08:47AM | 03/31/05
Member Since: 03/30/05
4 lifetime posts
Every time I take a shower, my bathroom gets really steamy. The window, bathroom mirror, toilet and even decorative items on the wall all have condensation after the shower has been on. My bathroom ceiling paint has even begun to bubble up and peel off. I have a vent in the bathroom, but that may not be enough. What's the least expensive way I can go about fixing this problem? Also, when I repaint the ceiling, is there a special ceiling paint for bathrooms? Any advice would be appreciated!!


02:02PM | 04/01/05
Member Since: 06/23/04
161 lifetime posts
It sounds as if you take long, hot showers. If so, you need an exhaust fan that can keep up with the shower. The only other way to stop the condensation is to heat the mirror, toilet, walls, etc. which is not very practical. Prompt removal of humid air will minimize condensation on the rest of the bathroom and is the best general solution. Some toilets will still sweat, especially in the winter when flushed and refilled with very cold water. Some toilet manufacturers offer insulated tanks to control this sweating while others heat the tank.

Regarding bathroom ventilation, building codes vary but generally require one air change every 5 to 10 minutes. For most bathrooms a 50 cfm fan will work well. Locate the fan near, but outside of, the shower. Be sure to vent the fan to the exterior of the house (not the attic or crawlspace). Fans cost between $30 and $100. Generally, the cheaper ones make a lot of noise and don't move as much air as they claim. The more expensive fans are quieter and more efficient. Look for SONE ratings to make a comparison. Wire the fan to run with the bathroom light or be sure to turn it on before showering. If you want to be really high tech, control it from a humidistat which will run the fan at a preset humidity level. Be sure that the bathroom door has an clear undercut of at least 1/2" to allow make-up air to enter the bathroom.

Another solution is to take your showers at the neighbors house.

There are no paints just for bathrooms, but semi-gloss alkyd enamels work well since they absorb moisture less readily than flat latex paints. Recently several manufacturers have developed lines of very high performance latex paints that work well in damp environments. These high performance paints are not cheap ($30-$40 per gallon), but they are definately far better than standard latex.

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