British summertime is here! We all know that that doesn’t mean a lot these days! It is nowhere near warm enough to have a bath or a shower with the windows wide open but it is still important that you have sufficient ventilation in your bathroom to avoid condensation and mould. Mould and mildew build up can be harmful to health so it is important not to let your bathroom get to that stage.
Although opening a window whilst you bathe is the easiest way to ventilate your bathroom, it is not always possible, particularly if the room does not have any windows to open as is often the case with en-suites. Thankfully other options are available, the most popular being ceiling and wall mounted extractor fans which are located up high as steam and heat rise. These contraptions needn’t be on all the time and there are different switches depending on how much you require the fan. For bathrooms with no windows it is common that the extractor fan is switched on outside the bathroom and is activated by movement in the room, otherwise if the fan is only required when the shower or bath is in use then it is usually switched on with a pull cord.
Portable dehumidifiers are an alternative which can be used to remove the water vapour if installing a fan is not an option. Special care needs to be taken though as these are not generally designed to come into close contact with water so you need to check the IP rating prior to placing it in your bathroom or you may be in for a shock! It is also worth noting that this is not a very economical way of reducing steam compared with some of the newer extractor fans.
In addition to one of the ventilation systems you can also equip your bathroom with a de-humidifying mirror so that you can always see in the mirror to shave or apply your make up even if someone has just had a hot shower. HiB have a wide range of dehumidifier mirrors that are backlit and have other handy gadgets such as alarm clocks and built in FM radios with stereo speakers, ideal for waking yourself up in the morning whilst you get ready for work.
Some people have identified plants which thrive on the water vapour in humid rooms, orchids tend to be the most popular in bathrooms. However I would suggest having ventilation as well as a plant to avoid breeding airborne illnesses. Other people find that by just wiping the walls after showering they can avoid the build up of moisture and mould which is adequate but worth noting that a frequent change of air is recommended.
One method that is not advisable is to shower with the bathroom door open as a means of removing steam from the room, not just because of the lack of privacy if you live with others but you are just transferring the water vapour to other rooms which will cause more damage such as peeling wallpaper and damp issues, especially in hallways where ventilation is usually more limited.
Employing one of these techniques, or whatever works best in the space that you have will help keep your bathroom clean from mould and the air fresh.