Dealing With That Dang Damp In The Bathroom | Pip Milburn
As the primary “wet room” of the house, it should be no surprise that the bathroom sees its fair share of moisture. If the humidity of the air and water flowing from the taps isn’t handled effectively, it can cause real problems with damp and mould that can become serious health risks. Here, we’re going to look at how you tackle the issues of damp in the bathroom from top to bottom.
Kill that mould dead
If you have any visible black mould or mildew, especially common on the roof or between the tiles, then the first way to deal with it is to kill it and wipe it away. Make sure you buy the right cleaning products that are able to actually kill mould on contact, as directed by the label. If you’re being frugal, you can use white distilled vinegar and put it into a spray bottle. No need to dilute it, just spray it directly on the surface, let it sit for an hour, then wipe it away.
Improve the ventilation in the bathroom
Airflow is an important part of controlling the condensation in the bathroom, which is one of the leading causes of mould (but not the only one as we will address later.) There are all kinds of ventilation appliances you can install in the bathroom, but over-head extractor fans like the Xpelair are often your best bet. To get the best out of them, it’s recommended that you situate the fans directly over the shower, where most of the steam is produced. Otherwise, there may be some that escape it and turns into condensation.
Take care of your ventilation, too
If you already have an extractor fan or some other kind of means of ventilation in the bathroom, it’s important that you invest the time and effort necessary to maintain it. If you don’t clean your extractor fan every now and then, then dust can start to clog it up, making the bathroom dustier and the extractor less effective, to the point that it’s not really doing anything to prevent mould. A good sign that your extractor fan needs a good thorough clean is that it has started to become a lot noisier lately and your bathroom has an unidentifiable dirty odour.
Don’t leave open cracks in the wall
Moisture tends to gather best in little nooks and crannies. That’s the reason that clean, flat surfaces tend to be best suited to the bathroom. In most cases, tile walls work just fine. However, the sealant in between the tiles can start to fail over time, which leaves it open to damp again. With caulking products like Conbextra GP, you can easily top up and fill little gaps. Many of these products are mould resistant, meaning one less worry off your chest.
Light your bathroom well
How can light possibly influence the issue of damp and mould? Well, it doesn’t really have too much impact on damp, that’s true. However, mould cannot grow in well-lit areas. It needs darkness and humidity to do its damage. As such, you should take steps to improve the lighting in your bathroom. For instance, you can get rid of window treatments like curtains and blinds and, instead, use frosted glass from providers like Window Film to keep the same level of privacy. Natural light is always recommended over artificial lighting.
Mind your towels
One of the big problems is allowing moisture to rest on cold surfaces, which attracts condensation and leads to mould growth. Wet towels are a big source of this. Avoid leaving wet towels on the floor or against any surface for too long. Check your towels for musty damp smells and know when to throw them out and replace them with new ones. A wicker basket or a towel warmer is going to be a much more effective way of storing towels not in use until you’re able to throw them into the hamper.
Heating is important too
The warmer the bathroom, the less likely that condensation is able to rest. Warmer rooms can have more moisture in the air and stop cold surfaces from attracting the water vapour that turns into condensation or damp. As such, perhaps installing a larger radiator as shown at Column Rads and heating the bathroom more regularly could help you prevent your damp problem considerably. Modern heated towel warmers are often recommended because they have a larger surface area to heat with, and they also combat the issue of damp towels which can contribute toe damp, too.
Treat your bathroom with anti-mould paint
If you are having a long-term consistent mould problem, then a more drastic approach might be necessary while you find the cause. Anti-mould paint additive is a good addition to any paint meant for the bathroom wall, as well as to wallpaper paste and tile grout. As the name suggests, this is an additive designed to kill mould as soon as it starts to grow. Even in places that are very prone to condensation and moisture collection, mould shouldn’t grow with this added. There are also mould wash concentrates you can use, too.
Don’t forget to check for leaks
Condensation and humidity aren’t the only causes of damp and mould. There’s a chance that there’s a slow-acting leak that has slowly been spreading moisture through the bathroom as well. There are a lot of places that a plumbing leak can hide, from the bathroom to the toilet to the taps to the pipes. As such, this guide from Family Handyman can help you run through the checklist and see which culprit is behind the problem. Once you’ve found the leak, make sure to enlist the help of a local plumber to see it gone for good.
It’s essential to give your bathroom the maintenance and care that it needs so damp and mould don’t have the chance to settle. The longer they’re left alone, the more it can grow throughout the house. Take action now to save yourself some trouble later.