Common Leaks and How to Fix Them – Part 1

I have been dealing with leaks in and around customers’ bathrooms for years, I feel the majority of them can be easily avoided and if the worst does happen they are usually quite easy to fix.

I see it all the time, customers’ leaking water from their bathrooms to the flat downstairs or even causing damage to their downstairs living room. This isn’t cheap and even though you can possibly claim on insurance there is always a hefty excess to pay.

In this article I will be running through the three most common reasons for leaks in the bathroom and ways in which to deal with them, hopefully saving you time and money.

Before checking or sorting out any of the problems below, take off your panel alongside of bath or under your shower and have a good look with a torch and carry out a few tests like running the shower over the rims of the bath where it meets the wall or spray the shower all-round the enclosure. Then with a combination of a torch and using your hands check for drips and wet patches which will give you some inclination of where the leak is residing.

Mouldy Silicone Sealant

The first and by far the most common reason for leaks to occur in your bathroom is, mouldy and worn away silicone sealant around the shower or bath.

Silicone sealant is applied to each and every bath tub or shower upon installation and is the only thing forming a barrier to stop water bypassing your appliance and running downstairs to some angry neighbours.

If you suspecting your bathroom is leaking, this should definitely be your first port of call.

Firstly get down to eye level with the sealant and really have a good look for gaps or tears, also obvious signs of mouldy damaged silicone is being black in colour and smelling like damp.

What to do in this instance is to run a Stanley knife along the top of sealant strip then the bottom and pull out as much of it as you can as new silicone will not adhere to old silicone. To make sure you get every bit of the stuff off, take a single blade from your knife and scrape away all of the remaining sealant left on the appliance.

After that you can think about applying a nice neat bead of anti mould silicone, hopefully fixing your leak.

Head down to local diy store and pick up some decently priced anti mould white silicone and a silicone gun for applying it. Cut the tip off with Stanley blade and then work out the size of bead you’ll need to fill the gap in question and cut a 45 degree cut at this point on the nozzle.

Now make sure the end of the nozzle has the 45 degree cut almost flat to the surface and you are squeezing the trigger and slowly pulling it away from you up or down area to be sealed. This can be very tricky for a beginner but over time you get more used to how it feels and the angle to place the gun while applying.

When I first started out I wasn’t great at creating a nice bead so I would apply masking tape on the area to be sealed leaving gap in between for sealant and when went I went of course it ensured when the tape was removed I still had a nice straight even bead right around the bath/shower.


Thanks for reading this, good luck with your DIY work. Please remember if you’re unsure or simply don’t have the time we can help with any Edinburgh plumbing or  tiling jobs.

Contact JHDS Edinburgh Plumbing & Tiling

Just give me a call on 07877 486939 for a free quote or get in touch via our website.

JHDS Plumbing and Tiling accepts no responsibility for damage caused following our guides, if you are ever in doubt please contact a professional before starting a job yourself.