Preventing Water Damage In Your Bathroom

The bathroom is one of the most difficult rooms in the home to prevent moisture.  The number one reason for a total bathroom remodel—other than wanting to change the appearance—is damage caused by excess moisture.  So what can you do to prevent water damage that will rot your flooring and create a suitable environment for a mold and mildew infestation?

Install the proper exhaust fan in your bathroom.

One of the largest causes of dampness in the bathroom is the shower.  If you prefer to take a warm shower—which most people do—then you are probably no stranger to the amount of steam that accumulates in the bathroom.  A relatively inexpensive way to combat this is by installing an adequate exhaust fan in the bathroom. 

It is vital to purchase an exhaust fan that can sufficiently accommodate your square footage.  The amount of air that the fan can efficiently move is measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm).  When shopping for an exhaust fan, you need to look for a fan that has 1 cfm per every square foot of your bathroom.  If your bathroom is more than 100 square feet, you will need 50 cfm for each toilet, an additional 50 cfm for each shower or bath, and another 100 cfm if there is a whirlpool tub.  For larger bathrooms, you may consider installing more than one ventilation fan.

Caulk correctly around areas where the most water will be.

You will need to caulk around all fixtures in the bathroom, including the bathtub, toilet and sink.  It is important to apply a proper caulk line—particularly around the tub—so that water does not seep into the flooring, causing it to rot over time.  Silicone caulk made specifically for bathtubs or bathrooms is your best option, because it is waterproof, durable and resists mold and mildew.  It can be applied using the tube that it comes in. Cut the tip of the tube at a forty-five-degree angle (the opening should be roughly the size of the metal used for a wire hanger).

If you are planning to caulk around the bathroom fixtures yourself, it is a pretty straightforward job.  If you do not have a lot of experience, you may want to apply painter's tape above and below where the caulk will be applied. Run a smooth, steady stream of caulk along the base of the fixtures.  It is important to not go too quickly, or you may not apply enough caulk to properly fill the space.  Use a damp paper towel to run over the caulk line to smooth it out and get rid of the excess.  You will need to wait twenty-four hours to let the caulk dry before using the bathtub.

Keep the bathroom clean and free of mold and mildew.

Grout and caulking can be a common place to find mold and mildew in the bathroom.  Make sure you clean these areas at the first hint of any infestation.  If you have white grout and caulk, it will be very obvious if there is any mildew residue.  You can eliminate mold and mildew quickly by cleaning with a bleach solution.  Use one part bleach to ten parts water when mixing your cleaning solution.

Air out the bathroom.

After taking a long shower, open the bathroom doors and windows to completely rid the bathroom of additional moisture.  This is a very simple task that will greatly reduce the amount of humidity in your bathroom. 

Keep the floor dry.

When taking a shower, always place a bath mat or towel on the floor so that you do not saturate the floor while you are drying off.  You also want to make sure that your shower curtain is pulled tightly to each wall to form a suitable barrier when taking a shower.  Otherwise, you may have standing water on your floor that over time will destroy your flooring.

The best way to protect your bathroom is by preventing as much moisture as you can from seeping into crevices and by drying up any residual water as soon as possible.  Incorporating these basic steps will keep your bathroom in good repair for a long time to come. To learn more, contact a business like Two by Four Construction LLC.


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