Why do showers leak? Aren’t they supposed to be waterproof?

Having everything function in your home the way it was intended to is a beautiful thing. Irrespective of how perfect we want our homes to be, it is unfortunately not always the case.  Shower screens, taps, bathtubs or even electrical appliances usually develop one fault or another at some point in the life of the product. Of all the faults that can come up in our homes, a leaking shower stands above the others in how it can affect the running of a home. Think about this for a second, walking downstairs or even into the kids rooms on a Monday morning only to discover a wet patch on the floor along with bubbling paint and damaged walls.

It brings a truly horrid sinking feeling in your stomach that makes you wonder “Aren’t showers supposed to be waterproof…how on earth can it just suddenly start leaking”?

You don’t need to get yourself stressed out about whether your shower is properly waterproofed or not. The truth is, leaking showers are a frequent occurrence in homes all around Brisbane and the Gold Coast (especially upstairs where there is likely to be more movement) and they can happen anytime to anyone.

Leaking showers can cause major problems such as mould, weakening of building structures, cracks to walls, loose tiles and a whole lot of other issues. It is important all homeowners understand why showers leak in the first place and what the major causes can be…Let’s take a look.

Why do showers leak?

There are a whole lot of reasons why showers leak, moving of your slab under the house, movement in earthworks and house footings, poor tiling and even poorly fitted shower screens can cause your shower to suddenly start leaking. This is the case with the below

The shower pictured below was recently re-tiled and it was very well done, as far as tiling goes. It was neat and lined up and at first glance, you couldn’t tell what the actual cause of the leak was. The problem it turns out was that the shower screen was not removed when it was re-tiled, This in turn allowed water to get in behind the tiles which caused a host of issues. The tiles had been fixed with silicon on the inside of the hob and they started to fall off.

What are the limitations in waterproofing?

In answering the question “Aren’t showers supposed to be waterproof?”  Well, the simple answer is…yes!

But wait there is a small catch, only a small portion of the shower is actually waterproof and this is called the waterproof membrane. Every other part of your shower is susceptible to water damage. If the shower membrane is poorly installed or develops holes or becomes frail, shower leakages are bound to occur and will only be a matter of time.

See below: This hob at the end of the bath, its little wonder why it was leaking every time the kids had a bath! Water just poured through the deteriorated grout and underneath the tiles there was just no waterproofing at all.