Is there a mysterious leak somewhere in your bathroom? Is your bathroom floor wetter than it should be after you bathe or shower? Worse, do you have visible leakage through a ceiling, right below your bathroom upstairs? If so, your tub or shower could be the culprit.
Tub and shower leaks are far from fun. Worse, it can be hard to detect where exactly the leak is coming from. In fact, some leaks can go undetected for years since they come from pipes under the floorboards and between the walls.
So what are you to do if you suspect a shower or a tub leak? Here are some steps you can take to be proactive, or stop a tub or shower leak before it becomes a big problem.
Is it a splash leak?
Probably the easiest leak to fix. This tub or shower leak is caused by a not-so-sturdy tub curtain or shower door. If you have a shower door, splash water around the frame and wait a few minutes. If water seeps out, you may have found the cause.
Check your caulk and grout
The caulk around your tub or the grout in your tiled shower may need a makeover. You should check your caulk or grout for cracks every few months or so. This is critical, as water can sneak through any unnoticed cracks and into your walls, causing mold and other types of damage that lead to costly repair work.
Is your shower head screwed on?
All the way? If you adjust the shower head often, you should periodically check to make sure the arm hasn’t come loose from the riser pipe.
Check your drains
Leaks can come from drains, too. Gaskets and flanges are often the culprits behind these leaks. Checking for drain leaks can be tricky, especially if you don’t have a crawlspace or a basement and therefore have to open a wall or ceiling to look for a leak.
Faulty shower pan
If you’ve exhausted all other causes, fill your shower pan with buckets of water and wait a day. Severe leaks can show themselves in fifteen minutes through a wet ceiling or wall. Sneakier leaks can take a day or two to appear. The most expensive type of leak often comes from a cracked shower pan, which needs to be replaced in its entirety and will cost you a pretty penny up front. However, by making this repair, you’ll be saving money in repairs down the line, and keeping your home safe from harm.
Is it time to replace your tub or shower?
Tubs and showers get old over time. If you’re sinking more money in the costs than it’s worth, it could be time for a new tub or shower setup.