What is Shower Pan & Shower Base?
A shower pan is simply the floor of your shower while a shower base is a structure underneath the shower itself. The large ceramic, plastic, porcelain, acrylic, fiberglass, custom tile, or composite materials at the base of your shower is supposed to collect all the water from your showerhead and move it down through the drain. This shower base is further covered with a waterproof liner to protect the surrounding areas and underlying surfaces from damage.
Common reasons of shower base leaks
Shower base leaks can be due to certain factors that are not always assumed. These include:
Although shower pans are designed to last longer, but the selection of wrong and less durable shower base cannot endure the wear and tear from people entering and exiting the shower. Some shower pans are vulnerable to the constant influx of water. If a shower pan is durable and efficient, it takes years, even decades, for a shower pan to get damaged, but it is impossible.
An efficient and durable shower pan should not move in any direction while using. It must be appropriately fixed using bolts, sealants, and caulk. However, if this is not the case, then the shower pan can move and crack. This movement can allow water to seep through the base and move around the floor, the room below it, or the surrounding area. So, the major movement of the shower pan is the biggest failure of walk-in showers and, which can ruin the base of your entire home.
Shower pans are supposed to be stable and supportive over the years. Up and down movement or deflection is detrimental to the shower base. Shower pans are meant to move the water to the drain. Poor drainage can lead to water accumulation in the surrounding area.
Signs of shower base leaks
Now it’s imperative that you must find out the leakage on time before it turns out to be a significant damage to the foundation of your home. So, it’s vital to survey the area from time to time to ensure its proper functionality. There are common signs which can help to identify the shower base leaks, including:
- Cracks are one of the first and foremost signs indicating that your shower base fails in proper functionality. If you have a plastic base, then these cracks are an immediate sign that your shower base has failed.
- Loose floor tiles are also an indication that there is something wrong with the shower base.
- Appearance of water stains in the room below the shower or ceiling area is also an indication of leaking shower. If not identified on time, this can ruin the foundation of your home.
- Soggy carpet area and baseboards stained with water also facilitate the identification of shower pan leakage.
Testing a shower pan for leaks
As you know, the signs which are the indications of shower base leaks. Now it makes sense to determine that the leak you are getting is actually from your shower pan. Here is the simple way to test a shower base for leaks. You will need the following materials for the test.
- A big bucket
- Measuring tape
- Tape measure
Follow the following steps:
- Make sure your shower floor is completely dry
- Now cover the drain with duct rape
- Take water in the bucket and pour this water into the bottom of the shower approximately one-inch deep
- Now, look for the water accumulation on the floor or nearby walls/ room below the shower
- Keep checking the level of water once in every hour for at least eight hours and investigate the area properly
- If you notice any water stains, water accumulation, or drips, then it means you have leaks in the shower pan.
Warning: Do not perform this test if you are not there for the entire period of the test. Stop the test if you see water outside of your shower!