How to use heating to deal with damp in a bathroom

How to use heating to deal with damp in a bathroom

A bathroom window with condensation and dampA bathroom window with condensation and damp

When we go into our bathroom, we expect to be able to close the door and treat it as a space for pure relaxation. With the fashion for bathrooms often being minimalist, monochrome and clean lines, discovering a damp problem can really undermine and spoil the aesthetic of the room. In some cases, damp can cause serious structural issues, so it's really a problem to get to the bottom of and prevent. In this article, we'll look at the different types of damp that are common to bathrooms and how you can use heating to solve some of these issues.

The mains types of damp

Rising damp

This type of damp occurs almost exclusively on the ground floor, so if your bathroom is upstairs or you live on the upper floors of an apartment block, you are unlikely to be affected by this problem in your bathroom.

Rising damp is caused by moisture rising up from the ground and into the floor and walls of a building. If untreated, you will be able to spot damage low down on your walls (no higher than a metre) in the form of crumbling plaster and discoloured/rotting skirting boards or damp/mouldy patches on your floorboards.

Modern houses are 'damp-proofed' by having a course or membrane installed to protect the walls and floor from any water coming up through the ground. Older buildings that did not have damp proofing installed as a matter of course, or new buildings whose damp proofing has been damaged can be affected by this problem.

If you are suffering from this type of damp problem, you'll need to call in a professional to assess the situation and repair or update your damp proofing as necessary.

Penetrating damp

Penetrating damp is not exclusive to the ground floor and can occur anywhere in your home. If you've got a room upstairs with discoloured, bubbling or crumbling plaster fairly high up in the wall, you've likely got penetrative damp.

This form of damp can be caused by a leaky roof or faulty guttering that is allowing rainwater to fall directly into the wall without being drained away. This can start out as a very small leak that doesn't get discovered until a large amount of water damage has been done. Fixing the roof or guttering usually immediately solves the problem of water getting in, but it will be best to call in a professional to check how much damage the incoming water has actually caused to the walls.

Condensation damp

Condensation forms when air comes into contact with a surface that is at a lower temperature. The moisture in the warm air forms into water droplets and settles on the cooler surface. On a Winter's day, you can switch a hot shower on in a cold bathroom and quickly see this phenomenon in action. It's often caused by a lack of ventilation and you'll often see it disperse if you open a window or run an extractor fan

This is the most common type of damp found in bathrooms and, fortunately, tends to be the least damaging as long as it's dealt with. You are most likely to see it on the mirrors, tiles and the inside of windows in its most harmless form. However, if left untreated, condensation can lead to dark patches of mould forming on walls.

Using electric heated towel rails to prevent damp


While rising damp and penetrative damp require serious intervention from professionals, condensation is an easy problem to fix by getting a qualified electrician to install an electric towel rail in your bathroom. This will help raise the overall temperature of the room, causing less disparity between the air temperature and the temperature of flat surfaces.

Most electric heated towel rails come with automatic thermostats, allowing the rails to keep the room at a certain temperature independently of your central heating system. This allows you to resolve the issue of condensation without having to keep your whole central heating system running, at a considerable cost.

Not only would an electric heated towel rail help with keeping condensation to a minimum, but you also get the added bonus of having somewhere to hang your towels to get them warm and dry.

Electric heated towel rails at

At Trade Radiators we have a huge range of electric heated towel rails to choose from. With a range of finishes, sizes and styles, you're sure to find a heated towel rail that fits your bathroom perfectly. These rails are safe to be left on all the time, or can be set to come on and off at certain times of day. The convenience of being able to install a towel rail that runs off your mains electricity supply, rather than the disruption of adding pipework to connect up to a conventional hot water system, is massive.

We know that the last thing you’d want to do when redecorating a space is having to get your floors lifted and new pipework carried out just to have one or two radiators piped into your existing central heating setup. We can help you avoid such headaches with our range of electric heated towel rails. These radiators have a special filling inside to heat a radiator just like you’d expect from a traditionally piped in radiator. All you need to do is plug the radiator in and turn it on to get warm in no time at all. With over 650 different makes and models to choose from and select towel rails starting at just £45, you’ll soon find the ideal electrical rail in the finish you want.


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