Get the latest updates from Expanse

How Long Can I Leave a Leaking Bathroom?

  • Expanse Builders
  • 20 Sep 2023

Bathrooms have several common points of failure. The first to look at is the plumbing inside the wall cavity. If you have a slow drip inside the wall cavity, it can quickly cause severe damage to the structural timbers and adjoining rooms. You can usually detect these leaks if you have damp carpets, a mildew smell in adjoining rooms or loose tiles around the bottom of the shower area.

As the leak is behind the waterproofing, no barrier stops the water from finding its natural course out of the building. If your home is on stumps, you may see the buildup of dampness or a drip underneath the house. In a home built on a concrete slab, you may detect a faint odour or notice moisture outside the wet areas in an adjoining room. This kind of leak must be addressed quickly, as it can lead to severe issues.

Slide for before and after

Grout is also a common failure point. Your grout fills the joint between each tile and comes in two types. Epoxy grout is a two-part product that dries to a hard cure and is resistant to mould and staining. Cementitious grout is a water-activated powder and requires regular cleaning.

Hairline cracks and missing or chipped grout areas can lead to water ingress between the tiles and cause issues over an extended period. If the bathroom is still fashionable and has no other issues, you may be able to have the caulking and grout removed and replaced. Caulking is the silicone in the corners between two surfaces, such as floor and wall tiles or shower screens, and will need replacing every five years to maintain an adequate seal between the two surfaces. If you have floor heating, this can lead to electrical issues.

Find out more about floor heating here

Evidence of a leaking bathroom. And what to do about it.

If the bottom tiles around your bathroom appear loose, but there is no evidence of damage to the adjoining rooms, your waterproofing may be intact and doing its job correctly. In this case, your bathroom was waterproofed professionally, and most tilers will be able to rectify the damage by removing, cleaning and replacing the loose tiles. Hopefully, you have a few spare tiles, as they can be hard to match, and there is a chance your tiler may break one or two in the removal. They can then address the grout and silicone to restore the space to working order.

Damp in an adjoining room.

If you notice damp or water staining on a wall or floor outside your bathroom, your waterproofing has failed. You will need to remove most of the tiles in the shower and re-waterproof the area. In this circumstance, a complete bathroom renovation is the most effective way to ensure the issues are fixed, and you have peace of mind.

A full bathroom renovation will have all the walls stripped back to the framework to assess the damage, and you will have the freedom and flexibility to re-arrange the room’s layout. At a minimum, you will require a licensed electrician and plumber to certify the work, along with glazing and waterproofing certificates. Still, engaging a builder to design and construct your new room is more common.

Using a registered builder to oversee your project will ensure you have a warranty, that all your trades are scheduled, and that the work will be completed to the relevant standards. In Victoria, builders are licensed by the VBA, and you can check their registration is current here:

Slide for before and after

No matter which way you discover your bathroom is leaking; it is a good idea to identify the cause and rectify it as soon as possible. Leaving even a tiny leak can lead to costly repairs in other areas of the home.

Download our eBook to make your Bathroom look beautiful!

Get yourself a copy of our eBook and learn more about what the team at Expanse Builders can do with your bathroom.

Do you want your bathroom to be a beauty with home renovation?

Want to get started? Contact Us today

Embark on a journey of transforming home spaces into works of art that reflect innovation, elegance, and a deep understanding of design functionality.

vba registration c-dbu 67771

"*" indicates required fields

Expand builder's logo on a black background for bathroom renovation.

Copyright © 2024 Expanse Builders. All Rights Reserved.

Website Designed and Developed by Balar Media Group.

Logo for a registered building practitioner specializing in bathroom renovation and home extensions.
Master builders Australia postcard for home renovation and builder services.
A black and white image of a member 2025 badge.
To top