Handyman Hub remodels a lot of bathrooms in Colorado and we find that the number one cause of damage in bathrooms is water.
Of course water is an indespensible ingredient in bathrooms, but it must be controlled. Leaking water is an obvious problem and can cause serious surface and structural damage if left uncontrolled.
A leaking toilet, for example, can slowly cause the subfloor around the toilet to rot and in some cases can cause the structural members below the subfloor to rot as well. If you notice that your toilet moves when in use it may be because of a “soft” subfloor.
The other more insidious problem is moisture from your shower. Your nice hot shower in the morning produces a lot of steam vapors in your bathroom. If these steam vapors (moisture) are not removed it can also cause a lot of damage to your bathroom. It can cause deterioration of the wall and ceiling paint. If can warp wooden cabinetry, and it can cause your tile and grout to deteriorate rapidly.
It can also cause mold problems in your bathroom that can be difficult to remove, and may cause you health problems. This moisture must be removed from your bathroom or it will cause you problems.
Your bathrooms are most likely equipped with an exhaust fan and possibly a window. Best practice is to turn on the fan before you jump in the shower and leave it run for at least a half an hour after you are finished. An hour is even better.
Showers are not waterproof. Tile and grout absorb water at different rates depending on the material used, especially grout. Regardless of the material you must get rid of the moisture. It needs to be able to dry out or it will begin to deteriorate.
Once you notice grout coming out of the joints or tiles that are getting lose you have a problem. The damage below the surface will be worse than the surface damage. It is time to do something about it. The longer you wait the worse the damage will be. Once water begins getting behind the tiles and substrate the damage accelerates.
Take care of your investment by removing the moisture from your bathrooms as much as possible.