Monthly Archives: November 2012

Where does my shower leak?

If you have leak from your shower, tracing the source of the problem can be tricky. But if you are logical about it you can at least rule things in or out. Here’s a checklist:

1) Does it leak all the time or just when someone has a shower?
If it leaks all the time then it will be a supply pipe connection (downstream of the shower valve) which will be under permanent pressure and so is able to leak all the time. Just be sure that your shower head doesn’t have a perpetual drip otherwise it could invalidate this assumption.
So if it doesn’t leak all the time then after a period of not using the shower you should have no leaks and everything should have dried out. Now work your way up looking for leaks starting at the lowest point which is:

2) Check the waste outlet.
Using either the hose/head (placed directly against the waste outlet) or by using a bottle of water let water flow into the waste outlet and see if your leak returns. Be patient you need to rule this out properly before moving on so don’t splash water around—use a very slow flow.

3) Check the sealant around the tray.
Carefully play water around the edges of the shower tray where it meets the tiling on the walls and where it meets the shower enclosure at the entrance and possibly at the side(s). Again do this carefully with either the shower head on a slow flow or by using a bottle of water. Keep checking for your leak returning.

If your leak still has not re-appeared then it is almost certainly water getting behind the tiles where there is some poor grouting or possibly it is running down the enclosure profiles. Profiles are the aluminium sections fastened to the wall(s) into which the main enclosure slots or against which it is fastened (design vary).

Note: Generally, shower enclosures are sealed on the outside of the shower and not the inside.

Floorboard abuse

Often I’m asked to resurface floorboards, which is quite fashionable and can look very attractive as an alternative to carpet, laminate or whatever.
The trouble is houses of a certain age which have floorboards (as opposed to newer ones which have chipboard panels) were usually built without central heating. Such houses have often been rewired or had additional wiring done in addition to having central heating fitted, these things all usually requiring the floorboards lifted.
Sadly this work will invariable have been done with the view that the ensuing mess can be covered with carpet afterwards, so little care will have been taken. Saw cuts across the boards, badly supported and screwed down boards, splits to the tongue and groove and a succession of gripper strips around the perimeter of the room will all have contributed to a badly abused floor.
In short, nobody is going to be able to make this look wonderful with any amount of sanding and varnishing so you have to be realistic about what can be achieved by your handyman.