So, you’ve just settled back in and are appreciating the beauty and functionality of your new bathroom. You’re over the moon with your fixture selections and the artisan sinks really capture the eye. You’re in love with the new bench seat in the shower and each morning wonder how you lived without it. To continue the awe and protect this new investment, there’s a few steps on your end that you’ll need to include in your home maintenance routine.
The most important maintenance you can do for your bathroom is ensuring that you keep it dry. Fortunately, in Colorado Springs, we have relatively low humidity and moisture tends to dry quickly and naturally on its own. However, the more use your bathroom sees or its location could require a bit of work on your end.
Damp bathrooms lead to a host of issues, including serious health concerns. Mold and bacteria can eat away at your cabinetry and the grout between your tiles. Should water find its way behind walls or under flooring, it’s extremely difficult to solve without major mitigation. Simple things like mopping up puddles, hanging wet towels, and keeping an eye on all of your seals will go a long way.
The good news is that moisture build up from baths and showers is easy to avoid in the first place. Proper ventilation is key and the first line of defense. Bathrooms with windows should be opened regularly. Both the sunlight and fresh air will dry the bathroom from even the steamiest of showers and combat against mold. Regular use of exhaust fans are also a must, especially for bathrooms without windows. These fans vent moisture to the outside of your home and circulate the air within to help dry the room.
Kids taking baths are notorious for not keeping all of the water in the tub. Stepping out of the shower before drying off can also create puddles. This water can find its way under baseboard, up against cabinets, or simply pool and create a slip hazard. It’s important to soak up any spills as they happen. Letting this water sit is harmful to everything it touches, leads to bad smells, and significantly reduces the life of your new bathroom.
Just like you have to cut the grass, inside the home requires regular maintenance even if it is brand new. Caulking around fixtures, shower seats, and where tub decks meet tile needs to be maintained and replaced. Mildew has a tendency to build-up on and deteriorate caulking. This seal is critically important to ensure water doesn’t get behind walls and in places it shouldn’t be. Take the time to examine your caulking monthly. If you notice it peeling from the edges, discolored, or any of it is loose–scrape it out. Allow the area to dry completely, and then re-caulk it. Usually a quality silicone sealant is recommended to for high water areas.
The drains in your bathroom take a lot more than just water. Soaps, conditioners, and toothpaste tend to build up on the inside of your drains over time. This uneven surface allows things like hair, and whatever else finds its way into the drain, to stick together and compound. If you notice your drains not draining as fast, remove the grate or p-trap and clean them out. If you let this problem persist, you’ll be calling a plumber and possibly have quite the bill on your hands along with major construction.
One last thing to occasionally look over is your toilet. Mildew and bacteria tends to build-up around the base where the toilet attaches to the floor. Keep this area clean and dry. Also pay attention to the flush and fill functionality of your toilet. We’ve noticed that the use of cleaners and bleach bricks that dissolve over time in the tank may weaken the flap seal or other internal components. Generally, this water stays within the toilet, but may lead to a constant trickle. Water is extremely important to us in Southern Colorado and these small leaks are wasteful and can be easily solved.
As always, should you find yourself in a situation where you need extra help, or if you have any questions about maintaining your new bathroom, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our goal is that you enjoy your bathroom for decades, and with a little maintenance and upkeep that shouldn’t be an issue.