Having water end up on your floor after taking a shower is a minor inconvenience. It can potentially damage your floor, walls and cause major structural damage. There are three types of ways that water can make its way out of your tub: splashing out past the door or curtain, leaking from the fixtures, or through the walls.
Keeping the Floor Dry
The best way to avoid accidental splashing from your shower and tub is to use a solid door on a track. The solid plastic or plexiglass doors seal on both sides so there is no space for any water splash to escape. With advances in coloring and dying, there are plastic and metal colors and designs to suit just about every taste and budget.
There are two main drawbacks to a permanent seal. The first is that they require drilling and permanent installation in the wall and edge of your tub. The second is that the grooves where the doors slide can be a challenge to clean and can accumulate grime and mildew. If there is an existing door, clean out the old caulk from the inside and then run a new bead there.
Checking the Faucets
Another common place for leaks to occur is around the fixtures. Over time, the seals in the fixtures start to wear and break down or joints begin to loosen. If the handle is leaking water, remove it and inspect the washer at the back of the valve stem. That is the cause of the leak the majority of the time.
Other causes of leaks at the handle can be caused by a damaged stem, which means the entire fixture will need replaced. If there is leaking behind the wall, this can be due to damage or wear to the pipes or diverters. If the water leak is coming from this area, a qualified plumber should be contacted.
A less common place for leaks to happen is at the walls. If you suspect the walls have developed a leak, the action you should take depends on the type of wall. If it is a tile wall, inspect the grout for any cracks. If you find any, remove it completely and re-grout the area.
For a solid wall, check the corners and seams. If any of the caulk is worn or abraded, remove it and replace a new bead. If the leak continues, you should contact a plumber. The plumber will use a remote camera to inspect behind the walls to isolate where the leak is coming from.
There are very few things more frustrating as a homeowner than to have a leak coming from your tub and not know where it is coming from. With a little inspection, it is possible to fix a minor leak by yourself without contacting a plumber. For difficult leaks and water damage, however, you should always consult a professional.