You're done showering, but there's still some water dripping in the bathroom. When you check where it's coming from, you realize that it's from the bathroom exhaust fan. Chances are you don't know what to do about it, which is why you're here, right? Don't worry; we asked the experts what to do with the dripping bathroom fan, and here's what they said.
If you're experiencing leaks and drips in your bathroom vent fan, you may need to do any of the following:
- insulate the ducts
- check the damper
- inspect the vent cover
- clean the fan
- reposition the fan
- replace the fan
- put humidifiers in the bathroom
- run the fan during and after your bath
Keep on reading to understand what's causing the dripping issue and how you can fix it. We'll also answer if you should run the bathroom fan while you're showering. Let's get this started!
What To Check When Water Is Dripping From The Fan?
Bathroom fans remove moisture so that it won't be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Bathrooms can be damp after every use. That's why vent fans and windows are required in bathrooms to promote proper ventilation and avoid the growth of these unwanted species in this part of your home.
But there can be instances when there's water dripping from the fan. This can be a problem if water is coming from the appliance that's supposed to remove moisture from the bathroom, which is why you need to understand why it's happening and what you can do about it.
There are three common reasons why water is dripping from your bathroom fan. These are condensation in the ducts, water on the roof, and improper installation of the bathroom fan. Let's discuss each of them one by one.
Condensation in the Ducts
Condensation happens when warm or humid air collides with cold air. During winter, the warm air that's sucked out of your bathroom flows to the attic or even outside of your home, where it hits cold air and condenses. The water that forms flows back through the ductwork all the way into your bathroom again.
During summer, the humid outside air can come in contact with the pipes that have been cooled because of air conditioning inside the house. This will also result in condensation and water dripping into your ductwork and ending in your bathroom vents.
Water from the Roof
During winter, ice can form on your rooftop. When it melts, it can find its way to the ducts and into the vent in your bathroom.
Or it could also be that your roof's vapor barrier wasn't installed properly. There would be poor insulation, and when condensation happens, water will pool on the roof. This would eventually make its way to your house's ductworks, such as the one leading to your bathroom.
Improper Installation of Bathroom Fan
Of course, when the bathroom fan is not installed properly, there could be gaps between the wall and the fan. Water can enter your bathroom through these gaps whenever it rains. Have a professional technician handle this task to ensure that it is done the right way.
How do you fix a dripping bathroom fan?
Now that you know what to check when there's water dripping in your bathroom fan, the question is, what can you do about it?
Here are some of the recommended fixes regarding this issue.
Insulation is the key to protecting the ducts from the outside temperature. This way, you can help control the temperature inside the ducts and reduce the possibility of condensation happening.
You might have insulation in place, but it is not fit anymore. It could have slipped down over the years which leaves certain portions of your ducts unprotected.
Or it could also be that your attic's insulation is the problem. When it allows chilly air from the outside to enter, and it meets the warm air from the bathroom vent, condensation and dripping will occur. Ensure that the insulation in your attic is intact so that it won't add to the problem.
Check the Damper
This refers to the valve or flap at your bathroom duct. If the damper is damaged, it can hinder proper airflow and also allow water to enter the duct which would result to having leaks and drips in the bathroom. Have a professional take a look at it and replace the damper if needed.
Inspect the Vent Cover
Since the vent cover is located on the rooftop, it is subject to extreme weather conditions. This means that it could be damaged by external factors and once this happens, water can get inside the vents. Check if repairs need to be done or if you need to have the vent cover replaced altogether. Contact a professional to do this job to ensure that it is installed correctly.
Reposition the Fan
The problem could be the placement of your fan. If it is right above the shower or bathtub, it means that the fan is pulling out air at its warmest temperature, and when it meets the cold air in the ducts, condensation will likely happen.
Have a professional reposition the fan farther from the bathtub and shower to give the air enough time to get a little cooler before it gets sucked out of the room. This will reduce the possibility of condensation in your ducts which leads to water dripping into the bathroom vents.
Replace the Fan
Sometimes the problem is with the fan itself, and there's no other resort but to have it replaced. It could be that you need to upgrade the fan's size and capacity if more people are using the bathroom. Newer models are more equipped to remove moisture out of the room.
Bathroom fans also have an expected lifespan of 5 to 10 years. It is subject to wear and tear and would not be able to suck in the air anymore to help improve the humidity level in the bathroom.
Clean the Fan
This should be part of your regular maintenance. A dirty fan can hinder proper airflow and can also be a fire hazard. Clogging can result in dripping on your bathroom vents.
How to Check Airflow
You can do the toilet paper test to check if your bathroom fan allows proper airflow.
- Get two sheets of toilet paper.
- Fold them in half to give them some weight.
- Position them near the fan.
- Turn on the fan and observe if the fan would suck in the sheets of toilet paper.
- If not, it means that your fan is clogged which is why it can't perform its job well. Have the airways cleaned so that the fan can effectively pull air out of your bathroom.
The bathroom is one of the most humid parts of the house. Sometimes, insulation is not enough to contain the moisture. It could be that the location where you live is just really humid. To reduce the amount of moisture in the air, you can put dehumidifiers in the bathroom.
Check the capacity of the dehumidifier to see if it's enough for the size of your bathroom. If not, you can put several dehumidifiers as needed.
These are some of the things that you can do to address the dripping issue in your bathroom vent fan. Take note that you need to take action right away to avoid moisture issues in this humid portion of your house, or else you'll have to deal with mold and mildew problems.
Should I run the bathroom fan while showering?
Running the fan while you're taking a shower is a good way to prevent moisture buildup from happening. The fan will be able to move warm air from the room immediately. This way, it won't have a hard time removing stuffy air.
It is also advised that you continue running the fan for 10 to 15 minutes after you take a bath to ensure that all the moisture is pulled out of the bathroom and its ventilation pipes.
Running the fan effectively will help prevent moisture and condensation problems.
There can be different solutions to the dripping issue in your bathroom vent fan. Check which one is applicable in your situation or better yet, have a professional inspect it so that the problem will be resolved in no time.
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