A bathroom is meant to handle wet conditions, but not retain them. A bathroom should not be wet all the time. Rather, the water should run down the drain and evaporate as quickly as possible.
There are two main issues we need to avoid in the bathroom. One is water that does not drain away. Another is water that does drain away, but leaks into the floor or walls. These leaks in the bathroom will cause many issues, including structural damage to the floor and foundations of the house. This is very serious and very expensive to repair.
Leaking water will damage the house and probably increase your water bill. So we should look for signs of water leakage.
Mould and Mildew – Do the bathroom have a dank odour? Perhaps you haven’t noticed because it developed so slowly. This is one sign of mould or mildew. Else, we might see the black or green discolouration of mould and mildew. This is often found in the grout lines between tiles. If there is mould and mildew then there is moisture that feeds this growth. There is a leaky plumbing pipe, leaky roof or another leak near the mould and mildew growth.
Damaged Bathroom Walls or Ceilings – While tiles will resist water there are many areas of the bathroom, like ceilings and upper walls, that are not covered with tiling. These are plain plaster. And plain plaster does not tolerate water for long.
If you notice plaster blistering and bubbling or paint flaking off, then there is quite possibly a water leak. There may be mould and mildew here too. Look for the source of the leak.
A section of the wall or ceiling might discolour. This can be the earliest sign of a leak.
Loose tiles – Tiles can come loose for a few different reasons. Sometimes this is just worn and old age. But it can also be caused by the water behind the tiles. Have this investigated.
Alternatively, a tile that comes loose can lead to a water leak. We hardly need to point out that a missing tile in the shower causes water to get into the floor. Of course, this needs to be fixed.
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One option is to re-tile the shower, and perhaps the bathroom. But while this is effective, it is also expensive. Sometimes we can keep the tiles but re-grout the space between the tiles. This often removes leaks. An equally effective but much cheaper option is to spray the entire tile surface with a clear sealant. This is almost invisible but makes sure no water is leaking into the floor or walls. Suspect a leak in the bathroom? We can seal tiles and track down plumbing issues. Clear sealant sprays are quick and highly effective.
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