to be more severe below.
Although ponding water sitting on the surface will not on its own create leaks, ponding water will wait for a crack to appear and then drain out into the crack instead of a normal shower which allows water to run off.
For obvious reasons, leaks should not be taken for granted, since they may cause serious damage to the floor and the stability of the building. Here are some of the most prevalent indicators of a leak.
A musky, earthy odour is the most prevalent sign of a leak. It demonstrates that somewhere, water is coming in contact with other building materials repeatedly. This will lead to mould.
Water stains on the ceiling
If watermarks are visible on the ceiling below your shower, you have a leak. But if you want to determine if the leak is in the shower floor or in the waste pipe, then you can do a flood test.
Performing a flood test
Wipe dry the shower floor and run the shower head into some bucket/s; check to see if the leak occurs.
Duct tape the floor waste, ensuring no water can escape. Fill the shower floor with water from the shower rose and let it set for 5-30mins. Look for any new signs of water leaking on the ceiling at the lower levels, where they have been seen before. If you can’t see any of these indicators, leave for a few hours and recheck intermittently.
If still no sign of water leaks occurs, remove the duct tape allowing the water to travel down the drain, and follow with the buckets of water to ensure it has sufficient time to leak out of the waste pipe. If no leaks occur, test each simulation for longer, but most likely, you have identified one or more ways that your shower is leaking.
Now you know the cause of your leak, don’t put off making the essential repairs to your leaking shower base. If your shower floor is leaking, but the tiles are still in good condition, don’t settle for a remedy that does not include movement, as movement is the most common reason a shower leaks now and in the future. In order to save money, effort, and future damage to your bathroom floor, look into applying a Remedial Membranes Clear Waterproofing Membrane on the surface of the tiles.
The best system for waterproofing a shower floor:
The best system for waterproofing a new shower floor before tiles are applied is waterproofing membranes, either in their liquid or sheet form. Most contractors today use waterproof membrane technology to replace the old fiberglass or metal shower trays. In order to prevent water from penetrating through the shower floor, these waterproof membranes are traditionally installed below the tile adhesive layer. The four most common forms of waterproofing membranes are sheet membranes, liquid membranes, foam wall boards, and foam shower bases, all of which are now in use. But the best system for waterproofing a shower floor that is leaking is Remedial Membranes Clear Waterproofing Membrane is a topical waterproofing membrane are made from similar materials to underlying waterproof membranes that are installed below the tile, except it doesn’t have any pigments or fillers in them and is designed to be left exposed and walked on.
Protect your home from water damage by using Remedial Membranes Clear Waterproofing Membrane.
Clear Waterproofing Membrane is a Clear Waterproofing Membrane that is a two-part hybrid liquid aliphatic polyurethane, similar to a conventional waterproofing membrane underneath the tiles. This one, on the other hand, is transparent and may be used on top of the tile. Clear Waterproofing Membrane comes with the options of a gloss, satin, or matte finish. If your shower floor leaks, this is a more cost-effective solution rather than replacing the whole shower floor, which, because you are not able to match tiles, becomes like a patch fix.
Shower floor leaks can be easily repaired by the homeowner. Always download the installation guide and review the videos for additional information. But for a brief overview, here are some steps:
- Remove the old caulk/silicone from the surface. Thoroughly rinse out the shower after cleaning it with chlorine.
- Take a look at the tiles. In such a case, all you’ll have to do is replace the missing grout to restore the area to its pre-leak state.
- Remove any tiles that have come away and any old glue that may have been on them. Check for sponginess by stroking the surface. If there’s moisture, there’s still water somewhere. You’ll need to use a heater to dry it off and then SMX Caulk to repair the tile. Once the grout has been put down, remove any surplus water.
- Use mechanical heating to dry the shower floor. For best results, leave it on overnight.
- Caulk the intersections, wall to wall, and floor to wall and below the waste great to the puddle flange.
- Mix Clear Waterproofing Membrane Parts 1 and 2 together. Starting from the grout joint, work down and toward the door.
- For the gloss finish in the second coat, apply the gloss finish by mixing parts 1 and 2 together in the aggregate.
- The matte look may be achieved by omitting the Clear Waterproofing Membranes Part 2 entirely and using 5% matting paste instead. If you want a satin finish, you’ll need to use matting paste with a concentration of 2.5%.
- Wait for it to dry once you’ve finished applying it. Leave for 24 hours.
Clear water-proofing membrane costs:
The cost of removing the bottom row of tiles and your shower floor in Australia will cost around $2500 +GST. The cost of a bathroom renovation will cost around $20,000, the cost of getting an installer to install the Clear Waterproofing Membrane for you will be around $700 +GST, and the cost of purchasing it yourself and DIY is $159 +GST
Clearly, purchasing the Clear Waterproofing Membrane and installing it over your tiles to repair your leaky shower is the most cost-effective solution available today! And the only remedial waterproofing available with a warranty for movement.