The bathroom is probably the most humid room in your house, but there are many ways to easily reduce and control the humidity levels.
Obvious signs of excess moisture are:
- Condensation on windows, mirrors and tiles
- Mould growth
- Flaking plaster or paint
- Peeling wallpaper
- Damp patches on walls
If you are replacing or updating your bathroom, it’s the time for taking action to prevent the problems associated with excess humidity:
- Increase the temperature of the bathroom.
- Extract the damp air.
- Reduce the amount of moisture being created.
Making the bathroom warm will help to keep damp and condensation at bay, as warm rooms are capable of carrying more moisture in the air, and have less cold surfaces onto which water vapour can condense.
If you don’t already have double glazed windows in your bathroom, then if at all possible, consider installing them. This will ensure that the internal glass panels in your bathroom are considerably warmer and less likely to have water condense on them, and will also help to retain heat within the room. Trickle vents (a very small opening) can be included on new windows, allowing moist air to escape to the outside (even when the window is shut).
Ensure your heating is adequate whether you choose a traditional radiator or a more modern heated towel warmer or even opt for under floor heating. Easy Bathrooms have an extensive range of modern heating options to choose from, including designer radiators and bathroom underfloor heating.
Extracting moist air can easily be achieved by using an extractor fan, which simply sucks out damp air through a hole in the outside wall of your bathroom, via a fan. They are usually wired into the existing lighting circuit so that when the light is turned on, the fan turns on, and when the light is turned off the fan is turned off.
The fan can also generally be cut off by a separate pull cord inside the bathroom or a switch mounted outside the bathroom. It is important to keep your fan well-maintained and have it serviced regularly as grime and water can build up, which will over time, reduce its effectiveness.
It is recommended that a fan is allowed to run for at least half an hour after the end of a shower but many are on automatic timers that end much sooner than this. This is not ideal!
Leave your door partly open whenever you take a hot shower, as this provides the steam with a path through which it can exit the bathroom. You may also wish to leave your bathroom window slightly open when taking a shower. The warm, moist air will disappear out of the window and keep your bathroom cool and dry.
Obviously, in the winter, the room could get very cold and the heat from the radiator will disappear outside along with the moisture, also if it is already damp outside, the problem will not clear up. An alternate suggestion is to leave the bathroom door open after you shower.
Wipe down tiles
It is always best to clear water from the tiling inside the shower cubicle as water collects on the tiles and in the grouting which means this is the area where mould is most likely to occur. Use a cloth to wipe down the tiles after every shower and a rubber blade on the shower glass. This simple cleaning process can eliminate up to 75% of all moisture that will lead to mould. For tiles which have in-built mould from years of poor ventilation, here's how to repair and replace grout and tiles.
Painting the walls
If your bathroom is not fully tiled, then it is a good idea to apply specially formulated anti-condensation paint to the remaining walls and ceiling. This paint helps to insulate the ceilings and walls, thus raising their surface temperatures. A fungicide is often added to these paint formulas to help protect against potential mould growth. Prepare the surfaces by removing any existing mould or mildew with a fungicidal solution, following the manufacturer's recommendations. Apply two coats of paint to provide maximum protection against condensation.
Some plants can help reduce the moisture in your home and when used alongside other humidity solutions, they can help prevent mould.
The Peace Lily will reduce humidity levels because it will absorb moisture from the air through its leaves. It is the perfect plant to have in your home in order to help decrease moisture in the air, with the added bonus of purifying your air of certain contaminants at the same time. It is important to know that peace lilies are mildly toxic to people and animals when consumed. This plant is best kept out of reach of children and animals for safety's sake.
English Ivy can remove the airborne moulds typically found in humid places. An advantage of English ivy is that it can be planted in a hanging pot and placed higher in the room, close to the ceiling, absorbing humidity that rises.
A Boston Fern is another popular indoor plant that thrives in more moist climates, so it will naturally absorb some of the humidity in your bathroom. Not only does this plant absorb moisture from the air, it balances out various humidity levels to make it more comfortable in your home.
BEWARE..... Most plants actually will release more moisture into the air, so are not suitable for bathrooms.
If it's limescale that's your problem, rather than mould or damp, then follow this handy guide to descale your shower head.