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A leaking shower pan can go unnoticed for long periods, often resulting in extensive and costly water damage. For homeowners, detecting and addressing a shower leak promptly is crucial to mitigate damage not only to the bathroom but potentially to the entire structure of the home. In states where humidity and frequent usage can exacerbate these issues, understanding the legal landscape – with the help of our water damage insurance attorneys – around insurance claims for such damages is vital.

At The Morgan Law Group, our 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.

Causes and Repairs for Shower Pan Leaks 

A shower pan leak may manifest subtly – tiles may start to feel loose or spongy, or you might notice mold growth along the baseboards or the corners of the shower. At times, you may even see water stains on the ceilings of rooms located directly below a bathroom. Such indications suggest a leaky shower pan, which, if ignored, can lead to significant structural damage over time.

The causes of shower pan failure range from poor installation to natural degradation of materials. Over time, the sealing and grout may fail, or the shower pan itself might crack, leading to leaks. 

Immediate steps to take include assessing the extent of the leak and consulting with professionals about shower pan leak repair. Often, the solution may involve resealing the shower pan or entirely replacing the faulty installation.

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.

  • Movement

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 Water 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.

Water Damage Claims Due to Shower Pan Leaks

In Florida, homeowners facing water damage due to a leaking shower pan have specific rights under property insurance policies. Most home insurance policies cover water damage that is sudden and accidental. However, insurers often deny claims if they believe the damage results from ongoing neglect, such as failing to maintain a waterproof seal in the shower area.

When filing a water damage claim in Florida, it is crucial to document the damage thoroughly and to understand the policy’s specifics regarding water damage. Florida’s insurance law stipulates that insurers must handle claims fairly and promptly

If your claim is unjustly denied, legal recourse is available. As a homeowner, you can challenge denials through internal appeals with their insurer or, if necessary, through litigation.

Do You Need to File a Water Damage Claim Due to Shower Pan Leaks?

If you suspect a leaking shower pan in your home, taking immediate action to fix the problem is crucial. Contact a professional for shower pan leak repair and consult our experienced water damage insurance attorney if you face challenges with your insurance claim. 

The Morgan Law Group is equipped to help homeowners navigate the complexities of insurance claims and ensure they receive fair compensation for all water-related damages, including those caused by a leaking shower pan. 

Don’t let a simple leak turn into a larger financial burden, contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.