How to Prevent Water Damage in Your Bathroom

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Seeing water damage appear in your home’s bathroom or around your commercial property’s bathroom stall can cause a great deal of stress.

Your mind will typically start envisioning the worst-case scenarios as you wonder how much it’s going to cost for repairs.

stylish interior modern bathroom

Do you know the best way to avoid those high repair bills?

Work hard to prevent water damage from ever entering the bathroom in the first place.

In this article, you’ll learn tips for doing exactly that.

Inspect Your Plumbing Regularly

Pipes don’t last forever. Over time, they will crack, rust, or leak. Conduct regular pipe inspections and look for water stains or musty odors that indicate a water damage issue. Here are a few things to inspect:

  • Get into the bathroom stall to check toilet valves.
  • Check for any clogged drains that might cause serious water backups.
  • Look under the vanity and check the faucet supply lines that may need replacing.
  • Take a close look at the walls. Do you see any excess moisture, bubbling drywall, or other stains?
  • Inspect the caulking throughout the bathroom and replace deteriorating or cracked caulking along showers, tubs, and sinks.

These simple routine maintenance checks can keep water damage at bay.

Replace Anything That Needs it

Inspections aren’t enough to prevent bathroom water damage. You need to take the time to replace anything that requires an upgrade.

Look at the floor. Do you see missing tiles? On commercial properties, look for broken or cracked tiles around the footings that keep your toilet partitions in place (h/t www.fastpartitions.com for this tip). Cracked tile can eventually contribute to rust or deterioration of the metal pilaster shoes that anchor the bathroom stalls to ground.

Broken or missing tiles allow water to seep underneath floors and behind the walls. Get these tiles replaced immediately. Do the same if you see any decaying or cracked grout.

Don’t Overwork Toilets

Overflowing toilets inside the bathroom stall represent one of the most common causes of major water damage in the bathroom. An overflowing toilet can spill a massive amount of water across the entire bathroom floor.

Avoid this problem by staying mindful of any toilet’s capacity. Don’t push it to the limits when using the toilet.

Put signs up in the bathroom stall reminding people about the items that shouldn’t get thrown into a toilet. Do you have young children? Watch them closely when they’re near the bathroom because they might think it’s fun to throw all sorts of interesting items into the toilet.

Use these tips to prevent overworked and overflowing toilets:

  • Keep an eye on each toilet’s water level. Low levels might indicate a cracked toilet bowl or a partially clogged drain.
  • Only use approved toilet paper when flushing items in the toilet. Don’t allow items into the toilet that might cause it to overflow. Items to avoid include sanitary napkins, diapers, and paper towels. A rule of thumb is that for every sanitary napkin dispenser, make sure you have a nearby disposal to prevent them from getting flushed.
  • Stay super-mindful about using septic-safe toilet paper if you happen to have a septic tank. Most toilet paper dispensers only accept septic-safe toilet paper, but if you’re unsure, check with your toilet paper dispenser vendor.

Do regular maintenance checks in and around the toilet. Simply paying attention to porcelain cracks or caulking issues might help you discover a problem before it becomes a real pain for you. Look for tiles that become broken or cracked around the base of the toilet. These situations will allow water to seep underneath the flooring.

Fix Slow Drains Immediately

It’s easy to let a busy lifestyle convince you that it’s OK to avoid fixing slow drains in the bathroom. It’s a mistake to think this way.

Work to unclog slow drains as soon as you see them. If you can’t do it yourself, then call in a professional to find out why the drain continues to remain partially clogged.

It doesn’t take much to turn a slow drain into a major water damage problem. If someone mistakenly leaves a faucet running and leaves the area, you might walk back into a watery mess on the floor later in the day.

Use the Exhaust Fan Regularly

Always use the bathroom’s exhaust fan when using the tub or shower. Excess moisture is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to causing bathroom water damage. Moisture will easily seep into the floor and behind the walls. When this happens, your flooring might start buckling or the wall paint might begin to bubble.

Turning on the exhaust fan helps alleviate moisture problems by pulling it away from your floor and walls. If you notice that the exhaust fan isn’t helping as well as you’d like it to, then you might consider buying a dehumidifier. Use it along with the exhaust fan whenever you put the shower or tub into use.

Maintain the Tub and Shower

The toilet isn’t the only large water hazard in your bathroom. The shower and tub can cause significant water damage if you’re not careful. Inspect the following or do these chores regularly:

  • Always drain the water well after using the tub. Dry off any water that splashes on the floor when using the tub. You don’t want sitting water to seep into the subflooring.
  • Inspect shower doors and curtains. Replace them if you notice they no longer keep water from escaping the shower.
  • Look at the caulking and grout. These items keep water from seeping into your floors and walls. Repair grout and caulking as soon as you notice any cracking or chipping.
  • Hairline cracks in tubs and showers can cause huge water damage problems over time. Replace the cracked tub or shower to avoid those issues.

Other Quick Tips

Follow these tips to prevent bathroom water damage:

  • Use bath mats on your floor. This helps avoid excess moisture when using the sink, tub, or shower.
  • Don’t allow children to splash too much when in the tub.
  • Upgrade fixtures, if needed. Leaking fixtures can quickly turn into water damage. Get them replaced.

Conclusion

It doesn’t take much effort to check around the bathroom stall, shower, toilet, tub, and sinks. If you perform these inspections regularly, you can potentially save yourself a water damage problem in the future.

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