Installing a Bathroom Vent Fan
LESLIE: Stacy in California, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
STACY: I have a bathroom; it has no window in it. But it feels like a sauna after you’ve used the shower. This is an apartment. Shouldn’t there be vents in there?
TOM: The code requires that you have either a window or a vent fan. Are you saying you have neither?
STACY: Yeah. I’m saying I don’t have either one.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah, well then I think – if you have neither one, then I think you have a good reason to go talk with your landlord about installing a vent fan; because all that moisture is going to be a problem for that room. Not only does it make it hard to care for; it could be enough water to allow mold to grow.
LESLIE: Which could then turn into a health hazard.
STACY: Yeah, it does make it kind of hard to breathe.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Well, you’ve got – there’s no way to get that moisture out. Now if there were a vent fan, even though you’re in an apartment building situation, it could be vented to the outdoors; you know, there’s that space between your ceiling and the next apartment’s floor that they would be able to run the venting materials to get that moisture outside. So you do have every right to approach your building to make sure that this is corrected.
STACY: Yeah, I just wanted to know if there was a code because this has been around for quite a while, this building.
TOM: Well, Stacy, I think that if it was new construction there certainly would be a requirement. Whether or not it can apply to an existing apartment is a question for your local code enforcement official; but, from a practical standpoint, you definitely need to have a vent fan in that space.
Stacy, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.