You may have seen the bubbling discoloured paint which can be the result of water leaking from the shower through the wall, leaving soft plaster that will eventually crumble and fall off. Often we don’t even notice it happening if the shower backs onto a walk in robe and the wall is hidden with a row of hanging clothes. Or a full wall of bookcases might keep the offending area hidden from view. It may only be when we notice a room smelling musty that we go in search of the cause.
If a shower recess has been leaking for some time, and the environment is conducive, a leaking shower recess can promote mould which can result in unhealthy allergens developing i.e. a health hazard.
Unfortunately this is something I see on a regular basis during my pre-purchase building inspections and Pre Settlement inspections, and not just in older homes.
Tiles and grouting are not waterproof.If installed correctly, it is the protective membrane underneath that provides the waterproof barrier.In extreme circumstances, it could be structural movement that will tear or cause the waterproof membrane to fail.Over time and with constant use, the water eventually seeps under the membrane to cause damage.
Other reasons you might end up with a damp problem are:
- Exposed edge of a cut tile in the shower
- Old grouting that is cracking, or has pinholes
- Cracked floor or wall tiles
- Silicone not used in corners and along bottom row of tiles
- Incorrect installation of the waterproof membrane, or no membrane at all
- Water ingress behind the taps or mixer
- Leaking water or drain pipes
- Leaking associated with the shower screen
In WA, our extremes of temperature cause swelling and shrinkage which can also lead to movement, which in turn can cause cracking and various other issues around the home.
A simple test and a trained eye will highlight if there are any moisture issues in your bathroom or ensuite, so the problem can be rectified before an expensive major repair is required.
A Home Integrity Registered Builder can also inspect and report on spas and swimming pools including safety barriers, arrange retrospective approvals on all structures by local Councils and Shires, inspect and report for insurers to take out Home Owner Warranty Builders Warranty Insurance, Handover and Defects Building Inspection Reports, and Building Consulting.