In the cooler months, there’s nothing better than a hot shower to bring you back to life on an icy morning. But no one likes to deal with the outcome when condensation becomes an issue.
Yes, we’re talking about mould … that most odious of sights when you walk into any bathroom.
Condensation might seem harmless when the air is thick with fog after a hot shower, but if the room can’t dry out mould forms – and no one wants that.
Run your shower water on cold for 30 seconds before switching on the hot, to prevent your mirror from fogging. Picture: Getty
Here’s how to prevent bathroom condensation from turning into mould and ruining your bathroom zen time.
Bathroom condensation occurs when moisture mixes with air to form water vapour.
Condensation can be a problem in wet spaces because when the water vapour eventually makes contact with cooler surfaces, like mirrors and windows, it forms droplets.
If your bathroom is not well ventilated, the humidity will linger and will prevent wet surfaces from drying and as a result bathroom condensation can lead to problems like mould.
If you have windows in the bathroom, it’s best to open them during your shower. Picture: Getty
The short answer is yes. As mould spores generate in humid conditions and live off the proteins from ceilings and walls, a soggy wet bathroom is a perfect place for mould to grow.
Bathrooms are wet and humid by their very nature – given their place in the home – so you’ll never be able to completely stop humidity and condensation from occurring (unless you stop using your bathroom!).
However, problems are much less likely to develop if you follow these steps:
First up, you need to make sure you allow your bathroom to dry out after Every. Single. Shower.
This can be done by opening a window, turning on the fan or opening a door or a combination of all three.
Without a window and extractor fan, the condensation will never have anywhere to escape so consider installing a fan if there’s not one already.
Be sure to keep the extractor fan running before, during and for half an hour after showers.
Humidity will prevent wet surfaces from drying quickly, leading to problems like mould. Picture: Getty
Wet towels on the bathroom floor are not just unsightly, they can also increase the condensation in the room.
Be sure to hang towels so they can dry naturally, rather than piling them on the floor.
Not only will you be reducing the chance for mould to grow, but you’ll be removing that lingering musty smell they attract.
Be sure to allow towels to dry naturally instead of leaving them on the floor. Picture: Getty
It might seem like a lot of work at the time, but you’ll save yourself hours of scrubbing time if you do a 1-minute wipe down with a squeegee or cloth after you shower.
By removing water droplets from the grout and tiles you’re stopping mould in its tracks – which is something everyone can get behind.
Keep the squeegee in the shower to remind everyone to wipe down. Picture: Getty
As condensation requires a cool surface to form, heated bathrooms are less likely to have condensation problems.
Poorly-insulated homes will suffer from condensation in the winter as it’s the surrounding cool air that causes the problem, so consider ways to get warm air in.
In a pinch, you can even use a hairdryer – It’s also a great way to de-mist the mirror so you can use it to do your hair and make-up!
To eliminate condensation after a shower, blast your hairdryer all over the walls and mirror. Picture: Getty
While you can’t stop condensation, you can definitely decrease mould and mildew with specialised paints designed for waterproofing.
These paints will stop mould and mildew from growing on the surface of the paints for up to five years!
Speak to your local paint shop for more information on the best product to choose.
Waterproof paints look just like any other paint and act as a barrier for your wet rooms. Picture: Chris L Jones
If you don’t have windows in the bathroom, you should think about getting a dehumidifier.
Turning it on whenever you shower or bathe means you’ll get a big drop in condensation.
Just be sure to empty the water from the dehumidifier once the steam has dissipated so it’s ready for use next time.
A dehumidifier will suck the water from the air in your bathroom, which helps reduce mould. Picture: Getty