VA code - Bathroom fan required?


Old house being sold. No exhaust fan in bathroom. No opening windows. Bathroom does have central heat and air vents. Mold and mildew have never been a problem. We run small stand alone fan into the bath a few minutes after showering.

Question: Is an exhaust fan required in a bathroom? I read the VA code, and I see where it specifies that an exhaust fan must be vented to the outside, but there’s nothing that says an exhaust fan is required in a bathroom. We’d like to fix it if needed before it shows on an inspection so we can do it in our timeframe.

Many thanks,

Fan or window required per current building codes, VA may not call it out.

By VA I assume you’re referring to Virginia and not the Veterans Administration?

As Brian said, building codes require bathrooms to have either an openable window or an exterior routed exhaust fan. Perhaps one of our VA resident-inspectors can give you a more accurate code reference for your state.

Here in the Northeast you have to have a fan because a window is no longer acceptable in a room with a shower, the reasoning is because no one opens a window when it is -10 below zero

Even a half bath needs one

It’s not a matter of code. It is a matter of moisture control. Should be in place regardless of what the code says. Likely was not required when the house was built, which is the first thing an REA is going to say. Can’t always bring every component of an older house to code. Will it show up on an inspection? It would on mine, not as a code required item, but an item needed to properly vent moist air from the room. If you want to present a pro-active appearance to a buyer, then install it. Your thoughts are in the right place. Maybe consider a seller’s inspection. Would help you identify what is needed.

Make a comment on it in your report either way. if there is no fan in the bathroom.

Bottom line, it should have either an operable window or a ventilation fan present or installed. You may not be able to see the moisture/water problem, but if this continues, I promise, at one point, it will be evident. Water, like gravity, will always win. It’s just a matter of time.