When trying to identify were the source of your leaking shower may be coming from we recommend checking that you firstly inspect the perimeter shower seals to see that they are not split or worn away. You should also inspect the shower grout is not cracking or has fallen out. Alternatively, look for water damage to your skirting boards and stud walls or whether you have damp carpets. You may also wish to check the ceiling below your shower for water stains if the shower is above ground level.
A leaking shower could also be leaking from several areas including a leaking pipe. For example, if the shower wall sheeting has been incorrectly screwed onto the wall and accidentally into a pipe when initially being installed it can create a sneaky leak that only weeps whenever the taps are turned on and then can stop again when the taps are off as the pressure decreases. SCR recommends performing a pressure test to eliminate this possibility.
Some shower tile glues are adhered to the wall sheeting poorly due to poor quality adhesives or in some cases the tile adhesive is not compatible with the waterproofing applied prior to tiling. We recommend always checking that your waterproof membrane and tile adhesive is compatible prior to any works being carried out.
When installing a shower recess, be mindful that they can be problematic if not set out correctly. If water pools inside the recess, it can cause the grout and seals to break down within months of tiling the shower. It is a good idea to check the grout and seals in your shower are intact every 3-6 months and that water continues to fall back into your shower drain. Also, try not to have objects on the shelf that may create water pooling.
If you are concerned that you have a shower leak, we recommend carefully unscrewing your hot and cold taps and check that the seals behind them are intact. The benefit of performing this assessment is that functioning seals prevent any water penetrating into your stud or cavity walls as this can cause long term water damage to your skirting boards as well as the main structural support beams.
Cracked tiles inside a shower area tends to be a serious yet common problem as water tends to get drawn in behind them like a vacuum effect, due to the air gaps. This in turn causes the tiles to protrude and swell. If you have a cracked tile the chances are water has leaked below the tile causing it to swell and crack.
One of the tell tale signs is the build up of efflorescence is a white calcification that appears through the grout when water is trapped below and tries to expel itself back out. This also allows for water to penetrate below your tiles causing the tiles to become drummy and hollow sounding. Please refer to the SCR website photo galleries to get an idea of what efflorescence can look like and the damage it can eventually allow to happen if your tiles become swollen and eventually start lifting.
If you have any questions in relation to this guidance or have other symptoms that you wish to have clarified with an expert please contact us or call 1300 00 57 47 to discuss your leaking shower further.