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Home Improvement

Common Bathroom Problems and How to Fix Them

Keep your T&B in tip-top shape with these reminders

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Original Article: Katherine Lopez Photography: RJ Yu | Marc Jao (Main Photos)

The bathroom is supposed to be kept clean at all times, but like other rooms in the home, it is prone to various maintenance dilemmas that are not only unpleasant to look at, but can also be potentially dangerous. Take note of these reminders so you can avoid these mishaps and have a sophisticated loo that you and your guests will surely love.


Clutter

“A countertop full of bottles, jars, and other containers of all sizes are often the sight in most, if not all, bathroom,” says interior designer Pauline La’O. She further adds that towels, soaps, toothbrushes, and toothpaste without proper storage are also common culprits.

What to do: Assign storage and get rid of things that you no longer need. For small bathrooms, Pauline suggests maximizing vertical space by installing overhead cabinets and shelves.

Leaky bathroom fixtures

Architect Paul Peña says stains on bathroom fittings are red flags, indicating possible problems with their internal components. “That’s the thing you don’t see, but it really affects how you use the products,” he elaborates. “Minsan yung mga fittings, made of plastic. Yun yung madalas madaling masira, yung mga brass fittings. So you need to check the fittings if everything is working properly.”

What to do: Call a plumber as soon as possible when you see leaking faucets, showerheads and other fixtures.


Loose and dirty tiles

“You can see if yung mga grout, dark na, and there are things that cannot be removed anymore,” says Paul. “Ibig sabihin nawala na yung mga top coat ng mga tiles.”

What to do: Watch out for cracks in tiles. “When the tiles are set, there are no hollow spaces inside. If the tiles get loose easily, there are problems with the tile installation. That should prompt you to change them.”

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Waterproofing problems

“There will be a lot of leaks, especially in a condo. That’s very hard to repair, kasi everything will be affected, like the ceiling below your unit. You’ll find cracks in other parts of the condominium,” says Paul.

What to do: “You really need to water-test the toilet, if possible [for] more than twenty-four hours, and then that’s the time when you can install the finishes,” shares Paul. Consult with your architect or contractor if you find a lot of leaks in the bathroom and in the surrounding areas.


Clogged drainage

Clogged drains are another common issue most homeowners encounter. This is normally caused by debris or waste getting lodged in the drains, and can lead to problems like low drainage, leaks, and dirty water. Clogged drains can also cause toilets to stop flushing properly.

What to do: Most drains can usually be unclogged using items found at home, like plungers, or by pouring baking soda, table salt, and white vinegar into the drain then flushing it out with boiling water. However, if you have tried home remedies but the problem keeps reoccurring, it may be best to call a professional plumber.

Dirty fixtures

Regardless of their composition, bathroom fixtures like faucets and showerheads are prone to issues like build-up of hard water stains, which can reduce the lifespan of your plumbing systems and lead to other problems that are more difficult and expensive to fix.

What to do: The most suitable way to clean dirty bathroom fixtures depends on the composition of those fixtures. According to Better Homes & Gardens, fixtures made of metal, chrome, or steel are best cleaned with vinegar, while those made of brass or bronze should be cleaned using only water. Cleaning products may also be helpful.

Bonus Tip: Think twice before adding a new bathroom or relocating one. It’s always best to consult first with an architect or a licensed sanitary engineer, since adding or re-orienting plumbing lines can be costly.

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