Many people spend their daily lives at school or work, and after a long day outside, nothing beats a long hot shower to relax your tired mind and body. Aside from cleanliness, taking a shower offers many benefits, such as increasing your energy, lifting your mood, decreasing anxiety, and giving you a boost of confidence.
The last thing that would probably come into mind when taking a shower is the condition of your piping system. Everyone knows the importance of well-maintained plumbing, as something as small as a water leak can ruin anyone’s day. While taking a shower is undeniably refreshing, there are some everyday habits you might be guilty of which can ultimately damage your plumbing system.
#1: TAKING EXCESSIVE LONG, HOT SHOWERS
There’s nothing more relaxing than having a long, hot shower in the morning or at night as soon as you get home. They offer multiple health benefits, such as improved blood circulation, alleviating stress, and relieving headaches. Due to the spa-like experience, many people do this regularly, but it can directly cause damage to your plumbing.
Long showers create an ideal environment for mold. While mold is virtually everywhere, it’s not ideal to have a growing field of mold inside your plumbing pipes. Not only can it cause respiratory health issues, but it can also find its way into your drinking water which can cause:
- Nasal stuffiness
- Throat irritation
- Persistent coughing
- Persistent headaches
- Skin irritation
- Eye irritation
Furthermore, frequent long, hot showers can also be bad for your skin. Generally, a five to a ten-minute bath is acceptable, but anything beyond that can give you an unpleasant skin condition. Here are some of the adverse effects of daily hot showers on your skin:
- Strip away skin and scalp’s natural barrier
- Infections and allergens
- Worsen psoriasis and eczema
- It can have a nauseating impact on people with heart and blood pressure issues
- Cause dry skin
- Aggravate acne
If you can’t help taking a hot bath, try reducing your daily routine to ten minutes and the temperature. Doing so can also help reduce your water and heating costs.
#2: LEAVING HAIR IN THE DRAIN
When plumbers clean water pipes, one of the most common blocking agents they find is chunks of hair. All water lines in your property are generally susceptible to blockages; however, your shower and toilet plumbing are considered to be the most vulnerable. A combination of soap scum and hair is highly effective in obstructing your pipes.
There are many ways to prevent hair blockage from occurring, with the most basic being to immediately remove hair away from the drain after taking a bath. You can also use a drain cover which you need to clean and reattach after a shower.
#3: IGNORING HARD WATER BUILD-UP
Some people may not know hard water, but this common plumbing issue occurs when running water contains excessive calcium and minerals. You can usually find these residues in your shower nozzle, and it has a dry and flaky appearance.
Aside from causing a blockage, hard water residue also irritates your hair and skin. Hence, you can easily remove the residue by wiping a water mixture and vinegar to restore water flow instead of ignoring the issue.
#4: DRYING LOOFAH IN THE SHOWER
Although it seems perfectly reasonable to leave your loofah in the shower, this seemingly innocent habit can encourage mold growth inside your bath sponge. Molds strive in a moist environment, so when you use it, you’re just essentially rubbing the mold onto your skin instead of cleaning yourself.
The best practice to counteract this issue is to take your loofah after you shower and hang it in a dry place until subsequent use. It will effectively prevent the mold from growing inside the sponge. In addition, you can wash it with antibacterial soap to ensure that it’s free from mildew or bacteria.
#5: LEAVING A POOL OF WATER ON THE FLOOR
It’s only natural to have pools of water on the floor after taking a shower, but leaving water to dry on its own can encourage mold growth. Mold is generally a common issue in bathrooms since they love dark and damp spaces. Leaving water on the floor would allow fungal growth, which can cause extensive damage to the floor and your health.
Aside from mold, leaving the floor wet increases the risk of a slip and fall incident. This is especially risky when you live with other people since someone can walk in after and experience an injury. The best thing is always to sweep the water towards your drain after use.
#6: OVERUSING CHEMICAL DRAIN CLEANERS
While the most common initial reaction to blocked drainage is to pour chemicals down your drain, doing this often can eventually damage your water pipes. Chemical drain cleaners contain acidic properties, which can easily eat away your pipes, especially if it’s plastic.
Since drain cleaners are designed to clean, you can still use them sparingly. Prevention is always better than repairing your plumbing system. Hence, always clean the drain after use and not wash down grease and food down your pipes.
If the cleaning agent doesn’t resolve the clogging issue, it is best to call a plumber rather than use more chemicals to remove the obstruction. Make sure that you install a gypsum-glass fiber-reinforced panel so that the plumber can effortlessly gain access to the plumping components.
#7: FLUSHING OBJECTS DOWN YOUR TOILET
While this issue seems common to most people, plumbers surprisingly receive many work requests to deal with unusual clogs in toilet pipes. Plumbing pipes are not designed to pass paper towels, tissues, and wet wipes. Therefore, when you constantly flush other things aside from what it’s built to process, then it would eventually clog and require repair.
Many people see toilets as an alternative garbage disposal unit, which is wrong. Aside from plumbing issues, improperly handling your garbage can harm your water system and the environment.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Everyone has bad habits. Building a pattern is easy, but it’s a different case when removing it from your system and daily routine. These seemingly bad shower habits can have a hugely detrimental effect on your plumbing system and your budget.
Ignoring minor signs of mold and damage in your bathroom can eventually lead to something more severe and extensive. Since pipes are underneath a house or a building, identifying the source of the blockage or leaks can sometimes be very difficult and expensive. The best way to prevent this is by practicing good shower habits to maintain a healthy and functional plumbing system.
Guest Contributor: Chris Jackson