When it comes to home improvement and maintenance, bathroom ventilation often gets overlooked. While a good ventilation system may not be the most glamorous bathroom feature, it’s more critical than you might think.
Proper ventilation can drastically improve the experience of using your bathroom, help prevent damage to the walls and tiles, and even offer benefits to your health. In this blog post, we’ll explore the main reasons why bathroom ventilation is worth paying attention to.
Prevent mold and mildew
You might have noticed how, after having a hot shower in a bathroom with inadequate ventilation, the water vapor will stick around for a long time. Not only is it unpleasant to use the bathroom when the air is heavy with vapor, but this lingering humidity also creates the perfect conditions for mold and mildew to grow. Below are just a few of the problems that can arise from bathroom mold.
Damaged shower grout
When the grout between your shower tiles has taken on a dark green or black color, you probably know it’s time to give them a good scrub with an antifungal cleaner. If the mold is new, you should be able to get it out without much elbow grease. Unfortunately, if you put off cleaning for too long, the mold can seep into the grout and weaken the material. So instead of scrubbing the mold off, the grout itself will start crumbling.
Drywall in a badly ventilated bathroom is an ideal surface for mold to grow. And, since it’s a porous material, removing mold from drywall can be quite a pain. If you see little dark patches starting to form on your bathroom wall, know that there are ways to get rid of it with an antifungal cleaning solution or combination of baking soda and vinegar. However, if the mold has spread and the drywall is soft to the touch, you’ll probably need to replace it.
Smelly bathroom mats
Some people like to put carpet mats in their bathroom, as it can be nice to step out of the shower and onto a soft surface. But if your bathroom ventilation is insufficient, you might find that your mat takes on an unpleasant mildew smell even despite frequent washing. If you can’t seem to keep your bath mat clean for more than a couple of days, that’s probably a sign that vapor is lingering in the space for too long.
Poor air quality
The presence of mold and mildew, besides causing damage to your bathroom, can potentially be harmful to something even more important: your health. According to the EPA, allergic reactions to mold are a frequent occurrence. Common symptoms include eye, nose or throat irritation, sneezing, runny nose, skin rash and asthma attacks (among asthmatic people with mold sensitivities).
Adequate bathroom ventilation is beneficial for air quality even if the bathroom doesn’t currently have a mold problem, since routine bathroom cleaning often involves harsh cleaners like bleach and ammonia that may cause headaches or respiratory problems among sensitive individuals if they linger in the air too long.
Avoid structural damage
In addition to the mold damage mentioned in the previous section, moisture in the bathroom can cause other issues. Over time, the walls, ceiling, and wooden furniture such as medicine cabinets may warp or even begin to rot. Paint and wallpaper is also prone to peeling when exposed to excessive humidity for prolonged periods.
While it’s no substitute for good bathroom ventilation, if you have drywall in the bathroom, we recommend that you invest in a semi-gloss finish in order to increase resistance to moisture. You can also opt to use a paint formulated with antimicrobial agents that inhibit mold growth.
Reduce mirror condensation
After showering, you may want to use the mirror to do a skincare routine, apply makeup, or do your hair. Mirror condensation can be quite an annoyance in these cases, especially if you’re in a hurry. You can wipe away the condensation, but if the bathroom remains full of vapor, at least some of it will return. With proper bathroom ventilation, vapor will clear out more quickly and mirror condensation won’t be as much of a problem.
As we’ve established in this post, bathroom ventilation is a fundamental aspect of maintaining a healthy and functional space. If you don’t currently have an adequate system in place to get rid of excess moisture in the bathroom, we recommend preventing issues down the road by investing in one today.
At PIC Home Pros, we have the skills and experience to make your dream home a reality. To ask any questions about our services or to request your free quote, don’t hesitate to contact us.