How to stop water getting behind tiles
Leaky tiles can lead to problems anywhere where water is used, from showers to kitchens. They can often cause damp and mould within surfaces behind tiles, and can even threaten the structural integrity of walls.
Water behind tiles can also damage the tile adhesive, which could cause tiles to come loose, worsening the problem.
So how can you stop water getting behind tiles?
1. Fill gaps between tiles
If there are gaps between the tiles, water can easily penetrate the surface behind. The best way to prevent this is to use a water repellent grout such as weberjoint premium. Any grout which is coming into contact with water should also be mould-resistant, as this is easier to keep clean. All Weber tile grouts have been formulated with Mould Stop Technology for this reason.
If there are problems with existing cracked or crumbling grout, this will need to be removed first. This can be done by hand using a grout rake on a small area, or using an appropriate power tool with an oscillating action.
Before applying new grout, ensure tiles are firmly stuck down and that the gaps in between are clean and free from adhesive. A squeegee or rubber float can then be used to apply weberjoint premium in small sections. Ensure a smooth, even finish is created, with no gaps which could cause water problems down the line.
Remove excess grout from tile surfaces as soon as possible, and then leave to dry for around half an hour. Finally, a damp emulsifying pad can be used to clean any remaining grout residue from the tile surface.
2. Fill gaps at the edges of tiled areas
Water can also seep around the edges of tiled areas. To prevent this from happening, weberjoint silicone should be used to seal the joints between tiles and other surfaces such as windows, sinks and walls at the edges of splashbacks.
If working with existing tiles that have a broken silicone seal, this should be removed before applying new sealant. This can be done using a sharp knife or chisel, ensuring all appropriate safety measures are taken.
As with grout, it’s important to ensure the chosen silicone is mould and fungus resistant if it’s intended for use in wet areas. Surfaces must be clean and dry before sealant is applied into joints, using a spatula to smooth it in. Finish by cleaning off any excess before it cures.
3. Protect surfaces with an under-tile tanking system
Apply webersys protect with a roller, covering the area with two coats to protect surfaces in wet areas. This will help to prevent water damage to surfaces in case of a leak or future damage to grout and sealant.