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5 Bad Shower Habits That Will Ruin Your Bathroom & Plumbing

By Jarrod Heil

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Some habits are good and some are bad, but no matter which way you want your habits to turn, the bad habits are tough to break and the easy ones are tough to keep.

Breaking bad shower habits can be tricky because we’ve likely been building them up through the years and we can’t just turn off the habits with a switch.

If you’re guilty of any of these five habits (I sure am), breaking them is going to be tough. But once you find out how they affect your bathroom and plumbing, you should be motivated!

1. Taking Long, Hot Showers

Long, hot showers can speed muscle recovery, reduce stress and help our circulation. Basically, they’re both good for the soul and feel like complete life-changers after a long day at work. But they’re not the best for your water pipes (or your bathroom).

Without proper ventilation (and in many cases with proper ventilation), lengthy hot showers induce mold growth in just about every crevice of the bathroom. And while a lack of oxygen in your plumbing pipes prevents mold from significantly growing and spreading, that dark and moist environment doesn’t stop it from growing altogether.

Mold spreads through spores and moves to anything that allows it to flourish and grow, so the bathroom is one of the most obvious places in a home for that to occur. It can get pretty costly, too, since many instances of mold aren’t covered by home insurance.

You can help to prevent this problem by taking hot showers in less than 10 minutes, not turning the water heat up too high and properly ventilating the bathroom. Not to mention short showers save you money on the water bill and moderate-temperature water can add a few years to the life of your hot water heater.

2. Allowing Hair Buildup

Many plumbing pipe backups occur in the bathroom sink or the shower. Why, you ask? They’re the two most likely places to be clogged by hair. And hair clog creates a serious on your plumbing.

When hair continually accumulates over time, it burrows into the pipes like a bird’s nest, backing up the pipes and preventing water from flowing through. Hair clogs put a ton of pressure on the pipes and, if not cared for quickly and adequately, can create an extremely expensive pipe burst.

If water is standing in the bathtub or bathroom sink, the main culprit is probably hair, so you’ll want to properly clean it out using a wire clothes hanger to get the big glob. Then follow that up with a healthy portion of Drano.

3. Leaving Damp Materials

What’s the most ideal situation in your home conducive to mold and bacteria growth? If you guessed a damp, light-ridden area, you’re right on the mark!

And what causes situations to become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria? If you guessed moist towels and clothes, which have just sat through a shower and then been tossed onto the floor, you’re also correct!

But did you know that moist loofahs can actually cause the same ideal situation? Yup, they’re unsuspecting culprits that are sure to generate bacteria growth over time. If you use it every day and wash it before use, mold and bacteria growth may be slowed down, but they’ll eventually find their way. They always do.

So make sure you store your loofah near a well-ventilated area, thoroughly clean them and bring new ones into your daily routine. Always hang your towels up after using them to allow proper ventilation through air drying.

Clothes still wet from all that steam? Don’t just throw them in the hamper. Let them air dry as well or throw them in the washing machine immediately.

4. Letting Water Sit on Floor

Would you leave standing water on your kitchen floor? No? Then why is it so common and internally accepted for people to leave standing water on their bathroom floor after a shower?

I’m definitely guilty of this one, so I have no room to talk (although I’m slowly getting better). Standing water can warp and damage the flooring in your bathroom, induce mold growth and cause injuries from slipping and falling.

Your home insurance will not cover all of those instances, so it’s best to get yourself a bigger rug or shower mat that takes care of the problem for you. If you don’t want to go that route, make sure you wipe up any water standing on the floor right after showering.
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5. Ignoring Water Backups

Whether it’s a glob of hair clogging the drains or hard water leaving a dry layer of coating around your showerhead, ignoring water backups can make the problem 10 times worse. Not to mention it’s expensive and, in many cases, negates your home insurance coverage.

So if you notice water backing up into the tub or sink, move quickly to make sure it drains permanently. Additionally, if you spot a crusty substance on your shower head or faucets, that’s due to hard-water buildup.

To eliminate the buildup, simply rub shampoo or vinegar over the affected area and voilà, you’re good to go!