One of the most common and obvious places that water leaks occur is in the shower. In order to fix this, the first step will be to figure out where the leak is coming from before even thinking about how to get it fixed. A problem identified is a problem half solved, right?
Do showers really leak?
Yes they do!
Here are a few indicators that you may have a shower leak;
- Peeling or flaking paint in the bathroom
- Water stains on the ceiling in the room directly under the shower
- Mold or mildew especially around the shower
These are all signs that there is a leak somewhere around the shower and it needs fixing. The next step is identifying the source of the leak.
What causes a shower to leak?
There are several reasons why showers leak, with the most common one being shoddy plumbing and workmanship during construction.
Here’s how you can identify a leak;
- Make sure that the shower door closes correctly and ensure that you have a well-fitting shower curtain or shower screen since these two factors can cause water leaks. To check this, splash some water against the closed glass and check to see if any water leaks outside the shower. Draw the shower curtain and do the same, and if there is water outside the shower, it might be time to get a fitted shower screen and curtain.
- If there are rubber edgings on your shower door, they can wear down over time. Splash some water around this area and check for any water leaking to confirm whether this could be the source of the leak
- Is there caulking around the bottom of the shower? This is the section where the shower is attached to the wall. Sometimes caulking can crack or break over time, and this leads to leaks.
The good news is that if the issue is caulking or rubber on the shower doors has worn out, you can easily replace the shower seal at the bottom with a new one, and the matter will be resolved.
If after trying all this out and you don’t see a leak, then further steps need to be taken.
Check the shower for apparent signs of leaking. Start spraying the bottom of the shower where the paneling meets the shower tray with water and then move up the walls. Look out for water escaping the shower as you spray.
If you find the hollow shower profile filling up with water, then that could indicate a problem. The reason for this is because the area around the shower screen is sealed, and this should not happen. This means the frame is unable to leak into the shower tray as it fills up and instead of flowing freely, water overflows.
Check shower drains
One other area to check is the area around the drain in your shower since it is another common source of leaks, especially if you have a plastic or fiberglass shower door.
To check, try access the bottom part of the shower drain, plug the drain completely with some rags then turn on the water. Look for signs of any water on the underside of the drain to check for any leaks.
If you cannot access the bottom side of the drain, then plug the drain with a rag and turn on the water. Let water from in the shower tray in a puddle and mark the water edge using any item you have in your bathroom. Watch to see whether the puddle reduces in size. If it does, it means that there is a leak around the drain.
If you have access to the bottom of the drain, fixing it could be as simple as tightening the nut that keeps the drain in place. If this doesn’t work, it could mean replacing the whole drain assembly.
If you don’t have access to underneath the drain, then it might mean you might need to hire a professional to get it done.
Can a clogged shower drain cause a leak?
Clogged drains can cause pipes to back up and overflow. This means that water will find a way to escape through pipe threads and cracks in caulking to find its way through to the floor underneath the shower or through walls.
This gives mould a chance to develop and attracts other destructive insects that cause even more damage.
Another challenge of clogged pipes is that they increase the water pressure. Plumbing fixtures and pipes are meant to work by moving pressure from one place to the other. Clogs can cause pressure to fluctuate, and this adds pressure to joints and cause leaks.
Do shower trays leak?
Oh yes, they sometimes do!
Start by looking for any crack in the grouting, creating a gap between the wall and the shower tray. Alternatively, there could be a problem with sloping where showers are designed to slope towards the shower tray for smooth drainage.
How to do a thorough check-up on the shower tray;
- Using plenty of duct tape, make sure the shower drain is watertight.
- Use a bucket (avoid using the showerhead) to fill the shower pan to check whether this is the source of the leak
- When the shower tray has at least 1 inch of water, look for signs of water leaking on the ceiling below and around the shower
Keep in mind that if the leak is small, it might take a few hours for any water leak to become apparent. Give it time for the issue to present itself.
If water is visible, then your shower tray does leak. You can resolve this problem temporarily by using a sealant around the tray. A long-term solution is to have the shower tray refitted by a qualified plumber.
Handling shower clogs
Simple clogs can often be resolved with a plunger or using a commercial product to pour down the drain. If these options don’t work, it could mean there is a stubborn clog and you would need to reach out to an experienced plumber to help resolve the matter..
Can shower water leak through grout?
Cracks in grout can lead to leaks. To check for this, look closely at the tiles around your shower or bathtub. The tiles around your tub need periodic maintenance, and sometimes cracks can develop in the grout, and this lets water and moisture seep through.
To prevent leaks, it’s important to seal all the areas where water can penetrate.
The first step is to clean the whole area to remove any mould or soap scum.
Inspect the grout between the tiles and remove any loose grout with a grout saw or a narrow chisel or hammer. Scrape until you get to the hard grout. Brush out the joints and then use a sponge to apply the new grout.
You can find pre-mixed grout in small tubes, which makes it easy to apply.
Wipe up any excess grout with a damp cloth after it has set.
Another tip is to seal the seam where the tile meets the shower floor pan. Scrape out the old caulk and replace it with new caulk. Use silicon caulk since it is flexible and will act as a sealant when the tub contracts or contracts.
Does my house insurance cover shower leaks?
It is essential to know what your home insurance covers. One thing to keep in mind is that prevention is better than cure, and most insurance companies won’t cover costs that are incurred due to poor maintenance like a leaking roof.
Home insurance normally covers standard leaks like leaking radiators or showers. However, if the leak is caused by age or condition, then they might refuse the claim. Keep records of your all your repairs and work with professionals to get a refund for your home repairs.
How can we help?
If you are in the UK and have a shower leak then our specialist leak detection services are here to help! Call today on 0800 731 3843