How Can We Correct & Repair Moisture Issues In Our Bathroom?December 2nd 2008
Q: We bought an older home and the bathroom walls and windows have been a problem ever since we moved in. We have staining around the windows, dark marks around the bathtub and paint peeling off the wood window sills. How can we correct the problem?
A: Before we get to the painting, we need to address what's causing the problem which is likely not enough exhaust ventilation in your bathroom. You should leave your bathroom fan on at least an hour after each bath or shower. If you don't have a bathroom fan, I strongly suggest you have one installed and consider installing a de-humidistat as well. A dehumidistat can be set to turn on your fan when it gets too humid in the room. You can help matters a great deal if you wipe down the walls after you shower with a towel and then hang to dry outside. Small squeegees are available for this purpose at home improvement stores as well. The bottom line is you have to try to get the high humidity out of the bathroom as quickly as you can.
To fix the problem, try washing the walls with the Shell Busey Home Cleaning Formula. Mix at medium strength following the instructions on the label and rinse well. On the areas that the paint has peeled off, lightly sand with 220-grit paper. To get a smooth surface low spots can be repaired by scraping off any loose paint and then leveling the with drywall compound followed by lightly sanding. Allow to dry and prime with an all-purpose fast drying alkyd primer. Caulk around window casings and under sills. Apply two coats of kitchen and bath paint to the walls, window frames and casings.