We’ve put together a list of the most common clues pointing to a hidden water leak in your bathroom.
Bathrooms are busy places, especially in the mornings, when the shower, taps and toilet are in constant use. With so much activity going on, it’s easy to miss the tell-tale signs that there’s a problem with the plumbing, especially when the pipes are hidden from sight. Damp feet, wet hair and hot steam all make for a moisture-rich environment, but if you’re noticing extra water or damage to your décor, you might have a leak on your hands.
Hidden water leaks don’t stay hidden forever: if left unattended, the problem will worsen. It’s important to keep an eye out for subtle changes in your bathroom, so you can catch leaks early, before they develop into a burst pipe or even a collapsed ceiling.
Have you noticed your bathroom floor is looking a little tired? Is your vinyl peeling, your tiles loosening, or your wood warping? If the problem is only located around your shower base, it’s probably caused by repeated splashes. This is nothing to worry about, but the damaged floor can be expensive and time-consuming to fix. The solution is normally very straightforward: you just need to create a more effective barrier to prevent the water from escaping the shower. This might mean buying a longer shower curtain or replacing loose or faulty shower doors. You could also add caulking to better seal the frame. If you notice the damage elsewhere on your bathroom floor, you should get it looked at by a professional; some water supply lines run beneath your feet, and a leak in one of those could cause major problems, perhaps even damaging the ceiling below.
Tiles loosening within your shower are a sign of a more significant problem: water may be getting through faulty grout and penetrating the wall behind. Persistent mould is another sign that water is lingering in your bathroom and shouldn’t be ignored. If you catch the leak early, you might be able to simply clear the affected area and replace the damaged tiles and grout. If not, your wall may be impaired and you’ll need to have a backing board installed. If you suspect water has found its way into your wall, it’s best to get a professional involved. Our Local Heroes are on hand to help out - all our registered Plumbers are qualified, vetted and experienced with shower leaks.
If you’ve opened your cabinet recently and noticed moisture stains or water drips, you’ll need to get it checked out. The problem could be a water supply line leak, which has the potential to cause a significant mess in your bathroom. These lines run through wall voids, supplying your taps. This type of leak tends to manifest as damage to your wall: it can cause loose tiles, peeling paint or separating wallpaper. If you’re comfortable trying to rectify the problem yourself, you could try tightening the packing nut. But really, it’s best to get a trusted Plumber to come and inspect the problem. He or she may need to replace the entire valve, and that’s a job for the experts.
It can give you a bit of a shock in the middle of the night, but an unstable toilet is more than an inconvenience: it could indicate a hidden water leak. This happens when the toilet flange is faulty, most often because the wax seal has been damaged. A professional Plumber will usually repair the wax seal and level the floor surface so that the toilet doesn’t start rocking again in the future.
If your tap is loose, or wobbly, or pooling water around its base, you probably have a minor leak. This one is usually an easy fix though: you’ll need to tighten the tap from underneath, and then seal the base again with some fresh caulking. It’ll only take a few minutes, and once you’ve given it some time to dry, it’ll be good as new. If you’ve any trouble with it, there are plenty of tradespeople in your local area who will be happy to do the job for you. You can even get an idea of the price for this type of job in advance, on LocalHeroes.ie.
It’s good practice to make a habit of checking for leaks in hard-to-see places in your bathroom, like the back of cabinets or beneath your sinks. This is especially true if you have an old home, with plumbing that might be out-of-date and weakened by time. Look for signs of rust or discolouration around the connections and valves, and consider arranging an annual inspection of your home by a qualified Plumber.
Catching problems early - and calling for professional help - will help reduce the risk of a major leak. This will save you a lot of money, as well as a headache; nobody wants to see their bathtub come through the ceiling! If you think you might have a leak, visit LocalHeroes.ie and make an appointment with one of our trusted plumbers. There’s no call-out charge, and we’re so confident of the high standards of our Heroes’ work that we guarantee their work for 12 months. Don’t wait until the leak worsens - there’s a Hero in your area who can help.