The climate in cities like Houston, Charlotte, Dallas, Miami, San Diego and the likes is humid. For example, the relative humidity in Houston is 78%, but it can go as high as 90% during the summer. Consequently, the home interior humidity in this city will be very high and bathrooms in such homes can suffer the brunt of excess humidity. EPA is of the opinion that any humidity rating higher than 60% is not ideal. Therefore, the Houston humidity can be labeled as being above board.
Humidity in the bathroom can cause molds to grow on the walls, furniture, and even the piping. The bathroom would become unhealthy since the humidity can increase the bacterial load in the room and make the place not as healthy as it is supposed to be. The air too will be tainted, and one may end up inhaling all manners of microorganisms, which can negatively affect human health. Some of these microorganisms can lead to multiple health hazards and the earlier you prevent them, the better.
If not prevented on time, the humidity can have a negative impact on the shower wall panels and depreciate them. However, here are some tips on how to prevent or avoid humidity in your bathroom.
Bath fan can help
You can prevent humidity in the bathroom and keep the air adequately dry always by using bath fan. The capacity of the fan to buy depends on the severity of the humidity; a bigger fan may be your best bet if the humidity rate is exceedingly high. The fan can blow dry air around the bathroom and help to dislodge the molds and bacterial organisms. It can equally dry the air and prevent microbial proliferation.
If you do not know how to choose the right bath fan to buy, you can always discuss with plumbers; they can guide you on which fan is best for your purpose. At times, you may have to leave the fan on for several hours so that it can have an adequate impact on the humidity.
The only problem is that you may be compelled to run more energy cost. However, replacing your damaged interior wall panels is more expensive than the cost of electricity consequent of running the bath fan for an extended period.
Leave the windows open
Bath fan can aerate the bathroom and get the air dried to reduce the humidity in the bathroom. However, opening the bathroom windows can contribute a lot to the drying process. The humid air prevalent in the bathroom can easily escape through the open window to leave the bathroom air dry over time.
Also, opening the windows can let in more sunlight, which will hasten the drying process. Bear in mind that sunlight contains Ultraviolet (UV) ray. The UV ray can kill the bacteria and other microorganisms that have grown in the amiable condition occasioned by the humidity. Combining the fan and the opened window can have a great effect on the humidity condition in the bathroom.
Nevertheless, the intensity of the sunlight entering the bathroom depends on the direction the window is facing and which season of the year it is. The sun sets in the west during the fall and spring at the equator.
In the northern hemisphere, on the other hand, the sun sets towards the northwest during the summer. The hottest sunshine is required for effective drying of the humid air in the home, and this can only be obtained between 11 am and 4 pm.
Protecting the wood panel
You can put certain precautions in place during the construction process of the bathroom to protect the wall panels. The precautionary measure will ensure that the panel does not get affected in case of high humidity in the bathroom in the future.
What is the precautionary measure? Drill a backing of wood stakes into the wall and then place the panel on the backing of wood to create a small gap between the panel and the wall. This method works for wooden and other forms of panels.
Furthermore, the bathroom wall can be protected from condensation by adding a pare-vapeur to the wall. The pare-vapeur is in the form of plastic sheeting, which cannot be penetrated by water. You do not need to take this extra caution if the bathroom wall is hydrofuge.
Choose wall panels carefully
The type of wall panel you use in your bathroom can equally determine if the panels can be susceptible to humidity. Wooden panels are the worst in this regard; they can absorb the water vapor faster than other types of materials and become sodden over time.
Sodden or wet wooden panels can become the perfect harbor and breeding ground for all manners of microorganisms, which will use the substance of the wood for their growth and development, damaging the wooden panel in the process.
Instead of wood, you can use ceramic or even plastic panel. Metal panels do not also give in too quickly to humidity.
If you are a newbie and don’t know how to choose the right shower wall panels, you can always consult a plumber to direct you to the right one to buy.
Remodeling is never too late
If you feel your bathroom may be a risk of humidity damage, you should check the material with which the wall panels are made. If they are made of wood, then, you should find out if wood backing was drilled into the wall before the wooden panel was used to cover the wall. If not, you can call in a plumber to address the situation.
You can equally ask the plumber to add pare-vapeur faster to the bathroom wall if the latter is not hydrofuge. Correcting the error now can prevent unnecessary spending at a later date. If you can spare the money, why not change the wooden panel to a material more resistant to humidity? It may cost you some money but will save you from unnecessary headaches later.
Humidity normally rises during summer. If you’re in one of those cities with a humid climate, then you should be wary of your bathroom and take precautions to prevent damage to your shower wall panels by following the tips provided above.