Looking for a better deal on your insurance? Get a quote
Become a registered trader - Join us

Focus on: Leaking Showers

Focus on: Leaking Showers

One of the sounds that we dread the most is the drip, drip, drip as water starts to leak through the ceiling. If your shower or bath is leaking, don’t despair! It may not be as severe as you think it is.

If your bathroom is on the older side, the leak could well be caused by leaking tiles as a result of damaged sealant or porous grout. Over time, water builds up behind the tiles, which then soaks into the wall or floor below. While the problem can be fixed, as with most home maintenance jobs, the longer you put it off, the worse it can get; if left alone, mould and damp can build up, with potential implications on structural damage.

Replacing grout

The first thing to do if you notice a smell of damp in your bathroom, or you have a leak, is to take a look at the grout. If it looks cracked or crumbling, then you can almost guarantee that it is not doing its job. Even if your grout looks in good condition, it could still be porous, which means that it soaks up water like a sponge every time you use your shower or bath.

The first step is to remove your grout. You can do this by hand using a manual grout remover or with an oscillating power tool. Of course, the power tool is more effective, but it is more expensive, too, so may not be worth the investment if you are only working on a small area. If you are using a power tool, use tape to mark out the grout lines so that you don’t damage the tiles. Once your grout is removed, make sure that your tiles are firmly stuck to the wall. If water has been getting behind the tiles for a while it is possible that the tile adhesive has degraded and is no longer effective. Assuming that your adhesive is still in good condition, and you have successfully removed the grout, you can get re-grouting.

Using a small squeegee or rubber float, apply the grout in small sections at a time. By grouting small sections at a time you can make sure that you get a good, smooth fill with no gaps or bubbles. Remember, any gaps in the grout now will allow water to seep through later. Wipe excess grout as you go; if you let it dry, you will either have a messy finish, or a tedious job at the end. When you are reasonably happy with the finish, let the grout set for half an hour before using a damp cloth and a scraper to gently remove excess.

There are lots of different grouts available in a whole range of colours. Some grout is more porous than others, make sure that you use water-resistant grout and be aware that, over time, the grout degrades so you may need to replace it again. Need help? Call a local handyperson or bathroom specialist. And don’t forget to follow Trust A Trader on Facebook or Twitter.


Was this useful?