Tiles can crack and swell when flat surfaces are not properly waterproofed in the shower. These are signs that moisture is entering the walls. It depends on what you use for your tile board. If you use Durarock or another cementitious board, you must use a waterproofing membrane.
However, some boards, such as Diamondback, have an integrated moisture barrier and do not need an additional membrane. The best thing to do is to read the manufacturer's product data and do what they recommend. Always waterproof shower walls before laying tiles, regardless of backing plate, substrate, and other materials. That said, without a water barrier behind a shower tile, you have a time bomb.
Even if you fix the current problem, tiles and grout are porous and will slowly seep water into your home structure, causing it to rot and mold. They shouldn't be filtered so quickly as to see the current problem, but they will filter out. A surface waterproofing will help, but it will not prevent it. The waterproof membrane prevents moisture and water from seeping into walls or floor.
Failure to do so by a qualified professional can result in tens of thousands of dollars in costs later on. Not to mention, it will save you the stress of having to rebuild an important part of your home. There are many rules surrounding the waterproofing of your shower; therefore, it is best to have a professional perform the waterproofing of your shower. If you have a shower niche that sits slightly higher than the minimum space for shower waterproofing, make sure it is fully waterproofed, as it is a common area where water can seep into the walls of your home.
So will a waterproofing solution (such as UFIXX No Leak) work permanently, or will I have to reinstall the tiles with the waterproofing again? Shower waterproofing is the process of coating the shower with a waterproof membrane to prevent moisture from seeping into your home structure.