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Signs of Water Damage Behind Your Shower

Water Damage and Moldy Drywall near edge of bathtub and shower wall

While any issue with your home is frustrating, water damage can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. It can lead to costly repairs and, even worse, it can cause health issues due to mold growth. Unfortunately, water damage often happens behind walls and is not visible to the naked eye, so it’s not easy to catch right away. Because of this, knowing the signs of water damage behind shower walls can help you address the issue quickly before it gets out of hand.

Why This Issue Arises

Water damage behind showers can occur due to various factors, often stemming from issues with the shower’s installation or maintenance. One common cause is poor waterproofing during the initial installation process. If the waterproof membrane or sealing around the shower area is not properly applied or becomes compromised over time, water can seep into the walls and cause damage. Additionally, faulty plumbing connections or leaks in the shower fixtures can lead to water infiltration behind the walls, exacerbating the problem. In some cases, inadequate ventilation in the bathroom can contribute to moisture buildup, creating an environment conducive to mold and mildew growth.

1.    Discolored Walls

Discoloration on the walls surrounding your shower can be a clear indication of water damage lurking behind the surface. Water seepage from the shower enclosure or plumbing leaks can saturate the drywall, causing it to swell and deform. As a result, the paint covering the affected area may start to bubble, peel, or change color. These visual cues are often the first signs that moisture has penetrated the wall cavity, leading to potential structural damage and mold growth over time. The discoloration may vary in intensity, ranging from subtle yellowing or browning to more pronounced stains and streaks.

2.    Moisture or Dampness

Yes, the inside of the shower is supposed to get wet, but it’s not good when moisture is behind or around it. If the area around your shower looks and/or feels wet, this should raise a red flag. When moisture extends beyond the confines of the shower space, it can seep into surrounding walls, floors, and fixtures, leading to a host of problems such as mold growth, structural damage, and compromised integrity of building materials. Signs of dampness may include wet patches on the walls or floor adjacent to the shower, as well as a lingering feeling of humidity in the air.

3.    A Musty Smell

Even if you can’t see any signs of water damage, you might smell it. If you catch a whiff of a musty, moldy smell in your bathroom, especially around your shower, this could indicate there is water damage.

4.    Loose Tiles

Are your shower walls tiled? If water is getting behind them, you might start dealing with damaged or loose tiles. While it may upset you to do so, it’s smart to remove the loose tiles to see what’s going on behind them and determine if there’s an issue.

Action & Prevention

If you suspect water damage, you should take action immediately. The best way to do this is to call a professional to take a look. They will be able to assess the damage and provide you with a plan of action. In the meantime, you should take steps to reduce the amount of moisture in the air. This includes using a ceiling fan or dehumidifier and running the air conditioner to help keep the air dry. You should also open windows regularly to increase air circulation and reduce humidity levels.

Repairs & Remediation

Repairing water damage behind showers typically involves a multi-step process. First, it’s crucial to identify the source of the water intrusion and fix any leaks or plumbing issues contributing to the problem. Next, damaged materials, such as wet drywall, insulation, or subflooring, may need to be removed and replaced to prevent mold growth and structural deterioration.

Once the affected areas have been properly dried and repaired, it’s essential to address any underlying issues with waterproofing to prevent future water damage. This may involve reinforcing or replacing the waterproof membrane or sealing around the shower area to create a reliable barrier against moisture infiltration. Proper ventilation in the bathroom can also help mitigate moisture buildup and prevent future water damage.

Update Your Shower With Tundraland

If the water damage behind your shower is enough to warrant a remodel, turn to Tundraland for the right upgrade. We install top-quality shower systems that are crafted from premium nonporous acrylic infused with silver ions, making them resistant to the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria. What’s more, our showers can be completely customized with an array of aesthetic and functional features, including safety and accessibility options like grab bars and seating. And while we believe in the quality of our shower systems and our installations, we provide added peace of mind by protecting them with a limited lifetime warranty against defects in material and workmanship.

Reach out to Tundraland the next time you find yourself in need of a shower remodel. We proudly offer these services to homeowners in Wisconsin and Minnesota. We’ll start the process with a complimentary in-home consultation.

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