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Five Methods to Eliminate Moisture in Your Bathroom Remodeling Plans

Did you know that excess moisture is the leading cause of decay in bathrooms? And even worse, most bathroom moisture issues will go undetected for years until its too late and menacing mold develops or structural damage occurs. The following is a list of five steps you can implement in your new bathroom plans to ensure that moisture will not be a problem.

1. Tubs and showers should be located on interior walls –

The idea is to make certain that you are not running supply and drain lines in an exterior wall where they are subject to extreme temperature variations. These fluctuations can produce moisture in the wall around the areas where the plumbing is located and should be avoided if at all possible.

2. Proper ventilation is a must –

If you are planning your dream bath design with a whirlpool tub or a steam shower you must not forget that these luxury items can create enormous amounts of steam in the bathroom. You should look for a high capacity super quiet bath fan and don’t be afraid to spend more for a high quality unit. Make certain that the new fan is ducted through an exterior wall by the shortest path possible. Most of all run the fan. If you have luxury items such as a whirlpool or steam shower, turn the fan on while taking a bath or steam. Afterwards, close the door and leave the fan on for a minimum of 30 additional minutes.

3. Toilet sweat… don’t sweat it –

Condensation on toilet tanks is common during the summer months when the water temperature inside the tank can be 20 to 30 degrees cooler than the air temperature. Air conditioning is the best way to eliminate this problem. Alternatively, you could consider using a toilet insulation kit or installing an anti-sweat valve which operates by adding just enough warm water to the tank to keep the temperature differential to a minimum.

4. Looks vs. leaks –

If you are planning a large and costly master bath remodel it’s not likely that you will consider using anything other than tile for your shower. If your goals and means are more modest, then you might consider using a one piece shower unit. By design, these units are seamlessly constructed and when properly installed will provide the ultimate protection against leaking. Of course, tile applications look nicer, but each grout line is an opportunity for water to penetrate.

5. Design a dryer wall –

On exterior walls the location of the vapor barrier can play a big roll in determining how much moisture is trapped in the bathroom. This issue is relatively simple to address in a bathroom remodel. The determining factor in proper vapor barrier placement is climate, as moisture typically moves in the direction from warmer areas to colder areas. Your geographic location will determine proper vapor barrier placement. In Michigan we have a heating climate dictating that vapor barrier is placed on the interior of wood wall and ceiling framing while permeable exterior sheeting is used to allow for any vapor that does get into the wall to escape. In a cooling climate the opposite may be true. Check with a local building expert to design the best system for your location.

By applying these five tips when remodeling of your bathroom, you can help fight the effects of moisture and have a great looking and functioning bathroom for many years to come.

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