How To Detect A Leaking Shower | DIY Step-by-Step Guide | CPC
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How To Repair Bathroom Grout
September 10, 2018
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How To Detect A Leaking Shower

Leaking showers are a potentially drastic problem for buildings and require swift action to limit the spread of water. The first step is to identify the signs of a leaking shower, then to identify the source of the leak, and then finally fix it.

This guide will outline the signs and symptoms of a leaking shower, then what you can do to identify the source of the leak. Repairing and waterproofing the shower using a masonry waterproofing product, is covered in another guide on how to seal a leaking shower.

Symptoms of a leaking shower

Shower leaks can cause structural damage to all building materials and can manifest as the following symptoms:

Rotting floorboards, skirtings, and door frames
Rotting floorboards, skirtings, and door frames
Walls and ceilings in adjacent rooms show water damage like dampness, mould, mildew, sogginess, discolouration
Walls and ceilings in adjacent rooms show water damage like dampness, mould, mildew, sogginess, discolouration
Dampness in carpets, wardrobes, and clothes near to the shower appears, along with mould, cockroaches or silverfish
Dampness in carpets, wardrobes, and clothes near to the shower appears, along with mould, cockroaches or silverfish
Presence of termites and/or ants; both who seek out waterlogged timber
Presence of termites and/or ants; both who seek out waterlogged timber
Structural timber rots, buckles or swells
Structural timber rots, buckles or swells
Light fittings and electrical wiring malfunctions
Light fittings and electrical wiring malfunctions

Though all of this can be noticed in the area surrounding the shower, water can in fact, travel longer distances along surfaces to manifest problems elsewhere. Seeing these symptoms directly adjacent to the shower may indicate that the shower is the problem, but water damage elsewhere in the building can potentially be traced back to the shower as well.

Finding the source of the shower leak

How To Detect Water Leaking Through Tile Grout

Tile and grout issues are the most common source of leaks and the first place to look when detecting a shower leak.

The most common issue in this area is water seeping through cracks, gaps or hole in the grout or tiles.

Any of these breaks in the surface, no matter how small, will enable water to seep through into the structure. To treat this, you’ll be required to repair the bathroom grout and/or silicone first.

Even if the tiles and grout are fully secure, they can still be the cause of the leak. Water will leak through tiles and grout because these surfaces are inherently porous.

Clear signs that this is the main problem can be if the tiles and grout are consistently:

  • Waterlogged
  • Damp
  • Never dried out between showers. Mould could also be growing in the grout.

If the shower is displaying these signs, this would be the likely source of the leak.

Although there is a membrane below the tiles, membranes are prone to failure due to many different causes. The water leaking through the tiles is then passing through a break in the membrane and proceeding into the surrounding structure.

Fixing this problem simply requires sealing the tile surface to prevent water from reaching the membrane.

Once the tiles and grout are fully waterproofed using a shower leak guard like Shower Plug, the membrane will become redundant.

How to Detect Water Leaking Through Tap Fixture

Other breaks in the shower tile surface can be in hidden locations such as behind the tap/faucet fitting, around the drain fixture or the shower door frame, so be sure to inspect these for a thorough check.

How to Fix The Leak

If the leak has now been identified, our articles How to Seal a Leaking Shower and How To Repair Bathroom Grout will demonstrate how to fix the leak.

If the leak seems to be coming from elsewhere in the shower, such as the plumbing system, professional help will be needed. A qualified plumber or waterproofer will use additional methods and tools to detect the source of the shower leak.

What’s Next? Seal Leaks With Shower Plug For 10 Years

Problems resulting from leaking showers can be expensive and get worse if left unchecked, so swift action with a waterproof masonry sealer like Shower Plug is highly recommended. Shower Plug can also be used on new showers as a preventative measure against water leaks. 

Find Shower Plug in-store at Bunnings Warehouse within Australia, or for bulk purchases or international customers, see our online store here. We ship within Australia and internationally.

For further information, see our blog section, here.

Concrete Protection Company
Concrete Protection Company
Concrete Protection Company (CPC) is an Australian-owned and operated company which specialises in high-quality solutions in masonry protection. Our objective is to offer high-quality, reliable, long-lasting and easy to use products to help maintain your masonry surfaces.

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