There is nothing worse than water damage. It can cause significant harm to your property structure, and repairs can be rather costly. Nothing is infuriating than walking into your bathroom and noticing, “My shower is leaking through the floor!”.
Leaking showers are some of the top culprits regarding water damage. They hold a large amount of water, and most people use them daily. As such, even one shower leak can cause considerable damage.
Another common cause of such a high damage rate is because we have to wait until plumbers arrive and fix the leak. Whether you have a leaking shower through a wall or notice your faucet is dripping, waiting for a professional can only cause the damage to pile up – especially if the leak happened during the weekend or holiday season.
If you’re here wondering, “My shower is leaking through the floor – what do I do?” you’re in the right place. Stop worrying – we’ve got you covered.
My Shower Is Leaking through the Floor – Possible Causes
“My shower is leaking through the floor” is a common thing plumbers hear when they get a call. However, not many people will tell you that there are a few things you can do to either fix the leak or keep everything under control until help arrives.
To do so, however, you’ll first need to determine the exact causes of the leak. This will help you understand the further steps that need to be taken.
Overall, there are six reasons why your shower might be leaking. These include:
- Broken tub.
- Leaking water pipe.
- Damaged bathroom tile.
- Faulty faucet.
- Clogged drain.
- Leaking drain gasket.
- Broken glass door.
We’ll explain how you can see which one is the culprit.
A broken tub is one of the most common reasons you might have a shower leaking through the floor. This is an immediate opening through which the water can run and spread through the bottom and to the ceiling underneath.
Fortunately, most of these cracks can easily be noticed by looking at your tub. No matter how minor they might seem, all of them can cause the water to leak and result in water damage later on.
Leaking Water Pipe
The leading cause of shower leaks, no matter the location, is faulty or broken water pipes. This can be a huge issue as a leaky pipe can go unnoticed for months, and the damage it causes can be rather significant.
To determine whether this is the cause of the issue, try to look at the water valve behind the walls. You might need to remove a tile or two to see this, but most showers already have a system that can help you reach it without a hassle.
Are the pipes connecting the shower valve to the rest of the plumbing damaged, or is water dripping from the pipes? If the answer is affirmative, then you’ve likely got your answer. Most homes use copper pipes, and these don’t last forever. As such, breakages are more common than you’d think.
Unfortunately, reaching and fixing a broken pipe is usually impossible for someone who isn’t a professional. The leak might be deep inside your wall. This is a perfect moment to inspect your tiles and ensure you don’t have a shower leaking behind the wall simultaneously. If you do, the issue is far more significant than you initially supposed. Call a plumber immediately.
Damaged Bathroom Tile
When you think, “My shower is leaking through the floor!” don’t immediately assume the worse. Sometimes the culprit is much simpler than you’d think.
If you see your shower leaking through tiles, the tiles themselves might be an issue. Not many people know, but bathroom tiles aren’t just decorative. They also keep the shower water from going into the walls and leaking.
If the tiles break or become loose, this can cause the water from the bathroom to leak inside the floor and to the ceiling below. The floor has lost its first line of defense, and the water can now get underneath the shower.
Another cause of this might be worn-out grout or an old substrate.
Whether we’re talking about shower or outdoor faucets, these can break. As they have a shorter lifespan than most of the plumbing, you’ve likely had an issue with a faulty shower faucet at least once by now.
A single dripping faucet can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water annually!
If you’re not good with gallons, this is the amount of water an average person would spend on 180 showers. Now imagine how much this is in utility bills!
Other than noticeable dripping, some signs of a faulty faucet include leaking shower through wall and floor. If you’ve noticed both, it’s time to buy a new faucet!
Another quite common cause of water damage going through the floor is a clogged drain. From hair to debris, many things can clog the drain. Even too much soap and shampoo can prevent water from leaking into the pipes.
If the water cannot go through the drain, it might overflow the tub. This will cause a leak through the floor and to the ceiling below, causing brown spots. Not just that, but the water has to find someplace to leak. Even the tiniest hole in the tiles or the shower itself can cause it to leak underneath the shower.
Leaking Drain Gasket
Underneath the shower is a drain gasket. This is a ring made out of rubber, usually in black color, that keeps the water from leaking around the hole and to the floor.
Over time, this rubber can get damaged. Once it’s cracked or dried out, the gasket will stop doing its function once it becomes worn out. This can be the culprit behind a leaky shower.
Broken Glass Door
Not all causes are challenging or require a plumber’s help. If you have a reasonably shallow shower tub with doors, you might have a glass shower door leaking at the bottom. This is one of these apparent culprits that you’ve probably never even thought about!
When you notice that “My shower is leaking through the floor,” you should first check your glass door. These doors keep the water inside the tub. When they are noticeably broken, they’ll cause water from the shower to splash everywhere. This is something you cannot miss.
However, if you only have a minor leak near the floor, you might not notice it for months or even years! Throughout this time, the broken door has allowed the water to seep out of the shower and through your floor.
My Shower Is Leaking Through the Floor – How Do I Fix It?
There are several methods to keep the shower from leaking through the floor. As mentioned before, it all depends on the cause of the leak. While most fixes will require you to call a plumber, if anything, you can make sure the damage is kept under control.
Here are some things you can do:
If You Have a Broken Tub
You must know how to seal a leaking shower floor to fix a broken tub. The best way to do this is to get water-resistant silicone caulking. Use it to fill any crack you notice, keeping the water from running through the floor.
Just keep in mind that this is only a temporary fix. Silicone caulking has its lifespan, and it’s nowhere near as durable as a shower floor. Unfortunately, getting a new shower or a bathtub is the only way you can make sure the leaks stop permanently.
If You Have a Leaky Pipe
Unfortunately, you can do little if you have a broken pipe. While some temporary solutions can keep the damage from expanding, the only permanent option is to call a plumber who will replace the pipe.
Leaky pipes are a dangerous thing. They can cause damage such as:
- Wood rot
- Floorboard warping
- Mold and mildew growth
- Wallpaper peeling
- High utility bills
- Structural property damage
This isn’t a problem; you can sleep on it and deal with it later. It requires an urgent reaction. If you suspect your pipes are broken, call a plumber immediately.
Damaged Bathroom Tile
If the damage to your tiling is minimal, you can likely deal with it independently. What you’ll need is:
- A new tile
- Tile adhesive
Remove the broken tile altogether with a chisel. Be careful not to damage the surrounding tiles. Then, take a new tile and place it in its spot. Make sure it fits before you glue it down with an adhesive. Once you are done, use a grout to fill the space between the tiles, and you’re done.
If there is damage to more than one tile, repeat the process. Make sure that the substrate underneath them is in good condition. If it’s damaged or rotten, you might need to call a professional who will replace all of your tilings.
If You Have a Faulty Faucet
If your shower is leaking from the faucet, your best option would be to replace it altogether. Take the tap off and bring it to a hardware store. Professionals working there will help you find a suitable replacement.
Sometimes, only one part of the faucet is broken, causing the leak. If this is the case, you might be able to fix everything just by replacing that one part. Make sure you inspect everything and see if there are any cracks or tears on the handle, O-rings, or other vital functions. You might even take off the faucet and ask the people from the hardware store to inspect it for you. Not all will be willing to help, but if you’re lucky, you’ll spend less money than if you were to replace an entire faucet.
If You Have a Clogged Drain
When you have a clogged drain, your best option is to try and unclog it on your own. You can try using solutions such as:
- Vinegar and baking soda solution.
- A pot of boiling water.
- Detergent and boiling water.
You can also try to remove a clog with your hand. Human hair is often the culprit, which can easily be fixed just by removing the hair. You might even use a drain snake. If nothing else works, use a chemical solution.
If You Have a Leaky Drain Gasket
There is no fixing a worn-out drain gasket. Once it’s torn – it’s rent, and there’s nothing you can do to repair the damage.
Remove the drain gasket from its place. You’ll probably need to remove the drain beforehand. Then, find the same one at the hardware store and use it to replace the old one. Return the drain and make sure everything is sealed correctly. This should be enough to stop the leaks.
If You Have a Leaking Shower Door
There is no reason to call a plumber if you have a leaking shower door. Most of the time, you can fix this issue on your own. The water is leaking because the door doesn’t have a strong enough seal to prevent the water from going outside.
Here is what you can do to salvage the situation:
- Install a fresh bathroom door seal.
- Check whether the door tracks need to be replaced or cleaned.
- Look at the caulking and check for the holes and cracks.
“My shower is leaking through the floor” – now you know what’s causing this and how you can tackle the issue. Leaking is not good, no matter where it occurs, and you need to deal with it ASAP.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do on your own. This will not just prevent the damage from spreading, but it might keep you from calling a plumber to help. This will help you save hundreds of dollars.
Remember that the safest option is always to let a professional plumber handle the repair. These people were trained to fix plumbing issues, and they’ll know how to make sure the damage is dealt with for good. If you don’t see what you’re doing, you might end up causing more harm than good.
Still, we hope this article gave you an idea of what might be causing shower leaks and whether or not it’s worth trying to save things on your own.