10 Ways to Prevent Bathroom Water Damage
It's easy for water damage and mold to hide unnoticed in your bathroom. Between the sink, shower, bathtub, and toilet, toxic category 3 water has plenty of opportunity to drip, leak, or flood areas behind, below, or underneath bathroom structures.
Learning how to prevent leaks and other water damage in the bathroom goes a long way in maintaining a healthy environment and avoiding costly repairs. Arizona Total Home Restoration has completed dozens of bathroom cleanups and rebuilds that could have been avoided by following these common sense tips.
Stop Water Damage Before it Starts
- Repair or replace cracked or missing tiles
Tile protects the drywall and sub-floor as a first line of defense against moisture.
- Repair decaying grout
Inspect the tile, shower, tub, and sinks for deteriorated grout and reapply caulking as needed.
- Watch for signs of leaks
A leaking bathroom fixture can cause discoloration on the walls, flooring, or other surfaces. You may notice a musty odor, a sure sign of hidden mold. Also check for drywall bubbling and soft spots. Look inside and beneath the vanity for signs of drips, leaks, or wet surfaces.
- Test fixture valves
Test the valves on your toilet, sinks, and showers frequently and look for surrounding wetness or staining.
- Use your bathroom exhaust fan
An exhaust fan does a lot more than remove odors in your bathroom! It is one of your secret weapons against mildew and mold. The fan draws excess moisture out of the air so it doesn’t get into the walls or the ductwork where mold can grow. Use it for every shower or bath. You might also consider purchasing a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity levels in the bathroom.
- Maintain shower curtains and doors
Shower liners, curtains, and doors have the very important job of keeping water inside a water-proof environment. Be sure they seal properly and don’t allow the water to collect on walls or flooring.
- Install drain covers
What do drain covers have to do with bathroom water damage? These simple and inexpensive gadgets help prevent clogs in the plumbing that can back up and eventually cause flooding. Keep them clean and replace as needed.
- Use a bath mat
Moisture and standing water damages the floor and quickly becomes a breeding ground for mold. Always use a bath mat to prevent falls and to absorb excess water after a bath or shower. Then hang it to dry. Wash it weekly to kill mildew.
- Upgrade or repair your bathroom fixtures
A dripping or leaking faucet should earn your attention as soon as you notice it. Not only is it a waste of water, but these leaks cause water damage and mold growth. Also, upgrade the shower head every five to seven years so you’re using the best water-conservation model and ensure it isn’t leaking behind the bathroom tile.
- Keep the bathroom dry
Make it a habit to drain and dry the bottom of the shower and bathtub after each use. Wipe down the shower backsplash, door, or curtain. Keep things as dry as possible to remove the risk that standing or dripping water will seep into tiny gaps and cracks you don’t see with the naked eye.