We all have experienced the problem of recurrent mold growth in our bathrooms. For those who have not experienced this problem it either because of two things: one you are not looking for the mold growth keen enough or two – you never use your shower – which means you clearly have another problem altogether! And this post is clearly not for you.
Mold growth in the bathroom is one of the most common problems faced in the house, surprisingly it is one of the easiest to prevent and get rid of. In this post we are mainly going to tackle three four issues:
- Causes of mold growth in the bathroom.
- Elimination of excess moisture in the bathroom.
- Removal of mold from the bathroom.
- How to clean your bathroom and to keep it dry.
We believe it is important for you the above steps in the order we will explain because the best defense in fighting mold in the bathroom is ensuring mold growth will not reoccur!
Causes of mold growth in the bathroom.
Taking one shower a day is enough to relatively increase the level of humidity in the air for a whole day. There is always frequent running water in the bathtub or bathroom basin and the shower always creates wet surfaces and water puddle spread out in the bathroom. It is for this reason the entire bathroom remains damp throughout especially if there is poor ventilation. This dampness is the major reason for mold growth in the bathroom.
What are most common causes of bathroom increased humidity?
- Leaking plumbing pipes, sinks, taps, and leaking toilets.
- Lack of ventilation, which traps the moist air in the bathroom.
- Dampness from wet materials like wet rugs, wood, wallpaper and wet clothes left in the bathroom.
- Steam from the shower adds the humidity in the bathroom.
Levels of Humidity create the perfect environment for mold growth.
How do you control the humidity levels in the bathroom?
I have to agree to keep the bathroom completely dry is a big ask but, to completely get rid of the mold you will have to keep the bathroom as clean as possible.
Here are some of the measures you can implement to keep your bathroom dry:
- Find and Repair or replace all leaking pipes, sinks, taps and leaking toilets. – Regularly check sealed attached to the taps, sinks, toilets and all the pipes for leaks. If you detect any leakages have them repaired immediately.
- Don’t keep a bottle of shower gel or shampoo, loafers, bath toys or any other bathing products in the shower. – These products provide mold with the perfect place to hide. Washcloths and other similar items should be dried or squeezed till most of the water is out after every use and should always be stored in a towel closet.
- Use a mildew-resistant shower curtain and it should be washed and replaced as often as possible.
- Every time you shower squeegee away all the excess water – before you leave the bathroom after every shower squeegee away all the water in a vertical swiping motion. This will ensure you are able to direct most of the excess water down into the drain instead of letting it cling on the walls provide mold with the perfect place to grow.
- Seal grout lines in the tiles flooring. - apply grout sealer in the spaces between the bathroom tiles after several months or when you note there is a significant gap in between the tiles.
- Add ventilation to the dehumidifier– this can be done in several ways :
- Add an exhaust fan and keep it running when and after showering. – The purpose of the fan is to circulate the air and reduce the steam that ends up in the bathroom. We recommend you have the shower on every time you shower and leave it running for half an hour after you complete showering.
- Ensure the bathroom windows are open after showering and shut the door – the windows will allow air flow in and out of the bathroom. This greatly helps get rid of the excess humidity in the air. Closing the bathroom’s door will guarantee the humid air is not pushed into the rest of the house.
- Open the shower door/curtain after showering – opening the shower curtains or the door helps promote evaporation, which makes the shower surfaces dry up faster. Closing the curtain and shower door trap the moist air in the bathroom which creates the perfect environment for mold and other bacteria to thrive.
- Buy a dehumidifier – a dehumidifier is an electric appliance that is built to extract excess moisture from the air. Investing in a dehumidifier will guarantee that the humidity levels in the bathroom are lowered to less than 50%. At that level of humidity, mold cannot grow.
A portable dehumidifier would be placed in the bathroom whenever you are done showering. A dehumidifier is the most effective way to reduce humidity in the bathroom.
- Remove all hidden damp places – mold hide under wallpapers, fabric curtains, and even bathroom rugs. Mold like to grow under or on these items in the bathroom. It is important if you have a bathroom rug or fabric curtain you wash it as often as possible.
You can also control the level of mold growth by ensuring that there is enough lighting in the bathroom. Mold like to grow in humid and dark places.
Removal of mold from the bathroom.
Once you have implemented all of the above measures you will be sure that your bathroom environment is not suitable for mold growth. This because you will have cut out all causes of mold growth. At this point now you need to clean out all the existing mold in the bathroom.
If you can clearly spot the mold growth spots in the bathroom can use a cloth, sponge or a brush to scrub off the mold from the bathroom surface. You can use the following cleaning product when removing mold:
It is important to note that when removing mold:
- You should never touch the mold with your bare hands. You should always wear protective gloves. The gloves should be made of either PVC, nitrile, neoprene or natural rubber. We recommend that the gloves should extend to the middle of the forearms.
- Depending on the size of the mold infestation and the type of disinfectant you are using you may need to wear a respirator to avoid the toxic fumes.
- You should also never mix cleaning products. Mixing cleaning products can lead to the production of hazardous flumes that can be poisonous to inhale.
- Wear goggles to protect your eyes from coming into contact with the cleaning products.
When should you call a professional?
- If the area with the mold infestation is over 10 square feet.
- When you ascertain that the mold has seeped into the bathroom walls.
- When you note that after trying several cleaning methods over a period of time the mold is still growing.
- If you find mold in your vent or air conditioning system.
- If you do not feel comfortable removing the mold.
If the mold cannot be removed from the surface, you may need to remove the tiles and replace them with new ones as a last resort.
How to clean your bathroom and to keep it dry.
- To ensure that there is zero growth mold in your bathroom you will be required to clean the bathroom as often as you clean the rest of the house, assuming you do it at least once a week.
- You should allow using a glass cleaner spray to clean the bathroom mirrors and windows.
- Spray an all-purpose bathroom cleaner all over the bathroom surface. It acts as a disinfector cleansing the surface of all mold spores and bacteria.
- Keep the towels in the bathroom hung up and those not in use in the towel closet.
- Keep the sinks and bathroom surface as clean and dry as possible use paper towels to dry off any water on the sink and also wipe off any lingering water in the bathtub.
- Often wash your bathroom fabric curtain and bathroom rug to ensure mold does not grow on or under them.