Bathroom leaks are unfortunately common yet can be incredibly frustrating. You may notice a leak by hearing a steady dripping, or you may find discolored plaster. If you discover a bathroom leak, you will need to act quickly in order to avoid the problem becoming worse and causing damage to your possessions and/or the structure of your house or apartment.
But what should you do? Here we will take you through how to solve this problem step-by-step.
Catch Dripping Water in a Container
In order to prevent water damage to floors, furniture, plaster, or anything else inside your home, the first thing to do after finding the leak is to catch the dripping water in a container.
A large container, such as a tub or bucket, is usually best as it will take longer to fill up and buy you more time to fix the problem. However, if the container does fill up, you can always empty it and replace it. Another good tip is to place towels around the container to catch any water that splashes back out.
Sometimes leaks can be discovered before the water has actually started dripping. This may be because the water is trapped between the wall and the plaster or ceiling wallpaper. If this is the case, you are likely to have noticed it as a patch of discoloration. Making a small incision in the plaster or wallpaper will let the water out – this may seem counterintuitive, but leaving water to collect can cause significant property damage.
Find the Source of the Leak
Bathroom leaks are usually due to plumbing-related issues. Leaks can occur underneath showers, bathtubs, or sinks. You may need to move things around to find the pipes themselves. It may be the case that the source of the leak is a faulty shower door or screen that is allowing water to escape.
Make sure that all water sources are completely turned off. If you check the leak and it has stopped dripping, you can test each water source (for example, taps, shower, bath, toilet, etc.) one at a time (provided the drip-catching container is still in place) to try to identify the culprit.
Fix the Leak
If a pipe or seal is damaged, you may well be able to fix the problem using a DIY solution. If you have found a crack or hole in a PVC (polyvinyl chloride, a form of plastic commonly used in plumbing), you may be able to carry out plastic welding using tools that can be purchased online. If the damage is more extensive and you are unable to fix it yourself, the best course of action is most likely to contact a plumber to solve the problem.
If degraded bathroom sealant is the reason for the leak, bathroom caulk is a cheap, easy, and widely-available solution to this problem.
The most important thing to do when you discover a leak in your bathroom is to sort it out straight away rather than hoping that it will simply go away. Whether you use a DIY solution or enlist the help of a professional, you certainly should not ignore the problem, as this is only likely to result in extensive (and possibly expensive) damage.