What water proofing means, how water proofing works and why it’s so important

When you’re building you brand new shower, or you’re doing a bathroom renovation – you need to keep water-proofing front and centre of your mind! Similar to shower sealing, water proofing protects your homes floors, walls and foundations from water leaks, and will help prevent the formation of harmful mold in the home.

While shower sealing is applied after the tiles and grout have been laid, water proofing happens beforehand. It is the first barrier laid by your renovator to protect against leaks – your tiles and the sealant on top of them will be the next stages.

What is Waterproofing?

The process of water proofing showers and bathrooms involves laying a water proof membrane, or painting on a water proof liquid to the bare walls and floors in your shower and bathroom before any tiles are laid. This water proof membrane may be made out of specially designed rubber, latex, foams, plastics or endless combinations of all of them.

Each brand and type will differ, and some water proof membranes are better suited to different tasks. This is part of the reason that hiring a professional to do this job is a particularly smart choice – getting it wrong can cost you in the long run, and navigating the myriad of product choices can be very difficult when you have limited bathroom renovation experience.

what is waterproofing
How does waterproofing work

How Does Waterproofing Work?

Once the water proofing has been completed, tiles and grout are then laid carefully on top of the membrane. It is very important that the water proof membrane or liquid is handled and laid carefully, to avoid any punctures at the time of installation. Once your tiles and grout have set, they will contribute another layer of protection against leaks in your bathroom. After the tiles and grout have set, your renovator will then apply shower seal over the top of your grout and tiles, as the third and final barrier to leaks and moisture absorption.

Water proofing works as a hardy physical barrier between any small leaks that make it through shower sealant or grout, and is your last line of defence. For this reason, it is exceptionally important to get it right the first time, because replacing a water proof membrane means removing all the tiles from your shower!

What if I Have a Shower Leak?

If you suspect your shower of leaking, the first thing you should do is contact a professional to make an assessment. Doing this could save you thousands of dollars – because you may not need to replace your water proofing membrane. The problem could instead be managed by getting a fresh shower seal and/or re-grouting, which is quicker and far less expensive as a maintenance application. Pulling your bathroom apart to replace the water proofing is not just expensive, it’s also disruptive – it’s a full scale renovation!

If you were planning a redesign of your bathroom, or this problem gives you perfect excuse to – great! The team at Rila Tile and Waterproofing can not only fix the water proofing in your shower and bathroom, we are experts at designing beautiful new bathrooms.

What if I have a shower leak

What Damage Does a Leaking Shower Cause?

If the sealant in your shower has broken down or cracked, that can mean that water will begin leaking through the floor of your shower and into the floors and foundations of your home below. This can cause a number of issues, and some of them can cause serious harm to human health. Putting off the repair of a leaky shower can cost you big bucks, and just some of the damage can include:

Water-logged timber floors which can sag or expand, causing changes in the walls of your home, and floor stability

Damp home foundations, which can attract termites and can also cause your home to shift if the leak is concentrated enough

The development of mold, which can become invasive in the home and can cause serious health issues

Damp and water logged walls, which may then require replacement

Damage to the paint in affected rooms

How to get the best re-grout result

If you’re determined to do it yourself, our only advice is to get great advice. Water proofing is such a critical stage of bathroom building that we strongly discourage inexperienced DIY enthusiasts from attempting this stage. Getting it wrong on the water proofing front will end up being very expensive quite quickly – not only do you have to re-renovate your bathroom, you have to fix all the water and mold damage it caused to other parts of your house, and possibly your health.

The team at Rila Tile and Waterproofing are made up of experienced and qualified tradespeople who made bathrooms their specialty. Our company has been delivering beautiful bathrooms to their clients in the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Maitland area for over 20 years. Because we’re experts at what we do, we are far better at delivering our clients bathroom outcomes on time, in budget and to a top quality degree.

Once we build a bathroom, we’re also here for our customers with ongoing support, maintenance and repairs services to keep their bathrooms in tip-top shape. If you suspect you have a leak in your bathroom, take some photos of the area and anything you suspect of being affected by moisture to help the team start getting a great idea of what is going on. Emailing pictures through to us, or bringing them with you when you visit in-store is always helpful in speeding up the problem-solving and helps our experts pick the right products and give more accurate quotes.

No matter what your shower needs are – be it leaks or a desire to redesign – our friendly and knowledgeable team at Rila Tile and Waterproofing will get you off to a great start, and support you all the way through. Give us a call today to get some obligation free advice, or drop into the store to have a chat.