One of the most common causes of a leaking shower is due to building movement. This occurs when a new building settles into the foundation, or when the clay beneath an existing building expands and contracts in response to hot and cold weather, thereby causing the building itself to move.
As a result of the associated building movement stress this can lead to gaps between the wall and floor junctions, loose or cracked tiles, broken tile grout, damage to plumbing utilities, and the increased risk of the waterproof membrane failing. Overall, these types of damage do increase the chances of the shower leaking.
Leaking Shower Prevention Plan: The Basics
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to lessen or eliminate the effects of building movement and prevent the risk of leaking. By doing so, you can enhance the lifespan of your shower and save money on unnecessary building repairs.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can prevent shower leaks for good:
Top Up and Replace Tile Grout
Tile grout, which is used to fill the gaps between the tiles, is made from a combination of cement and additives like sand or silica. Despite the hardened texture of grout, it is not waterproof in itself and is prone to moisture penetration.
How long tile grout will last for depends on the quality of the grout itself and how well the product is installed. When quality grout is installed by a professional it can last for up to 10 years or longer. But a poor installation job might last for only a year before it starts to degrade.
Be sure to inspect the grout in your shower on a regular basis. Look for the tell-tale signs of damage such as cracking, crumbling, pinholes, and also black spots of mould. If you notice any of these signs, then top up or replace the grout to prevent the risk of a shower leak.
Maintain Shower Valves
A shower valve is operated by two faucet handles which are comprised of both hot and cold handles. After years of extended use, the rubber seals and washers in these handles do wear down, which allows water to seep into the moving metal parts.
When you notice the handles need to be tightened more than usual to stop the flow of running water, they need to be replaced.
To fix the shower valves, you need to disassemble the unit and replace the broken seals and washers. Keep in mind while you can do this job yourself, you need to know which replacement parts to buy, and you need special tools to disassemble the valves and reseal the section once the unit has been re-attached.
Replace Silicone Sealant
Silicone sealant is what you use to seal the gaps between the wall and floor junctions. Just like the tile grout, over time silicone sealant does degrade – whether it becomes loose, cracked or mouldy – and it needs to be replaced.
If you take the DIY route, then you need to remove all of the old silicone sealant and apply the new sealant with care. For most people having to remove the old sealant is the toughest and most time-consuming part of the job. Even still, you need to ensure the section is properly sealed so as to prevent the risk of further leaks.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to hire a professional who can do the job right the first time and back up their services with a guarantee. At Shower Sealed, our waterproofing services are designed to fix leaks quickly – without having to remove tiles – and you receive a 12-year guarantee that covers you from potential leaks in the future.
For advice and support on how to prevent shower leaks, contact Shower Sealed today on 1300 519 133 or send your online enquiry.