Hot Mopping Pros & Cons: Are Hot Mop Fumes Dangerous?

Hot Mopping Pros & Cons: Are Hot Mop Fumes Dangerous?

When it’s time to remodel your bathroom, you will notice different types of people working on your bathroom. Some may include a plumber, an electrician, a hot mopper, a tile installer, a painting crew, and a variety of other different installers and workers. You get the point. What you might find yourself asking your general contractor or yourself is: Why the heck do I need to hot mop for my shower pan?

Thankfully, we’re not easily offended. We get asked all the time why someone would need to hot mop a shower in the first place. Or, isn’t hot mopping meant for tarring a roof? 

The first thought that comes to your mind when you smell the fumes from a hot mop coming from your bathroom leads us to our next most popular question, and that is if hot mop fumes are dangerous and safe to be around while your bathroom is being remodeled during the shower installation process. 

Rest at ease, today we will tackle those concerns by answering a few common questions about hot mopping and discussing the pros and cons of a hot mop shower pan for bathroom showers, and shower/tub combos.

Why Hot Mopping Is Important During A Bathroom Remodel

Preparing to install a new shower, bathtub, new flooring or tile in your bathroom requires a lot of prep work. Additionally, with the cost of bathroom remodels constantly increasing in price, it’s important to protect your investment. This means properly waterproofing the wet areas of your bathroom also known as the showerpan. 

When researching a waterproofing solution, you will find there are many options to consider. At DK Shower Pans, we recommend hot mopping.

Benefits of Hot Mopping (Pros)

When it comes to the upside of hot mopping, there are too many to mention, but here are the 7 best benefits of hot mopping:

  1. Hot mopping conforms to any shape, size or configuration with bonded layers, 4 tar and 3 paper, which means no dependence on caulking, glues, cements, or solvents to waterproof seams and corners.
  2. No product specific or speciality materials needed 
  3. Fast installation standard, size showers can be done in under two hours
  4. Water-testing can be performed in as little as 3 hours after completion.
  5. Multiple layer built up gives the very best in protection 
  6. Very cost effective compared to other shower pan liner systems
  7. All materials are supplied no waiting on delivery or back order issues

Downside of Hot Mopping (Cons)

With almost anything in life, there is almost always a downside. There’s no difference when it comes to hot mopping. Here are 3 of the cons to hot mopping:

  1. Smoke, fumes, and smell from the asphalt being applied can be irritating to some.
  2. Curb heights and shower pan wet areas and recesses need to be carefully considered as hot mopping is not a direct bond system.
  3. Asphalt for hot mopping is applied as a hot liquid that needs to cool and set before other trades can work over or on it. 

Are hot mop fumes dangerous or toxic to my health?

As mentioned in point number one in the three cons of hot mopping, this question seems to be the one that is top-of-mind when it comes to making a decision to hot mop in the home. To be transparent, the fumes do come with certain precautions. 

High concentrations of any smoke or fumes can cause eye, nose and throat irritations. For instance, it can happen by the campfire on an outing, the forgotten pan on the stove, a bad draft from your fireplace.

With hot mopping, the smoke, smell and fumes are no different.  As some people are more sensitive than others they should remain at whatever distance is needed from the installation of their  shower pan to be unaffected by the application of the asphalt as it is being applied and stay away from the immediate area for a few hours after completion.

Ventilation with open windows and doors will keep concentrations down. Respiratory protection is not required under normal circumstances nor is it required by the safety boards which control the use and application for all substances used in the construction trades.

At extremely  elevated temperatures at or above 500°  asphalt may emit hydrogen sulfide gas, which smells like “rotten eggs” which also comes from decomposing bacteria and rotting  plant life, like swamps, landfills, sewer lines, and even natural hot and cold springs. Make no mistake Hydrogen sulfide gas is very dangerous…it is very similar to carbon monoxide in which high enough levels can maim or even kill…thank goodness the risk from this is extremely low when installing your shower pan,  good news! Not only for the hot asphalt industry as a whole, and for DK Shower Pans employees but especially for you the consumer. As the smoke, fumes, and smell  dissipate quickly and do not linger or “stick” to surfaces. Exposure levels and concentrations remain low with adequate ventilation and have proved to be the effective measure and recommendation from the parties in charge of setting the rules for its application in the field. Guidelines for applying hot asphalt have not changed for decades and  the trade is still going strong. As with most products it is rated as a carc. 1B.H350 which basically means long term exposure may cause cancer but has not been proven.

Conclusion/Wrap Up

Plenty to digest and think about now for the highlights…

Hot mopping has proved itself and still remains the top choice for independent contractors,DIYers, owner builders and the major builders here on the west coast!

Which kind of says it all! 

If it’s not broken there’s no need to fix it!

The downsides can be directly controlled by following the best practices when on the jobsite.

One time exposure may cause irritation to eyes and throat to some, if directly in the area where your hot mopping is being done, which we at DKShowerPans strongly discourage, you will be able to inspect the quality of your pan after it has had a few hours to set and cool!

A final word on the smell…using lower grade asphalt(for cost savings) will be more smelly and linger longer. Here at DKShowerPans we exclusively use United Asphalts NoSmell type 3 Oxidized Asphalt shipped directly from the manufacturer to us…while it still emits smoke, fumes and smell, it is far less than in the past and bearable for most people. In most cases it will be undetectable within a few hours after completion of your Hot Mopped Showerpan by DKShowerPans! 

Hot Mopping Pros & Cons: Are Hot Mop Fumes Dangerous?
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Hot Mopping Pros & Cons: Are Hot Mop Fumes Dangerous?
Hot mopping a shower pan to prepare for tile installation has many pros and cons. In this article, we will cover just a few and address concerns about hot mop fumes.
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DK Shower Pans
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