Whether your bathroom’s shower is already fitted with a shower pan, or if you added one during a retrofit or remodel, it is important to understand what can happen if it becomes damaged and begins leaking.
Unfortunately, shower pan leaks are not always immediately visible and can lead to severe water damage when they go unnoticed over time.
At The Morgan Law Group, our Florida insurance claims attorneys share a few tips on how to proactively identify a potential shower pan leak, so you can mitigate the damages and the repair expenses that result.
What is a Shower Pan?
A shower pan, also called a shower base, is simply the floor of your shower.
The low-walled pan is available in acrylic, ceramic, porcelain, plastic, fiberglass, custom tile, and composite materials, are available in nearly endless sizes/
The pans are covered with a waterproof liner to protect the surrounding areas — and underlying structures — from damage.
Shower pans are designed to collect all the water from your shower head and move it down the drain.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Shower Pan Leaks?
Shower pan leaks can be caused by several different factors that are not always obvious.
That can include:
- Normal Wear and Tear
Although shower pans are designed to last a long time, their function can make them vulnerable to daily wear and tear from people entering and exiting the shower, and the constant influx of water. It can take years, possibly even decades, for a properly installed shower pan to become damaged by normal wear and tear, but it is not impossible.
A properly installed shower pan should not move in any direction during use. However, if it is not properly affixed using bolts, sealants, and caulk, it can move and begin cracking, which will allow water to seep through to the floor and into the area or room below it.
- Deflection and/or Poor Drainage
The shower pan has a specific gradient meant to direct the water to the drain. Poor drainage can cause water to accumulate to the surrounding floor between the drain and the shower pan.
What are the Most Common Signs of a Shower Pan Leak?
Shower pans can leak without notice, which is why it is important to survey the area from time to time to ensure yours is functioning properly.
Common signs of shower pan leaks can include:
- Loose floor tiles adjacent to the shower
- Soggy carpet area by a shared wall
- Water stains on the ceiling of the area/room below where your shower sits
- Water-stained baseboards nearby
How Can I Test For a Shower Pan Leak?
It is possible to test for a shower pan leak on your own, so you do not have to call a plumber or repair professional to run a test for you.
All you need is:
- A bucket
- Duct tape
- Approximately eight hours of monitoring time
- Ensure the floor of your shower is dry
- Cover the drain with duct tape
- Fill a bucket of water from any other faucet in the home (DO NOT use the showerhead)
- Pour the bucket of water into the bottom of the shower, measuring approximately one inch deep
- Watch for leaks or accumulating water on the floor, nearby walls, or the ceiling or beams in the area/room directly below the shower
- Check the water level every hour, for eight hours and monitor the results
If you notice drips, water accumulation, or stains you may have a leak in your shower pan.
Can Shower Pan Leaks Cause Significant Damage?
Each shower pan leak is unique, and so are the damages that result, as they can harm easier to replace items like rugs, tile, or personal property
They can also rot and destroy wood and sheetrock, causing significant damage in hard to see places.
Water damage issues can also turn into mold, which is difficult and expensive to contain and eliminate.
How Can I Fix a Shower Pan Leak?
If you have a leaking shower pan, it may be time to call a professional to ensure the repair or replacement is done properly.
Fixing the leak may require removing the tiling on the floor and lower walls of your shower.
You may also need to remove, repair, or replace nearby water-damaged areas including carpet, flooring, baseboards, and/or drywall.
Proper shower pan installation is a skill best left to professionals.
Can I File An Insurance Claim for Water Damages from a Shower Pan Leak in Florida?
Yes. A leaking shower pan can cause expensive damage and require hiring costly professionals that you should not have to pay out of pocket.
If your home or business has sustained damage from a shower pan leak, contact our Florida insurance claims attorneys at The Morgan Law Group Orlando by calling (305) 569-9900 today. We will evaluate your coverage and determine your total damages before presenting a complete insurance claim to your provider, so you can focus on moving forward with the repair or replacement needs without delay.