Maybe you see discoloration on your bathroom walls, ceiling or surfaces such as tile or grout. Maybe it’s a musty smell in your bathroom you just can’t seem to get rid of. Whatever the reason, if you suspect mold in your bathroom, you’re not alone. Mold can grow and thrive wherever there’s high humidity and moisture. Bathrooms often represent the dampest, most humid environment in your home—ideal for growing mold.
First things first: don’t panic. Mold is naturally occurring and is virtually everywhere. Mold only becomes a problem when it is able to attach to moist surfaces, reproduce and thrive. The best way to prevent bathroom mold is to keep it from growing in the first place. Because the bathroom is home to steamy showers and water on the floors, it can be challenging but not impossible.
Here are some tips to keep your bathroom mold-free.
VENTILATE, VENTILATE, VENTILATE.
In most cases, bathroom mold is growing because moisture and humidity have no way to escape. The key is providing better ventilation. If you have a vent fan in your bathroom, use it. Be sure to turn it on before your shower and leave it running until all the moisture is gone. The moisture will be pulled outside and reduce the chance of mold taking hold.
When weather permits, leave your bathroom window open during your shower. If privacy permits, leave the bathroom door open, so that steam can escape.
Any step you take to reduce moisture in the bathroom will go a long way to preventing mold from being able to grow in the first place.
MORE AGGRESSIVE CLEANING
Hey, we are not judging your housekeeping here! Bathrooms can be tough to keep up with.
If you’re doing your best to keep your bathroom ventilated, but there’s still mold on shower walls —or even the ceiling— or the musty smell hasn’t diminished, you may need to clean more thoroughly and regularly. Regular cleaning of walls, baseboards, and AC vents will help keep mold from growing.
Use a squeegee to wipe down walls and towel dry wet surfaces. Something as simple as keeping wet towels out of the bathroom can help. For more information see our posts: A Simple Guide to Cleaning Mold and How to Prevent Bathroom Mold
CHECK CAULKING, GROUT, AND DRAINS
Now we are stepping a little beyond the routine items.
Deteriorating caulk and inadequate tiling can be susceptible to leaks. If water is making its way behind tiles and shower walls it’s a safe bet there’s mold growing there. Gaps in the caulk can allow moisture behind baseboards, where hidden mold can grow unnoticed.
Tub and shower drains are often sources of leaks that allow mold in the sub-floor, basement, or crawlspace. If you suspect leaks, be sure to thoroughly check them out. In many cases, it takes a professional to discover leaks that are hidden inside walls or ceilings.
BATHROOM MOLD CAN BE UNHEALTHY
Molds produce allergens and in some cases, potentially toxic substances. Some people are more sensitive to the effects of mold than others, but everyone should avoid breathing or touching mold or mold spores. You don’t have to be allergic to mold to suffer from irritation to the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs. Allergic reactions to mold are common and include hay fever-type symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash to asthma attacks.
Don’t think you have to live with a little mold in the bathroom. It may take a little digging, but you can solve the problem, and stop compromising your health.
To learn more about mold and your health, see our posts:
- When Mold Is More Than Allergies
- Mold Allergy Symptoms & Prevention
- What’s that musty smell? MVOC’s
- Mold and Mycotoxins: Effects on the Brain and Nervous System in Adults
- Effects of Mold on Children’s Health
WHEN TO CLEAN. WHEN TO CALL.
In many cases, mold growth can be prevented by simply controlling moisture and controlling humidity. But if you’ve done everything you can to improve ventilation, you clean your bathroom regularly, and there are still indications of mold, it’s time to call a professional for an Indoor Air Quality Inspection. For more information see our post 3 Reasons You May Need a Mold Inspection.
WE’RE HERE WHEN YOU NEED US
Call Branch Environmental. We’re experts not only at mold removal, but at determining and remediating the underlying causes. From hidden mold sources to major contaminants. We can identify exactly what is going on in your home and rid it of environmental toxins, often for good.