How To Spot Hidden Shower Leaks

leaky showerProfessional home inspectors know that shower leaks can be tricky to trace back to the source. Leaky showers often cause gradual, unseen water damage that progresses for some time before it becomes conspicuous. By then, structural damage may have occurred. Mold growth may be triggered in hidden areas and chronically wet wood attracts termites, as well. Be alert to these signs of shower leaks and take action ASAP to correct the problem and minimize water damage.

  • Water pooling on bathroom floor during a shower. This is often the easiest fix. If it’s a shower stall with a sliding or hinged door, a defective door seal may be allowing splashes to escape the stall. The seal is usually a replaceable item without installing a new door.
  • Dampness affecting wall adjacent to the shower stall, above floor level. Leaks in plumbing supply lines to the shower, the valve assembly or the shower arm supporting the shower head usually occur inside the wall. Wetness gradually spreads, saturating the wall and causing tile to fall off or paint to peel. This is frequently noticeable at a level higher than the floor, distinguishing it from water leakage through the bottom of the stall.
  • Stains on ceiling of room beneath bathroom. Usually, this indicates leakage through the floor of the stall. Shower stalls incorporate a drip pan or membrane underneath the unit to catch leakage through tile grout, the shower drain gasket or cracks in a fiberglass stall. Old-style drip pans may deteriorate with age and allow leakage to soak through the subfloor, rotting and deteriorating the plywood, then penetrate the ceiling below. If the shower is on the ground floor, water damage may be visible from the crawl space directly under the stall. Replacement of a defective shower pan usually entails substantial work to remove the stall. However, unlike original equipment pans installed in older homes, new flexible PVC or chlorinated polyethylene membranes have virtually unlimited service life and help prevent shower water damage for the long term.

Ask the experts at Rytech, Inc. about professional service to remediate water damage due to shower leaks.

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