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7 Strategies to Prevent Bathroom Water Damage (#3 is Priceless)

As Seen On
by Jeff Patterson in DIY Bathroom Remodel
Prevent Water Damage

Are you afraid of water leaks?

I am…

Unfortunately my worst nightmares have come true a few times.


Not as bad as Tom Hanks in Money Pit but close.

When your wife tells you there’s water leaking from the ceiling it’s not good.


That said, I’ve learned a 7 strategies to prevent water damage from happening.

Today you’ll learn all of them in our training video.


I promise you can immediately start using at least 2 of them today.

Watch the video



Okay, now your turn.

In the comments tell me your fear when it comes to DIY bathroom remodeling.

Maybe it’s water damage…maybe it’s tiling the floor..whatever it is tell me down below and I’ll help you out.

It’ll be like a free Dr. Katz session (if you don’t know who Dr. Katz is just Google him, funny stuff).





  1. dan says:

    Jeff, the greenboard molded behind the shower even if it wasn’t a shower area? Because the wall wasn’t allowed to dry to the inside? As if surround plastic = polyplastic? So if you put poly plastic over greenboard, it molds? So if you put poly behind greenboard wouldn’t the inside stud cavity mold too.
    Maybe there WAS poly behind the greenboard too? If not would the greenboard have molded? That would be 2 vapor barriers. I get confused on where the vapor barriers go.

    1. Thanks Dan for your question, there was not poly in the tub surround I tore out. It was plastic surround, greenboard, then studs.

      Greenboard is not a great option these days, just my opinion. Now that we have KERDI-BOARD, Wedi, and liquid waterproofing membranes for cement board I’d stay away from greenboard.

      Vapor barriers goes between cement board and stud wall.

      With KERDI-BOARD you’d have to follow the directions that Schluter sets, very important for your warranty, same for Wedi

  2. Jan says:

    I created a mosaic around my tub and since there is so much grout showing I waterproofed it with 511 Impregnator/Sealer. Did I do a stupid thing? I have soaked the surrounding grout twice and will go over it one more time. Is that enough? Or did I do a dumb thing?

    1. You didn’t do a dumb thin Jan, 511 Impregnator is a sealer that helps protect the grout against stains. BUT it doesn’t make the grout waterproof. To get a fully waterproof tiled surface you have to begin with what’s beneath it, hence the tips in the video. So you’d want to waterproof the cement board, add KERDI-BOARD, or Wedi or another waterproof building panel.

      One common myth is that thinset and grout provide waterproofing qualities. They simply do not and will absorb water and moisture.

  3. Boris says:

    Hi Jeff, love your video Got two question.
    1.Do I have to insulate soaking american standard evolution bathtub from bottom to keep warm water longer time?
    2. Do I have to make vent openings in wall under bathtub to prevent moisture?

    1. Not sure how the tub installed Boris, but make sure to follow the directions by American Standard. If you insulate the walls it will help the tub retain the heat, personally like Roxul and Johns Manville insulation.

      You shouldn’t have to make vent openings in the wall to prevent moisture issues. Add waterproofing around the tub and make sure you have a bathroom vent fan that is vented to the exterior of your house…this will help a TON with moisture in your bathroom.

      Also: adding a timer to the bathroom fan will help with moisture and save you money on your electric bill.

      Hope this helps.

  4. Linda says:

    My master bath backs up to the kitchen. I noticed what sounds like dripping water IN the wall. We see no evidence of moisture anywhere. How do I find out if I have a leak without pulling the walls down? When we purchase the home a year ago, the finished basement did have a moldy odor in the same area of the home. We put in a dehumidifier and it went away. Now I am wondering if the two are connected.

    1. Hmmm, is your master bathroom above the kitchen Linda and do you notice water backing up into the tub or sinks?

  5. James W Matlock says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I noticed the several types of backer boards you used, but I didn’t see Densshield. Here in California, it seems like Densshield is the go to backer board for Tub/Shower surround because it is already waterproof. Have you any knowledge about it’s use?
    I appreciate your sharing your knowledge and experiance.

    Thanks, James & Lynda Matlock

  6. Jackie says:

    Oh, boy…looks like I have a ton of work to do to waterproof in my bathroom remodel. In my 1950’s bathroom, I have tile 2/3rds up the walls. Growing up in this house, we didn’t have a shower until 2005 (and it is a handheld model with a faucet diverter). My Mom always told me that my 5 brothers and sisters would make a mess with the shower, so my Dad removed it. Evidently water would leak through the subfloor in one area into the unfinished basement below. Now, with the handheld shower and a husband who showers enthusiastically, I have water dripping into the basement when he showers. It looks like I would have to remove a whole bunch of tile to see the condition of the backer board. Any ideas on how I can troubleshoot this leak without tearing out all of the tile around the tub?

  7. Gerry says:

    Hi Jeff
    I am about to remodel a bathroom and will be building the shower surround with cement board and waterproofing with red guard. My question is can I prepare the plywood floor for tiles in the same manner as the shower walls and skip the ditra?


  8. Shawn says:

    You don’t put ball valves inside a wall that does NOT have a access panel! Plumbing 101. You usually take off cal on shower valve before you solder it as well, plus the screen inside. This video is so stupid I stopped watching it in like two minutes!

  9. Joseph Gizzi says:

    Hey Jeff,

    Do you put the silicon around the flange as well when you are waterproofing your bathroom floor?

    Thanks for all the videos!

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