How do you Detect a Leak Behind Bathroom Tiles?
This article is intended to make you more aware of what is happening in and around your home so that you can stay on top of faults that should be attended to immediately to avoid further damage that will result in more extensive and expensive repairs
Detecting a leak in a bathroom, particularly a tiled bathroom or shower is no easy task. It requires a thorough inspection and access to your water meter to determine that firstly, the leak exists and secondly, where it can be located. Keeping this in mind, take the following steps to try and find the source of the leak.
1. Monitor your water consumption
Any type of leak within a property will manifest itself in your water consumption. If you notice a spike in water usage that cannot be accounted for, a water leak is the most likely suspect. You can go through the house room by room where water-using appliances are located, appliances such as washing machine, dishwasher, water filter and any other equipment where water is used. After checking these you can move on to taps both indoors and outdoors.
If you suspect a water leak in your house, perform an immediate inspection of areas where the problem could originate.
If no leak is detected in the house, the next step is to move outdoors since plumbing and water pipes are located underground. The main problem with this is that water does not always rise to the surface and finding a constant wet spot in the garden could be like finding a needle in a haystack. Walk around the garden where you know the water supply pipes are situated to find any evidence of flourishing mould or toadstools as these are a sure indication of excess moisture.
Make it a habit to monitor your water usage on a monthly basis.
It is important to always monitor water usage on a regular basis. Not all leaks are easily detectable as there are both slow and fast leaks. A fast leak will be more obvious both on the water meter and around the property, but a slow leak will be harder to detect and, unfortunately, may cause more damage.
Never ignore visible signs of a water leak as this may result in further damage and expensive repairs.
2. Closer Inspection
If you suspect a water leak due to an increase in your water consumption, you will need to try and determine where the leak is situated. For the purpose of this article, and after inspecting the rest of the property, we focus on a leak in a bathroom.
Check ceilings, walls and floors for any sign of water seepage that appears in the grout around tiles and also check for any signs of mould. Move onto a thorough inspection of walls and fittings such as cupboards and closets where dampness will be present if close to the water leak.
A leak in the bathroom can occur almost anywhere considering a bathroom functions on water supply. Sinks and basins, the toilet, shower and perhaps even a heated towel rail if you have one. The water supply that feeds these fitting can leak at any time if the house is older than 10-years.
Keep an eye out for any signs that may indcate a water leak is present.
3. Signs of a leak in a bathroom
When a leak occurs in a bathroom, you will usually see differences in the grout surrounding tiles where the leak is located. The grout can be crumbly or cracked or even show signs of mould or discolouration. It isn't necessarily all of these at the same time, but any one of these can be an indicator of a water leak. Also, note when any tiles become loose or start lifting off the wall due to excess moisture behind the tiles.
Another indication of a water leak is water stains, bubbling or peeling of paint or wallpaper, swelling of any wood fittings such as skirting boards as well as a musty smell or the appearance of mould.
Tiles lifting off the wall are either due to poor installation or the presence of moisture behind the tiles.
The reason behind this article is intended to make you more aware of what is happening in and around your home so that you can stay on top of faults that should be attended to immediately if you want to avoid further damage that will result in more extensive and expensive repairs. Water leaks behind tiles can have unexpected results that include structural damage as moisture seeps into plaster, masonry, or wood. A water leak can also result in an infestation of mould that can bring about numerous health issues.
Immediately detecting a leak or at least checking your water consumption monthly will alert you to the fact that water is leaking and let you take immediate action to rectify the problem. Identifying where the leak is located will also save you money on time spent sourcing the leak by a plumber or contractor.