Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Kids' Bathroom

I've mentioned how my mind jumps from one thing to another. Today, in true form, I'm jumping from decorating the Christmas tree to dehumidifying the bathroom.  It's a natural transition, don't you agree?

Here's why I'm pontificating on bathrooms rather than dreaming of sugarplums - I cleaned the kids' bathroom (yup, it's a glamorous life). With yellow rubber gloved hands and Clorox at the ready, I pondered how we have been in our house only a year and a half, but we already have a moisture issue in the kids' bathroom. Not only is it physically impossible for the kids to get anything in the waste basket, it is also a near impossibility for them to turn the exhaust fan on.

I know bathrooms are inherently moist. That's why it doesn't necessarily occur to people, myself included, that efficiently getting rid of that moisture is essential every day. However, it is.

That warm and steamy mist from the shower gets into everything. The woodwork, the paint, the flooring. And that causes water damage. But worse:

Moisture = Mold.  Mold = Health Hazard.

Therefore, whether you are talking to your modular home builder about options, or looking to improve you existing home, a bathroom exhaust fan is essential.  Boring. But. Essential. (Equally as essential - sitting your children down and telling them to turn the fan to ON.  But more on that later.)

You can buy a fan separately or buy a fan and light combination. Although a pretty chandelier would look way cooler, the fans/light fixtures are not all ugly.  I promise. For example, this one looks good and has a night light for kids: Hunter 83001 Riazzi Bathroom Fan with Light and Nightlight, Brushed Nickel

Whether you're buying a bathroom exhaust fan or a fan/light combo, they are rated by their ability to remove moisture.

The first way is by the amount of air the fan can move. This is measured in CFM, or cubic feet per minute. Powerful fans can earn ratings as high as 150 CFM. When choosing a fan, be sure to equip larger bathrooms with a more powerful fan.

Bathroom exhaust fans are also rated by how loud they are.  Yup, they're loud and annoying.  It may sound as if you're in the bathroom of a 747, but, I personally find mold more annoying than the noise. The noise of the fan is measured in sones, and a quieter fan will receive a lower sones rating. Ultra-quiet fans may offer a sones rating of 0.3, while more intensive fans can score 3.5 or higher.

How long do you run the fan? Running the fan while you shower, and then for 20 minutes after, is plenty of time to remove moisture from the bathroom, thus avoiding water-soaked woodwork, peeling paint, mildew, and possible breathing problems from mold.

So, kids, (yes I mean you, guys), armed with this essential information, you now need to USE the fan. It's not too late. Not only will you have a nice bathroom, if you use the exhaust fan from now on, I will call Santa and have your names moved to the "Naughty" list to the "Nice" list.


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