The Importance of Doing a Flood Test When Installing a Shower
The process of flood testing a shower tile installation that will be subjected to continuous water flow is crucial to performance and ultimately, customer satisfaction. In addition to the costly repairs involved with water leaks, if an installation is not watertight, mold and other serious moisture issues could arise. Making the simple effort to perform a flood test in every installation can significantly decrease callbacks from clients.
Cement board, backer board, thin set mortar, tile, grout and sealers do not automatically form a watertight system. As a result, a waterproofing crack isolation membrane — such as TEC® Hydraflex™ — must be used during shower tile installations to form a watertight surface over the walls, floors and sloped surface of the shower pan. Such membranes offer mold and mildew resistance and are relatively easy to install.
A flood test is performed to analyze the durability of the shower’s waterproof features. When performing the flood test prior to tile installation, the waterproofing membrane must have a minimum of 12 hours to cure after the final coat is applied. Create a temporary dam on the shower floor by plugging the drain, and then flood the area to test it.
Carefully performing this flood test is critical to finding any leaks that may appear in the shower tile installation. Signs of leaks include both air bubbles rising from the leak source and a decreased water level from the original fill line. The flood test should be left to perform for 24 hours before the leakage indicators can be finally assessed. If significant loss has occurred, the waterproof membrane was not successfully installed and a further investigation will be necessary to fix the problem.
Without the flood test, moisture issues could cause costly damages to many aspects of the newly-installed tile shower. For example, if standing water gets trapped in the shower pan below the tile, but appears clean and dry on the tile and grout level, the moisture trapped may spread to adjacent areas and may breed mold and attract destructive insects like termites and carpenter ants. Mold poses a serious risk to human health, while insects pose a serious risk to home destruction — both can be prevented when taking the proper precautions.
Because flood testing can be a rather lengthy process—taking as long as 48 hours to complete—clients may be hesitant to tolerate the waiting period. It’s important to explain to these customers that flood tests are essential in preventing short-term and long-term damages to both home and health. And when a flood test is complete, contractors can also be certain that a shower tile installation is functioning properly—allowing them to work confidently towards the highest-quality showers.
Questions? Contact our Technical Support Team for any help on your next tile installation job. You can also call 1-800-832-9023, Mon-Fri 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. CST.