Learn The Facts about Wallpaper and Humidity


Wallpaper and humidity are a concern for many do-it-yourselfers. You may have heard or read anecdotes about problem installations wherein the paper peeled away or even dropped off the wall thanks to hot, moist air. The Internet is rife with stories of people who became sick when toxic mold grew behind their wallcoverings. Fortunately, these are mostly urban legends with no basis in truth. Living in a humid climate does not prevent the use of wallpaper, as long as the proper preparation and application techniques are used. You can even install wall coverings successfully in your bathroom and enjoy it for years to come, provided you chose the right materials.

The Challenges of Warmth and Moisture

The two primary concerns when applying wallpaper in a humid location are adhesion and mold. A common belief is that wall coverings can peel at corners and seams when exposed to the humidity of the bathroom. Mold is perhaps an even greater concern, based on the negative health implications it carries. If mold grows behind wallpaper, which can happen in rare cases, it may go undetected, creating a health hazard for the home’s residents. While bathrooms are the most problematic, experts widely agree that living in a hot, damp climate is not a threat to the safety or stability of wallcoverings.

Proper Preparation Can Offset the Effects of Moisture

The degree to which moisture can be detrimental to wallcoverings largely depends on the type of underlying surface. No matter what the wall surface is, however, proper prep products and techniques can help you achieve an optimal outcome. If your home is older, with many coats of glossy paint layered on the wall, the time it takes for adhesives to fully cure can be much longer, especially in hot, humid weather. As long as you remember that the wallcovering is more vulnerable to rips and damage before it fully dries, you should have no problems. Always remember to use the exhaust fan or crack a window open when showering, and leave the door open once your shower is done to allow the steam to clear.

The Wallcovering that Laughs at Humidity

Although some wallpapers do not handle humidity well, one type laughs in the face of moist, warm air. Fabric-backed vinyl wallcovering, commonly used in applications such as hotel bathrooms, is immune to the whims of humidity. This is especially true when you apply it using an adhesive and related prep products that are identified as mold-resistant. Some of these products actually have multi-year “no mold” guarantees. Another product that is popular in Florida and locations with similar climates is known as micro-vented vinyl. This type of wallcovering is also highly resistant to moisture, but is probably overkill unless you plan to use it in your steam room.

In most applications, humidity is a minor concern when choosing a wallcovering. Nevertheless, Wallpaper Warehouse offers all types and styles of wallpaper, designed to suit all your needs and environmental challenges. Contact them today and let their experienced, professional staff address your concerns about wallpaper and humidity.

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