You’ve read about the health risks associated with the mildew and mould that thrive in the moist environment of every household bathroom.
In fact, research shows that showering can make you seriously ill.
So you’ve finally done it, you’ve replaced that leaky, mouldy old shower cubicle with a brand new one in the latest design.
If you don’t want to go down that slippery, slimy, grunge-filled road again, follow these tips to ensure that your shower stays as wonderfully welcoming as it is now.
There aren’t many things that can go wrong with shower enclosures if they are maintained correctly.
Keep the damp away
The number one enemy of all shower cubicles is moisture. Damp floors and fixtures are the perfect habitat for those nasty bacteria that can affect your health.
While it is inevitable that your shower will get wet. there are things that you can do to speed up the drying process.
Wipe your shower down after use with a clean dry cloth to prevent moisture build-up and to assist with drying. Wipe away dirty spots like fingerprints, dust and soap reside, before they set in. Use a squeegee to dry any glass.
Keeping your bathroom well ventilated will reduce moisture build up and make life more difficult for germs, mildew and mould.
Bust the rust
Prolonged exposure to moisture, especially water with a high mineral content, also encourages rust on your beautiful new fittings. In the case of aluminium profiles this is usually in the form of a white powdery substance that grows on the surface.
Not only does this look unattractive, but it can leave deposits on the inside of your taps, causing the water to spurt out instead of flow. Extreme cases of corrosion can make the knobs difficult to turn or non-functional.
Consider installing a water softener to prevent this build-up of mineral salts if you live in an area with hard water.
If you do develop a problem with corrosion, act fast. A build-up of hard water residue is easily removed with ordinary vinegar. Soak a clean cloth in vinegar and apply it directly to the corroded spots. Leave it for a few minutes, then rinse and dry the area.
In extreme cases, it may be time to start shopping for some stylish new taps.
The trouble with grouting in shower cubicles
Grouting is the most common form of attaching bathroom tiles to the internal wall of your shower cubicle.
Being porous, grout absorbs water every time you shower. Some of this moisture will evaporate naturally, but the rest will seep into the wall causing mould and mildew to thrive, and damaging the wall.
Filling any gaps or cracks that form in the grouting with a sealer can help prevent further damage, but this is only a temporary solution.
The best thing you can do to preserve the grouting in your shower is to keep it dry and clean them regularly.
Nowadays, it is common practice to install a waterproof membrane behind the tiles when the shower is installed, but in older bathrooms, this may not be the case.
Alternatively, replace your old bathroom tiles with modern shower panels or shower boards. These are quicker and cheaper to fit than traditional tiling and are available in some attractive designs.
Cleaning is key
Most preventative maintenance for your shower cubicle comes down to cleaning.
Besides wiping all the components down after each use, maintain a regular deep-cleaning program for your bathroom to ensure that it remains at its hygienic best.
At least once a week, grab hold of a nylon sponge and give every inch of your shower a good scrub with warm water and a non-abrasive cleaner, rubbing in a circular motion. Here’s a tip – fabric softener is great for removing those tough soapy spots.
Avoid detergents that are acid-based or non-rinsable and don’t use sharp instruments or scouring pads – they will scratch and ruin the face of your shower.
Clean glass doors with an ordinary commercial glass cleaner and check for the start of any corrosion on your metal fixtures.
If you have a shower curtain, it is a good idea to replace it with a glass door as soon as you can. Until then keep it clean by wiping it down with a sponge dipped in vinegar.
Scrub shower mats with disinfectant and hang them up to dry. Don’t forget to dry everything off afterwards, or your efforts will be in vain.
There’s nothing quite as disturbing as a dripping tap and all that excess moisture can wreak havoc with the appearance and hygiene of shower cubicles.
One cause of a leaking shower head can be that the ceramic valve inside has worn out. In most cases, it is wise to get a plumber in to assist with this, unless you know the make and model of your shower. An incorrectly fitted washer is just as bad as a worn out one.
Keep a clear head
If your water pressure seems to be getting increasingly lower, the problem is usually a blocked shower head. Remove the offending part, wash it out with hot water and detergent. Use a piece of wire to clear out the holes.
Studies show that many harmful germs make themselves at home in dirty shower heads, so you want to include this process as part of your routine cleaning.
Likewise, your shower drain can be a bacteria trap and lead to blocked drains if left unattended. Check for hair and excess soap residue every so often and remove it. Drain cleaner can safely be put down the plughole every few weeks to prevent clogging.
Gently does it
Glass shower components are constructed from tempered glass which is the same thing that car windshields are made of. While the surface of this glass can withstand quite a bit of abuse, the edges can be fragile.
Open and close your shower door carefully to avoid jarring it on anything hard and sharp, such as the edge of your sink.
With careful ongoing care, shower cubicles can last for many years, especially if they’re a premium model, without any maintenance issues at all.
When the time comes to replace yours, we’ll be happy to help.