Removing Waterproofing from Shower Areas

Waterproofing is an essential step in protecting your shower area from water damage. However, there may come a time when you need to remove the existing waterproofing to make repairs or renovations. In this article, we will discuss the process of removing waterproofing from shower areas, providing you with step-by-step instructions and tips to ensure a successful removal.

Why Remove Waterproofing?

Before we delve into the details of removing waterproofing from shower areas, let’s first understand why you might need to remove it in the first place. Here are a few common reasons:

  1. Repair and Maintenance: If you notice any leaks or damage in your shower area, removing the existing waterproofing can give you access to the underlying structure for repair and maintenance purposes.
  2. Renovations: If you plan on renovating your shower area, removing the old waterproofing is a necessary step to ensure a clean start for the new waterproofing installation.
  3. Change in Design: If you want to change the layout or design of your shower area, removing the waterproofing is essential to make way for the new design elements.

Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Waterproofing

Now that you understand the reasons behind removing waterproofing from shower areas, let’s explore the step-by-step process to successfully accomplish it.

Step 1: Identify the Type of Waterproofing

Before you start the removal process, it is crucial to identify the type of waterproofing present in your shower area. Common types of waterproofing materials include membranes, coatings, or tiles with integrated waterproofing. Each type requires a specific removal approach, so understanding the current waterproofing material is essential.

Step 2: Gather the Necessary Tools and Equipment

To facilitate the removal process, you will need several tools and equipment, including:

  • Safety goggles
  • Dust mask
  • Utility knife or scraper
  • Heat gun or hairdryer (for certain types of waterproofing)
  • Hammer and chisel (for tiles or cement-based coatings)
  • Screwdriver (if needed for removing fixtures)

Ensure you have all the required tools and equipment before you proceed with the removal process.

Step 3: Prepare the Work Area

Since removing waterproofing can be a messy process, it is essential to prepare your work area correctly. Consider taking the following precautions:

  • Remove any fixtures and fittings in the shower area, such as faucets, showerheads, and handles, if necessary.
  • Cover the surrounding area with protective sheets or plastic to prevent damage from debris.
  • Open windows or use fans to maintain proper ventilation and minimize exposure to dust and fumes.

Step 4: Begin the Removal Process

Now that you have everything in place, it’s time to start removing the waterproofing:

  1. If you have a membrane or coating waterproofing, use a utility knife or scraper to gently lift the edges. Slowly peel off the material using a scraping motion, taking care not to damage the underlying structure.
  2. For tiles with integrated waterproofing, use a hammer and chisel to carefully remove the tiles. Work from the bottom up and gradually tap the chisel behind the tiles, applying gentle force to pry them off.
  3. If the waterproofing material is stubborn or adhered firmly, you may need to soften it using a heat gun or hairdryer. Apply heat to the material to make it more pliable, making it easier to scrape off. Be cautious with the temperature to avoid damaging the structure or causing a fire hazard.

Step 5: Clean and Inspect the Substrate

Once you have successfully removed the waterproofing, take the time to clean and inspect the substrate. Remove any remaining residue or adhesive using a scraper or sandpaper. Ensure the substrate is smooth, clean, and ready for the next steps, such as repairs or new waterproofing installation.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Can I remove waterproofing without professional help?

A: Removing waterproofing is a challenging task that requires careful attention to prevent damage. While it’s possible to do it yourself, seeking professional help is highly recommended, especially if you are unsure about the process or lack the necessary experience.

Q: Is it necessary to remove all the waterproofing materials?

A: In some cases, it may be possible to leave certain parts of the waterproofing intact, especially if they are in good condition. However, it’s crucial to assess the overall integrity of the waterproofing and consult a professional to ensure proper repairs or new installations.

Q: How long does the removal process take?

A: The duration of the removal process depends on various factors, including the type of waterproofing material, the size of the shower area, and any unforeseen complications. It’s best to allocate sufficient time to complete the removal process without rushing.


Removing waterproofing from shower areas is a task that requires careful planning and the right tools. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can successfully remove the existing waterproofing and prepare the shower area for repairs or renovations. Remember to prioritize safety, seek professional help if needed, and pay attention to preserving the underlying structure. Happy renovating!

Cape Town Waterproofing

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Open chat
Need help?
Hi there,
Can I offer you a FREE no obligation quote?