Points to consider before starting a leaking shower repair project

There are many ways of repairing a leaking shower, a quick internet search uncovers dozens of quick fixes. Our experts, who have been in the bathroom renovation industry for years, have seen time and time again that only complete re-waterproofing job will provide you with a long lasting shower repair result. 

Our renovation team has put together some handy points to consider before you start a leaking shower repair project to ensure you get the best possible result with no nasty surprises.

Complete inspection and leak investigation

A complete inspection and leak investigation to get to the source of the leak so effective corrections can be carried out. For instance, there is little use resealing the shower base if the issue is in the wall. Faults can occur due to poor installation practices as well as old or no waterproofing so don’t think your are exempt from leaks because your home is fairly new. 

Shower repairs
New waterproofed and tiled shower

Was your bathroom built using asbestos?

If your home or building was built prior to 1990 it is highly likely asbestos was used in its construction. In fact there is actually a risk of asbestos presence in Brisbane homes built up until 2003 when a total ban on its use came into effect.

Due to Queensland and Australian building industry restrictions around the treatment of cut or broken asbestos it cannot be repaired and must be removed by a licenced asbestos removal company. Before your project starts your shower repair company should organise the testing and removal of any asbestos containing building materials. This extra service could be an unforeseen added expense which needs to be considered in your repair budget. 

If asbestos has been used in your bathroom we recommend a full bathroom renovation to ensure a complete and safe overhaul can be carried out.

Potential unforeseen costs

If your shower has been leaking unchecked for a while there could be water damage to the flooring or stud work in the surrounding area as well as major wood rot to joists. Unfortunately, until the strip out has been completed the damage or extent of restoration work required can’t be predicted. 

Your builder will usually quote these works as a variation but allowance should be made when planning in your project finances.

Why is the shower leaking?

In most cases showers leak due to a failed waterproofing product, or no waterproofing at all if you’ve got an older home as the process was only introduced as a mandatory building requirement as late as 2004. 

However, make sure you have your plumber check the pipes and tapware to rule out a leaking pipe or other plumbing problem which could be causing the water damage.

Bathroom renovtion
Modern shower

How do I know it’s going to last?

If you carry out a full waterproofing service of the whole bathroom your licenced waterproofer will provide you with a ‘Form 16 Waterproofing Certificate’. This document proves the work was carried out by a licensed professional and that is was completed to the relevant Australian Standards. These requirements state that waterproofing must be carried out to the whole floor plus the walls of the shower and bath. 

However, if you are only getting a shower repair done you won’t receive a ‘Form 16’ as only the shower is being waterproofed. Ask your shower repair company about the waterproofing products they use and the associated guarantees. For instance MasterCraft waterproofing comes with a 10 year manufacturer’s warranty and a 6 1/2 year workmanship warranty on installation, and all our products are installed as per manufacturer's warranties and Australian standards. 

Can the shower leak be repaired?

Your bathroom renovation company will provide an expert analysis of the source of the leak during the inspection and quoting process. In most cases waterproofing the walls and floor of the shower will repair the leak, however, in some instances the leak may be coming from another area of the bathroom or adjoining wet area. Unfortunately, unless the entire floor area is removed this is very difficult to identify and fix. Your builder will be able to make further recommendations. 

Will the new shower tiles match?

If you have enough spares of the original tiles your shower repair company should be able to match up the retiled area. Although, due to wear and tear, fading, and the natural ageing process of the existing tiles there could be variations in the look of the new area.

In most cases if new tiles are sourced in an attempt to match they rarely do. Even slight colour and size variations will be noticeable over a large area like a shower recess. 

We recommend carrying out a partial bathroom renovation which would involve tiling the whole floor and walls to avoid the mismatched tile issue.

Get started on your shower repairs now

The leak in your shower is not going to go away or seal itself up without your help. An ignored shower leak can cause extensive structural damage to your home over time, probably faster than you think. Plus, if you’re living in an apartment the damage could also extend to the residence below, further increasing repair costs.

If you suspect your shower is not watertight any more don’t delay, contact a shower repair professional today.

Ref - https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/asbestos-toc~asbestos-when-and-where

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