When it comes to the equipment in most homes that sees the most usage, many of us would probably agree that in sheer number of times used it is the equipment in your bathroom that see the majority of action time. Unless everyone is away on vacation, every piece of equipment in your bathroom is going to be used at least once a day, and typically by every member of the household. This can result in an incredible amount of wear and tear on what can be quite pricey fixtures. When you're looking at a home for sale, for example, the bathroom is probably the first place you look. Let's take a look at our bathrooms and showers, pick out some common problems, and see how they can be prevented (or at least fixed on the cheap).
That's a lot of weight!
Just think about how often your bath and shower is used. If you have five people in your family it is pretty likely that your bathroom and shower unit is being used five times a day. There are some factors that might cut down on this, such as multiple bathrooms or kids that don't clean themselves every day, but the point is that all of the bath and/or shower units in your house are going to see a lot of use.
This means not only that they are in danger of wear due to water, but also because of mass. The area in a shower where one stands is called the shower pan (or pan area). Weight is concentrated on this area, which is very small, and shifted around. Eventually, the pan area will begin to wear out. One way to increase the life of your pan area, and therefore your shower, is to line it with an additional layer of fibreglass or acrylic. It provides a little bit more protection and strength. When looking for new property and using the expertise of a home inspection company (like the example provided);
this is something to look for.
Water, water everywhere
Another fact of use that will shorten the life of your shower or bath unit is the amount of water running all over it, every day. For units made entirely from fibreglass or acrylics, water is not a big problem as this material is fairly water resistant. That means that with a little bit more money invested you can prolong the life of the equipment in your bathroom.
On the other hand, if you don't opt for a fully encased unit, you have to make sure to protect the drywall and the wood that surrounds the shower area. This means using tile, and a lot of grout. The whole unit must be tightly sealed, or else leaking water can do some serious damage not just to the immediate area, but to subfloors and even joists. You need to check the seals every couple of years and apply new grout to make sure everything is water tight. Anyone with a real estate license can tell you that any property with water damage will be a tough sell. What is a subfloor anyway?
Because so many people spend so much time in the bathroom, it is also a room where the most energy consumption takes place. It is where a household is likely to use the most hot water, so it behooves a homeowner to make sure that they can control the amount of wasted hot water somewhat, in order to save money (and in the long run, it can be a LOT of money!). Low flow shower heads are the best bet here; there's not much you can do about a bath. You can also check out an instant water heater rather than a hot water tank; they tend to be much more efficient and will cost less in terms of energy.