How Long Does a Hot Mop Last?

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Hot mopping is a technique commonly used to make bathroom floors waterproof. It’s a viable and effective waterproofing method that provides protection against water leakage. But the question is, how long does a hot mop last?

Hot mops should last more than a decade, provided you do it properly.

How Long Does a Hot Mop Last?

The hot mop is constructed with hot asphalt and multiple layers of felt paper, usually three to five. As the mop dries, it creates an impermeable seal to keep water from leaking and making its way toward the subfloor.

The combination of asphalt and felt paper makes a hot mop long-lasting with a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. However, hot mop failure can happen because of poor application that fails to prevent water leaks.

Not only will water leakage decrease the lifespan of the hot mop but it will also lead to the buildup of mildew, mold, and bacteria and result in expensive damage.

Why You Should Opt for a Hot Mop

The following are some of the reasons why you should hot mop your showers and bathroom floors.

Better than Other Methods

Hot mopping is made of roofing grade felt and highest quality liquid tar and it’s the best waterproofing method for bathroom floors. In terms of efficiency and longevity, it performs better than other available methods, like membrane waterproofing.

Water Damage Prevention

The Hot mop application creates a fully sealed insulation layer below the bathroom tiles. It prevents water leaks and protects your property against water damage.

Additionally, it also minimizes humidity in your bathroom, which keeps the water from infiltrating and damaging your appliances and fixtures.

Quick Installation

The process of hot mopping is quick and can be completed within a few hours. First, the installer takes the measurements of the area and cuts felt paper accordingly for at least three layers. The base of the shower is sloped by 1/4-inch per foot toward the water drain using mortar mix cement.

After that, the installer blocks the water drain and applies hot liquid tar to the surface before placing felt paper on it. These steps are repeated until three or more layers have been achieved.

A professional installer takes about two hours to install a standard, 32 x 32 inches, hot mop shower pan from start to finish.

Safe for Use

Hot Mopping is completely safe for all residential areas with adults, children, and pets. The smell of the mopping is the only thing that’ll make you feel a bit uncomfortable for a short period of time. You’ll need to open the door or window of your bathroom to let the fumes of mopping escape.

Hot Mopping Dry Time

Once the hot mop application is complete, the mop will still be hot and need time to cure properly.

  • Typically, a hot mop takes about three to five hours to dry completely.
  • Ideally, you should wait overnight before laying the deck mud or putting up any tile backer.

However, if you’re on a fast track, you can speed up the drying process by setting up a fan and opening the windows and doors to increase the airflow. It’ll allow the hot mop to dry within a couple of hours.

How Long the Smell of Hot Mop Lasts

At first, the smell of hot mop might feel overwhelming but don’t panic. That’s because it’ll go away within a few hours when the hot mop becomes fully dried. You can increase the ventilation of your house to speed up the process.

There are hot mops available that use low-odor asphalt. It takes much of the bad smell out of hot asphalt and felt paper application without affecting reliability.

This type of hot mop is a little more expensive than standard ones. But it’s worth the price in odor-sensitive sites such as hospitals, restaurants, and schools.

Can You Hot Mop Yourself?

While hot mopping is a quick process, an average person shouldn’t perform it. That’s because it involves liquid and extremely hot asphalt with the temperature reaching up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. It can lead to a serious injury if you make a mistake.

Additionally, the process also requires a heat source to melt the asphalt and bring it to a liquid form, which is something that most people don’t have.

Therefore, you should always hire professional and licensed installers for hot mopping in your house. They’re experienced and know how to handle liquid asphalt safely.

Plus, they’ll also make sure that the hot mop application covers the entire area evenly to make a reliable waterproof seal.

How to Test the Efficiency of Your Hot Mop Application

The most effective way to test the efficiency of a hot mop application is to perform a water test. You can use the steps listed below for this purpose.

  • Block the water drain of your shower pan with a test plug.
  • Fill the pan with one-inch water.
  • Mark the water level with a marker and leave it for at least 12 hours. Make sure that your bathroom door and windows (if any) are closed.
  • After that, inspect the shower pan. If the water is on the same level, the hot mop application is completely waterproof.

If the water level has decreased, you’ll need to call the installer to fix the problem.

Where to Use Hot Mopping

As mentioned, hot mopping is more commonly used in shower pans to make them waterproof. But this method can also be used in many other household projects, such as roofs, indoor planters, and decks, where you need waterproofing.

Final Words

Hot mopping is a great method to waterproof shower pans, roofs, and decks. It dries quickly and can last for up to 12 to 15 years if applied properly.

It’s a quick process but can be extremely dangerous for non-experienced people. Therefore, you should always hire professional installers even if you need it just for a small shower pan.

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.