Handle Leaks Fast! Damage Can Be Worse Than It Appears…

shower leaksAny water leaks inside your home can be damaging, but shower leaks are particularly insidious. A leak from a sink fixture, for example, will typically be conspicuous in the cabinet underneath the sink or as pooling on the adjacent floor. However, because of its configuration in the house structure, shower leaks often go unseen and may cause extensive damage before they’re pinpointed.

Water damage doesn’t take much time or necessarily involve a large volume of water. Toxic mold growth is triggered within 48 hours of exposure to moisture from even a small plumbing leak. Because many bathrooms are upstairs, minor shower leaks quickly migrate downward, soaking vulnerable wooden structure along the way and saturating the ceiling in rooms below.

Shower leaks can occur from several points of origin:

  • Leakage around the shower door frame, through the door channel or the gasket that seals the door may seep through the joint where floor tiles meet the shower stall. Water can then migrate through the subfloor, pool beneath the shower stall pan or penetrate adjacent rooms.
  • Shower plumbing such as soldered hot and cold water pipe joints, the mixing valve and other components are recessed into the wall cavity next to the stall. Leakage from these components drips downward into the wall cavity, where wetness rapidly accumulates and doesn’t evaporate. Mold growth and rotted building materials result.
  • The shower drain itself may leak at a joint in the drain pipe or around the gasket that seals the drain plate to the floor of the stall.
  • Sealed underneath the shower, a liner is installed to catch minor leakage and convey it into the drain line. Made of flexible waterproof material, the shower liner may eventually deteriorate with age and no longer hold water. Leakage directly beneath the shower penetrates the subfloor and structure underneath the shower, causing deterioration. Replacement of a leaky shower liner is usually major surgery that requires substantial dismantling of the shower to access the liner.

Ask the professionals at Rytech Inc. for more about potential water damage from shower leaks or other plumbing fixtures in the home.

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