Make the most of your bathroom this winter

Private Property South Africa

Hot, steamy bathrooms can create all sorts of problems. Here's how to avoid them.

During winter, the temptation to take long, hot showers and baths can be hard to resist. Unfortunately, the reality is that prolonging your shower or bath can lead to an increase in electricity and water consumption and a high utility bill. Hot steamy bathrooms can also create the ideal conditions for mildew growth.

For those seeking the pleasures of a warm bathroom without the associated cons, heated towel rails may well provide the answer says Liza Watermeyer, Retail Display Co-ordinator at Tile Africa.

“A heated towel rail transforms a bathroom from a purely functional room into a contemporary space where you can truly relax and recharge your batteries,” notes Watermeyer. “Imagine the pure delight of stepping out of a hot bath or shower on a cold winter’s day and being able to wrap yourself in a warm and cosy towel. What could be better?”

Watermeyer explains that heated towel rails make the bathroom a much more comfortable place to spend time in during winter, and are far more cost-effective than they are generally perceived to be.

“Heated towel rails don’t consume a large amount of electricity, with most brands having developed solutions that use less electricity, while maximising heating efficiency. By way of example, the running cost of a heated towel rail equates to a little more than running one or two light bulbs (between 100 and 200 watts).”

A number of other advantages stem from installing heated towel rails explains Watermeyer. They are safe to use in a damp environment and are provided with an earth as an extra precaution; they offer gentle background heating and reduce the risk of damp and mould in the bathroom; towels dry much quicker and they are trendy, available in a wide range of styles and will complement your bathroom. Importantly, heated towel rails are considered an investment and will definitely make an impression on future home buyers she says.

Commenting on the issue of mildew, Watermeyer explains that it is especially rife in winter because it grows on the damp surfaces provided by the steam that condensates on the walls and ceiling due to a lack of ventilation.

“The best way to prevent mildew is to make sure your bathroom is well ventilated with good airflow provided by an open window or two,” says Watermeyer. “If a chilly breeze doesn’t appeal to you, an extractor fan in the ceiling could present the answer. Extractor fans eliminate steam and prevent the damp that causes mildew. It’s worth mentioning that extractor fans essentially prolong the lifespan of the tiles, grout and paint.”

Watermeyer also advocates ensuring that the geyser, which is usually positioned within close proximity of the bathroom, has a drip tray and an overflow outlet to prevent leaks and water damage which will lead to mildew growth.

“It’s important to pay due diligence to mildew as it can cause irreparable damage,” concludes Watermeyer. “If mildew appears, use a household cleaner especially formulated to eliminate mildew and mould to clean tiles, grout and the ceiling. These cleaners are available from bathroom and home improvement retailers.”

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