There might be a time for the “don’t-look-at-it-and-it-will-disappear” approach. But when it comes to bathroom problems, ignoring them only makes them bigger. To make matters worse, many serious issues in a bathroom are invisible, so you might not notice them if you’re not actively looking for them.
Keep Your Eyes Open for These 8 Hidden Bathroom Problems
As part of a regular home maintenance routine, be on the lookout for these hidden problems in your bathroom.
1. Unsuitable materials
The bathroom is a unique room in your home because of the high moisture levels produced in this space. All the materials used to create your bathroom must be sealed or protected against moisture.
- Is your drywall water resistant?
- Is there a vapour barrier between the drywall and insulation?
- Is the paint mildew resistant?
- Is the grout water resistant?
- Is there silicone caulking sealing the edges where your tub and toilet meet the floor?
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’, it’s time to invest in some bathroom renovations.
2. Mildew, mold & rot
The moisture in your bathroom creates the perfect environment for mildew. Left untreated, mildew becomes mold and eventually rots the structure of your home. However, mildew, mold, and rot are often undetected because they form behind the tiles and walls.
- Do you notice any discolouration or bubbling and cracking paint?
- Are there any soft spots in the drywall?
- Does your bathroom smell musty?
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’, it’s time to investigate further. Mildew, mold, and rot could be the culprits.
3. Inadequate ventilation
Moisture is a relentless perpetrator of bathroom problems, and proper ventilation is your most valuable defense. If you notice signs of water damage, or if the fog takes a long time to evaporate off your mirror after a shower, your bathroom probably doesn’t have adequate ventilation to handle the excessive humidity.
4. Improper drainage
Another way to avoid water damage is with proper drainage. Your shower, tub, and sink drains should all flow freely. If the water drains slowly, the trap might be clogged or the flooring or shower pan isn’t tilted enough to draw in the water. Left too long, this can lead to more permanent water damage.
5. Unsealed edges or cracks
Any surface that’s exposed to the humidity in your bathroom must be sealed and protected. Common areas left vulnerable are the cracks or edges around the base of your toilet, the showerhead and tub fixtures, the shower and/or tub walls, and the sink/vanity. These edges should be sealed with caulking to prevent moisture from seeping in and causing damage.
6. Structural instability
Bathroom fixtures and tiles are heavy, and over time, their weight can cause the walls and floors of your bathroom to shift or bend. This can lead to cracks in the tiles, grout, flooring, or seals.
Sometimes contractors must cut holes in the flooring joists or the wall framing to accommodate the pipes your bathroom requires. This is normal practice, but if it’s not done carefully, it can leave your bathroom vulnerable to structural instability.
Pay attention to cracked tile or grout, shifted tiles, or warped flooring.
7. Old or unsafe piping
Most modern piping is copper, but older homes may have steel, cast iron, or lead pipes. Lead pipes are extremely hazardous to your health and must be replaced immediately.
8. Electrical hazards
A common bathroom problem is insufficient electrical outlets. It’s easy to overload a single outlet, especially if you have a rechargeable electric toothbrush or shaver you keep plugged in.
Improper grounding and bare wires can also create hazards in the bathroom. Have an electrician inspect the switches and outlets in your bathroom to ensure they’re safe.
Fix These Hidden Bathroom Problems ASAP!
Bathroom problems like these can seem like a nuisance to deal with, but if you ignore them, you’re risking your health and safety. You simply can’t afford to turn a blind eye to bathroom problems. See also 10 Clear Signs It’s Time to Renovate Your Bathroom.
If home maintenance isn’t your thing, or if you’re overwhelmed by the thought of addressing issues like these, call in a professional. Tackling mold, plumbing, or electrical issues yourself can be dangerous.
Have you identified any of these problems in your bathroom? The experts at Riverstone Kitchens & Renovations can handle your bathroom renovation and ensure everything is taken care of safely. Contact us today for a free consultation.