Bathroom steam fogging up your life? A wet room, like a bathroom can make a mess when steam, fog and condensation gather on your mirrors, walls and fittings. While it may be a small issue on its own, when you use your bathroom every day the build-up of condensation can make a big difference, even if it’s just slowing you down getting ready, constantly squinting through the mist to shave or apply makeup.
Condensation forms when warm, moisture filled air comes in contact with a cooler surface. As the air cools down the moisture it carries forms droplets. In some cases it’s annoying; it fogs up your mirror and feels damp and stuffy, however, there are some greater concerns as well. If your bathroom is not well ventilated then the damp will stay around all day, meaning wet bench tops, slippery handrails and bathtub rims that can cause injury. If constantly wet, walls and shower screens build up mould, causing dark, blotchy marks or black slime to spread. Inhaling the tiny mould spores can lead to breathing difficulties, throat irritations and trigger conditions like asthma.
If you are preparing your home for sale or if you are renting and looking to get your bond back, mould marks are bad news, especially if it comes with bubbling and peeling paint. Either you are in for some serious scrubbing (hard to manage on the ceiling) and/or a new paint job. If so, be sure to wear a face mask to stay healthy.
To prevent condensation in your bathroom you will need to level the room temperature so there is no distinct contrast between the humid air and the cool fittings. There are a number of ways you can successfully do this.
1. Open a window
If you are worried about peeping Toms, you don’t have to open the window completely when you shower, you can just push it ajar to allow the outside air to circulate and disperse the hot shower steam. You can also opt to open the window fully once you are out of the shower and wrapped in a towel, or open the bathroom door to allow air to mix well that way. When you do your weekly clean it’s a great idea to open the window for the day to let fresh air come in, blast away any lingering moister and help freshen the air.
2. Extractor fan
If your bathroom doesn’t have a window (or you prefer to keep it closed) then you can install an extractor fan to create ventilation. Make sure you turn your fan on before you start running the shower, the steam will get too much for it if you wait until you finish. For best results you’ll need to leave the fan running for at least ten minutes after the taps are off. Most combination extraction fans on the ceiling give you the option to turn off the functions you don’t need (heat and lights) and leave just the fan running to save electricity.
3. Cool down
You can slow down fog build up by running your shower on cold for 30-40 seconds before switching it to hot, it will take longer for the air to warm up if everything is cold, however, it won’t stop steam rising for long, so it’s not a complete fix. It is a good one though to help out for a quick shower or a small bathroom.
4. Heat things up
Hairdryer at the ready, blast away. Warming your mirror, surfaces and walls with hot air from a hair drier helps dry them quickly and prevent more condensation forming. Giving everything a good dry off with a hairdryer when you have finished your shower will clear off you mirror in no time and help speed you through your morning preparation.
5. Install a demisting pad behind your mirror
Heated mirrors are a real luxury when you are staying in a hotel, however, the luxury doesn’t need to stop there, you can get mirror demisters at home as well. An adhesive pad sticks to the back of your mirror and heats the area you need to see in to. Power usage is low and the clear results are almost instant. The pads themselves cost around $100 and will usually fit your existing mirror. You will need a qualified electrician to do the power installation side of things though.
6. Invest in a dehumidifier
This is a great option to help cut through condensation if you don’t have bathroom windows. Dehumidifiers come in all sizes, colours and shapes. Make sure you set your unit away from bathtubs, showers and basins to avoid electrical mishaps.
You will need to follow the unit instructions carefully as they need some care in emptying and storing after use.
Now that you have all the tools you need to de-steam your bathroom you can get a head start in preventing mould and blistering paint and breathe easy when you use the shower or soak in the bath.