One of the most common reasons for having water leaks behind baths and shower units is down to the fitting itself moving while in use. This can happen more often should you have a plastic shower tray for example. This is why you should consider replacing it for one made from resin as this will keep movement to a minimum.
Where you have had a lot of movement you may find some gaps and degradation in the seals around your bath and shower. Leaving damaged or missing seals can lead to substantial water damage to surrounding walls and could even leak into other rooms in your home. This is not only troublesome but also very expensive to put right.
Water damage done over a long time can mean you having to remove tiles and repair or replace walls and floorboards. It is best to keep an eye on your seals around your units to help prevent this from happening in the first place.
How to maintain your bathroom seals
Bathroom sealants don’t last forever, so at some point you will have to renew them, especially when they become damaged or ineffective. Ideally you should look at replacing your sealant at least every three years, if not sooner should you spot any problems developing.
Before you renew your sealants it would be wise to inspect your bath and shower to make sure they are well secured. You can check your bath by removing the bath panel and checking that all feet are firmly in place and all supports and connections are sound and tight. For plastic baths this would mean checking that the timber bearers are all in good condition with no signs of damage or wear.
It pays to do a proper job of renewing your bathroom sealant here because it rarely lasts well just to keep applying new sealant over old. You will need to completely strip off the old sealant using a sealant remover. You can buy sealant remover from a DIY shop and it is applied using a mastic gun in the same way as you apply sealant. Follow the instructions carefully and ensure that you set aside a time where you can get this job done without any interruption from family members needing to use the bath or shower.
Once you have removed all the old sealant, rub the surfaces over with white spirit or solvent thinners. This will de-grease the surfaces ready for your new sealant. Make sure you open a window while doing this to let the vapours from the spirits escape. After a couple of hours the surfaces should be dry so you can re-apply your fresh silicone sealant.
Check your bathroom tiles
While you are busy renewing your bathroom seals, it would be worth spending some time checking your tile grout. People tend to forget that even the smallest of holes in tile grout can suck water behind the tiles. This can also lead to damage being caused to the walls behind the tiles and in some cases water can be drawn down to floor below the bath or shower affecting the floorboards.
Water damage that is hidden by tiles can continue for a long time completely unnoticed. It can not even be obvious just how much damage is being done until something drastic happens as a result. You may start to notice damp patches in your walls, or your floorboards or floor tiles may start to deteriorate and become weak. It can be a very costly exercise to put right but could have been completely avoided by the simple job of maintaining your bathroom seals at the cost of just a few pounds for fresh sealant and grout.
Don’t fancy doing this job yourself? Why not give one of our friendly team a call. We are here to help!