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(This topic is also categorized under Bathrooms)

Tips to Fix Shower Leaks


Many home remodeling projects require you to err on the side of caution. Shower projects require a whole new level of care to ensure that you don't run into serious and costly problems. Shower leaks under floors or behind walls can lead to serious problems that require professional help to remedy and cost a lot such as insect invasion, mold growth, and flooding.

You should seriously consider consulting an expert to remodel a shower unless you are familiar with working under strict conditions and are comfortable with doing plumbing work. In most cases it makes more sense to hire someone with experience to specifically fix shower and bath leaks.

Once the old shower has been removed you need to remove as much of the old glue or caulk as you can to ensure a flat surface for the new shower to fit against snug and evenly. Begin with making sure the pipe for the drain is clean and smooth for at least one inch from the end. Sand away any rust or calcium buildups and if the pipe is corroded replace it with a new one. If you require a pipe replacement you should stop working and call a professional as this is a delicate job that requires that it be done properly.

When attaching pipes of two different materials, namely copper and galvanized pipes, be sure to use an insulating material at the joint to prevent an electro-chemical reaction that can cause the pipes to corrode. Also, be sure to wrap threaded joints with a generous wind of Teflon plumbers tape.

Once your surfaces are carefully prepared you can lower the unit into place, being sure to lay a bead of caulk around the base of the unit. Follow the manufacturer's installation instructions and seal the resulting joints with silicon caulk. Pay careful attention to placing the unit and components at the proper angles to provide for proper drainage, positioning, and fit.

Once the unit and joints have had a few hours to dry test for leaks. Use some material to plug the area around the flange then flood the area with water and check for leaks. Once you have fixed any leaks you can install the shower door's hardware components. When drilling for fasteners be sure to follow instructions that came with the unit and seal the exterior surfaces. You should not seal interior surfaces as you want that moisture to drain back into the tub. This will cut down on the buildup of mold and mildew as well as help prevent the warping of the tracks the door lies in.

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