Our bathrooms are one of the main sources of home condensation, and a poorly ventilated bathroom can cause major humidity problems in your home that can lead to serious issues with damp and mould that could damage your health.
Condensation forms when water vapour in the air meets cold surfaces that allow droplets of water to form. If these are allowed to soak into the walls or woodwork, they can cause damp patches where unsightly mould can grow.
Fortunately, there are some simple ways to prevent and reduce condensation in your bathroom. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes of condensation, and how to prevent condensation from becoming a problem in your bathroom.
When we bathe or take a shower, evaporating water and steam are absorbed into the air which increases the humidity. A hot bath or shower can release as much as 600g of water into the air – more than a pint – and as the air cools, this moisture will be released, settling on cold surfaces such as windows, mirrors, and walls.
Thankfully, most surfaces in your bathroom are non-permeable, which reduces the risk of condensation leading to damp, however water vapour can escape from your bathroom into other areas of your home and settle on porous surfaces where it will lead to damp and mould.
You may notice that condensation problems in your home are worse during the winter. The reasons for this are that there is a greater temperature difference between the warm indoor air and outside atmosphere, which means that windows and exterior walls are even cooler than usual causing more water to settle as condensation.
During the winter, we also keep windows and doors closed more which means that there is less air circulation that can help the humid air to escape outside.
There are several ways to reduce the amount of condensation that can form in your bathroom:
Your bathroom should be fitted with an extractor fan that vents humid air to the exterior of the house. Most bathroom extractor fans are connected to the same electricity supply as your lights, which means that they will run while the lights are on, however if the airflow through the fan is insufficient, or it does not run for long enough, it may not be able to reduce the humidity levels enough to prevent condensation from forming.
Ensuring that your bathroom extractor fan is working properly and is not clogged will help to improve the amount of air flow, while allowing it to run longer after you have bathed or taken a shower will remove more moisture from the room.
Baths are a major source of water vapour and condensation because they contain hot water that may stand for an extended period. One way to reduce the amount of water vapour released is to start by filling the bath with cold water and then adding hot water afterwards. This method reduces the time when the bath is at its hottest and lowers the average temperature which means less water vapour is released.
Having slightly cooler or shorter showers can also be helpful, and you should also wipe down the shower cabinet after use to reduce the amount of standing water that could evaporate. Turning off the shower while you use soap or shampoo reduces the amount of water you use, which saves you money, but also means less water vapour is released into the air.
When taking a bath or shower, you should avoid leaving the door open. An open bathroom door allows the steam to escape into the rest of your home where it is more likely to cause condensation that leads to damp and mould. Extractor fans create negative air pressure in the bathroom drawing dry air in from the rest of your home, but even with the fan running, it is a good idea to keep the door shut to avoid the flow of humid air from the bathroom.
Condensation is a common and annoying problem in bathrooms, but it can be prevented. Enter your postcode below to find a ventilation expert near you who can help. Book a free home survey to identify the sources of condensation in your bathroom and get advice about the best way to deal with it before it leads to bigger issues with damp and mould.
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