Carpeted bathroom floors are excellent breading grounds for mold and bacteria growth. However, some home owners choose to install carpet in their bathrooms because they like the way it looks. The home inspectors at John Robinson’s Inspection Group highly recommend avoiding carpets in bathrooms and encourage the use of traditional floor surfaces, such as tile or vinyl.
- They make bathrooms appear more warm and inviting.
- They are softer than tile and many people find them comfortable on bare feet.
- Bathroom slip hazards are reduced. It’s easier to slip on hard bathroom surfaces, such as tile, than on carpet.
- Installation is generally quick and inexpensive.
- The pad beneath the carpet may soak up large amounts of moisture. Some of the common ways that carpets may come into contact with moisture in bathrooms include:
- Steam from the shower will condense on the carpet.
- Water splashes from the tub or shower.
- Water sheds from the shower/tub occupants as the step onto the carpet.
- Water splashes out of the sink.
- Water drips from the vanity.
- Water leaks from the toilet.
The presence of moisture in the pad will lead to the growth of decay fungi on the wood or orineted strand board (OSB) sub-floor. The sub-floor will be decayed and weakened by mold. Mold also releases spores that can cause respiratory ailments, especially for those with certain health problems. The home inspectors at John Robinson’s Inspection Group use moisture meters to determine if there is excess moisture around these areas beneath the carpet.
- In addition to potential mold growth beneth the carpet, bacteria can accumulate in carpeting that surrounds the toilet. Bacteria are contained in urine, which can be accidentally deflected onto the carpet.
- Clean the carpet regularly to remove any mold or urine that may be present.
- Keep the carpet as dry as possible. Various devices exist that prevent water from bypassing the shower curtain.
- Install a bathroom fan, if one is not installed already. If a fan is installed, operate it more often.
- Contact John Robinson’s Inspection Group to schedule an inspection. Our home inspectors can inform you about why you are experiencing problems.
In summary, capets installed in bathrooms can trap moisture and urine, substances that can cause structural damage and health problems.