A shower is one of the most important amenities any home can have. A bathtub is all well and good, but when you need to freshen up quickly, a shower helps the most. A bathroom floor is usually covered in tiles. Since tiles are made out of stone, it does not absorb water. Tiles installed in the shower are joined with grout and silicone. If for some reason you have a leakage in your shower and it’s affecting the rooms below, you need to fix it. Here is how you can fix your leaking shower without removing tiles.
Tiles are a great choice for flooring in your bathroom. They give a really aesthetically pleasing look but they also serve a purpose. People install tiles in their washroom because they don’t absorb moisture in the least. It is the best flooring material for such environments. That is why a majority of the washrooms have stone tiles in them these days.
If there is a leak in the waterline, then you definitely have to remove tiles to fix that. But if it is leaking from the shower itself, then you don’t have to remove any tiles whatsoever. Furthermore, it is an easy job and does not require a lot of effort on your end either. So why waste money when you can easily do it yourself.
What Are Some Reasons That Shower Tiles Can Leak?
A shower being one of the most important parts of the bathroom is also one that is used the most. Frequent usage of anything can wear it down considerably. Even if it is something as strong as stone, it can be worn down. And we are talking about water, one of the most reactive chemicals on the planet. Although the reaction time is very long, still in long term it can weaken things. If waves crash into a rock formation on the sea long enough, they can change the rock’s shape.
Shower water might not damage the tiles themselves but the grout in between can loosen up. Also, the waterproof coating that most people apply over the tiles and grout to help prevent water damage can also wear off. If it does wear off you can expect some leaks below the tiles and seep into the lower levels. If the lower level is made of wood, you can expect rot and fungus to grow. It can weaken considerably and become a hazard. Even fungus and rot can be a health hazard for people with asthma.
There are many reasons why a shower might end up leaking. You just need to fix it. People often end up calling contractors for the job. They end up making you spend thousands of dollars. Instead of that, just do it yourself, it literally does not take a lot of time to do so. All you need to do is to check if the grout is weakened. If it is not just use a sealant over the tiles and grout itself.
How to Fix a Leaking Shower Without Removing Tiles
You don’t need to remove tiles if you want to fix a leak in the shower. You just need the proper tools and you are good to go. Here is how you can easily fix a leaking shower without removing tiles.
Step 1 – Assessment
First of all, you need to identify where the leak is happening. Check for any cracked tiles, if a tile is cracked you will need to replace it. But if everything is a good check for any grout that has been cracked. You also need to check the drainage. It might be that your drainage has lost its sealant and needs to be resealed. Once you make a proper assessment, you can prepare for every problem that might be causing the leak.
Step 2 – Wear Your Gear
Since we are working with tools, possibly power tools, you might need to wear some gear. Wearing gloves and a mask will be plenty helpful. If you can add goggles to the mix you are good to go. Working with any chemicals, sharp objects, or tools requires the safety of the user first. Without wearing safety gear it is highly dangerous to do any DIY work. This is especially if you are doing it for the first time.
Step 3 – Remove Cracked Grout
If you see any grout between the tiles that have been cracked, it is time to replace it. Use a grout saw or a multitool to remove the grout first. You only need to remove it a centimeter at most. If the grout is too hard to remove only with the grout saw, go ahead and use a multitool. A battery-powered multitool can go a long way and save you a lot of time.
Step 4 – Regrouting the Tiles
Once the cracked grout is removed it is time to put in the new one. It is easy to make and mix, also it can be easily applied. So just add water to the mix and create a thick cream-like consistency. Once you reach that consistency start applying thoroughly and making sure to clean any excess. But before applying make sure you spray water on the tiles properly.
Step 5 – Sealing the Tiles and Grout
There are grout and tile sealants available in the market that protect them from the effects of water. They are considerably cheap and you need to apply a few coats of these to get maximum results. You can use a brush to apply a coat and wait till the first one dries. Do this a few times and you are done.
Step 6 – Replacing Silicone
Silicone is installed in the corners and on the drain waste to seal off any spaces. You can replace these just in case as well. You can use a heat gun to loosen up the previous silicone and apply a new layer to seal off the corners and the floor waste.
Once all these steps are followed, your leak should have stopped. If the leak persists, chances are you will have to check the pipeline. Because after replacing the cracked grout and applying a sealant, it should be impossible for the shower itself to leak. And you end up saving time and money on fixing a leak that could be fixed by yourself. If you hire people for the task, it can cost anywhere from a thousand dollars. Since they will take the whole washroom apart to fix the leak. Whereas you could do it cheaply.
Cases of leaking showers are quite common. So it is nothing special if your shower starts to leak all of a sudden. At times these problems can occur pretty soon after construction if the grout isn’t applied properly. Also ensuring that the silicone has been applied properly is also important. Silicone seals water from entering any unwanted spaces. Once the grout has been replaced and a new layer of sealant has been applied, the leak can be fixed. You can do that all by yourself if you followed the guide.