Discovering you have a bathroom leak can, in itself, be an unpleasant experience. Most bathroom leaks become noticeable only when the ceiling of the room beneath the bathroom shows evidence of water staining or even steady dripping.
That’s bad enough if it is within your own house, but if you live in a condo or apartment it usually means the downstairs neighbor has discovered the problem. That problem will be compounded by the likelihood that your neighbor ceiling will need to be opened up in order to repair the leak.
Types of Bathroom Leaks
Bathrooms present multiple opportunities for leaks to occur. Toilets, sinks, bathtubs and showers all present potential issues with both water supply and drainage. Leaks on the supply side of things are easier to deal with as the water generally goes right down a drain without damaging anything. However, a leak on the drainage side poses significant hazards including the possibility of significant damage to rooms beneath the leak.
Slow leaks in drains can be the worst offenders as they might not be spotted for a long time and the slow seepage of water under the floor can result in a rotted sub-floor. One must also bear in mind that water can travel a fair distance from the source of the leak before it becomes visible.
Shower and Bathtub Drain Leaks
Shower drains are the most likely source of bathroom leaks due to the flexing of the shower floor pan when people move around in the shower. This flexing strains the through-floor drain components and ultimately leads to breakage and leaking. Repairing a shower leak is easiest if you have an unfinished sub-floor beneath the bathroom, though in some instances removing the shower floor pan will be necessary.
Of course, there are a variety of shower drains out there. Some of the newer drains utilize snap-in or screw-on connections with gaskets that don’t use adhesives. These can be the easiest to replace, but they aren’t that common. More often than not your shower drain will be a glued or solvent-welded type of plastic such as PVC.
While repairing shower drains is something that some do-it-yourself-ers can tackle, it is always best to have a qualified plumber do the job. They know how to deal with the variety of plumbing materials out there as well as the complications presented by shower pans, flooring and sub-flooring.
A leaking bathtub drain can be relatively simple or very complicated to repair. In many homes it will necessitate removal of the bathtub and may require drywall and structural repairs too. If you suspect your bathtub’s drain of leaking, the sooner you call a professional plumber the better. Ignoring a drain leak just ensures more unseen and expensive damage.
Toilet Drain Leaks
If you see water where your toilet meets the floor, or if the floor around the toilet feels soft, the seal between the toilet and the drain has likely failed. Fixing the problem quickly is crucial as even small leaks under the toilet will rot floor surfaces and sub-floor structural components. Though the usual culprit – the wax ring – does not require a great deal of technical know-how to replace, it is a long and arduous job involving removal of the toilet itself and is best dealt with by a qualified plumber.
In any situation involving leaks from bathroom drains, your interests are best served when you have a professional looking after the repairs.
Clearly Plumbing and Drainage has those professionals. Trained and certified, they have the right tools for the job and the experience to spot complications you might not. Saving money by doing it yourself could very well cost more in the long run, which is why calling Clearly Plumbing is not only the easiest solution, but may very well be the least expensive way to go if someone (who will remain un-named) makes a rookie mistake.