Why Is My Shower Leaking
Unfortunately, leaking shower recesses are one of the most common building faults and complaints in Australia.
Although showers or shower baths may leak due to a number of reasons, the most common cause of seal leakage is building movement, i.e. as a building settles into it’s foundations or moves naturally with hot and cold weather. This movement can result in weakening or cracking of grout, seal, tile and floor/wall junctions within the shower or bath as this eventually allows water to penetrate beneath the surface of the tiles.
Waterproof Membrane Fails are another cause for seal leakage. Beneath the surface of the tiles there is usually some kind of waterproofing membrane designed to prevent water penetrating the surrounding areas. Unfortunately these sealing membranes are also susceptible to building movement, poor installation and chemical breakdown with age.
Once this membrane has been breached, water is free to penetrate into the surrounding areas and cause damage.
A leaking shower recess can lead to structural damage and expensive repairs. As soon as a leak is suspected, it should be investigated and repaired ASAP.
What can cause the problem?
If your bathroom is smelling musty, the tiles are changing to a darker colour, damp patches are appearing on the other side of a wall, or any other symptoms of a leaking shower are evident; it could be due to any of the following:
✅ Pinholes in grout
✅ Poorly grouted tiles
✅ Leaking pipework behind the wall
✅ No puddle flange installed under the floor grate
✅ No fluid aprons installed around tapware in wall penetrations
✅ Internal corners and bottom row of tiles not grouted with silicone
✅ Cut edges of tiles exposed in shower
✅ Structural movement of the building
✅ Waterproofing membrane not included in installation
✅ Tiles not correctly bedded into adhesive
And a list of other reasons that generally point to either poor workmanship or failure to follow the building code.