If you ever pay attention to adverts for products like insurance, they often show major disasters, like homes being completely flooded, because these are very visible and get people’s attention. In real life, however, it’s often the slow and steady “invisible” problems which wind up causing the most damage – like shower leaks. Here are tips on the most common types of shower leak and how to deal with them.
You can generally spot a splash leak by its effect on the flooring around your shower. Basically, if it’s looking in worse condition than the rest of the flooring, there’s a good chance it’s suffering from water damage. The good news about splash leaks is that you may be able to fix them relatively easily either by educating people on how to use a shower curtain properly or by resealing the frame and/or replacing worn parts on your shower door.
To avoid getting these leaks in the first place, make sure the shower frame stays completely sealed while there is water in it. If you’re renting and stuck with a shower curtain, then consider spending your own money on a decent one, meaning one which actually runs the full length and width of the shower without leaving gaps. If you have control over your bathroom, then a short-term option could be to swap out a shower curtain for a shower door or shower screen. When you go to upgrade your shower, then look for a company with a reputation for build quality since a shower door is only as good as the quality of its components and the care with which it was manufactured. Your absolute best option would be a freestanding shower cabin such as he Pure and Pure E ranges, both by Vidalux, where the doors really do provide an effective seal against the water.
Drain leaks may be the worst leaks ever because you may only find out about them at the point when sorting out the problem has already become really expensive. Basically drain leaks (usually) happen when damage to the shower tray damages or even breaks the seal around the drain, causing the water to leak through. Often this only becomes apparent when the water damages the ceiling below, which can lead to issues between neighbors. If the bathroom is on a ground floor, you may well only notice a drain leak once it has done serious damage to the floor beneath the tray.
Basically, the only way to stop drain leaks is to buy a shower with a decent build quality, again the Vidalux Pure and Pure E ranges stand out here. Essentially you need a shower where the tray is strong enough to stand up to long-term use so it doesn’t flex and damage the seal on the drain. If you’re not ready to upgrade your shower yet, then there is a trick you can use to keep an eye on how your current shower is doing. Buy a traveler’s sink plug (they’re very cheap and widely available on the internet or at real-world, travel-related stores), put it over your drain and fill your shower tray with water. Note the level. Leave your shower for an hour or so and then check the level again. All being well, nothing will have changed. If the water level has dropped, however, you have a leak and if the shower has only been filled to the top level of the tray (or below) then it really can only be your drain.
Traditional showers need to be placed against tiled walls and the reality is that tile leaks are just a fact of life with conventional showering. Showers, by definition, are running water, some of which is inevitably going to hit the tiles. As time goes by, the water is going to erode the caulk, so the tiles will loosen and water will seep through to your wall and damage it.
There’s good news and bad news when it comes to tile leaks. The good news is that they’re easy to fix. Assuming you catch them early (before they actually damage the wall), which is generally very possible, you “just” have to remove the relevant tiles along with the grout and calk, reprepare the surface, reattach the tiles, regrout and recaulk. The bad news is, of course, is that this is a very time-consuming activity. If you’re one of the many people who’d rather avoid the hassle of having to deal with tile leaks, then the next time you upgrade your shower, opt for a freestanding shower cabin, which is completely self-contained and hence doesn’t need to be put against a tiled wall. Make sure you go for a quality brand such as Vidalux, with its Pure and Pure E, so you can rely on the build quality as cheaper brands are not necessarily sealed as well as they could be and hence can create more leaks.