Preventing Bathroom Mold

Not only does bathroom mold look unsightly and give your bathroom an unpleasant musty odor, it can also make you sick. Exposure to mold in bathrooms is associated with respiratory disorders, trouble breathing, asthma attacks, allergic reactions, and other health problems.

Common Types of Mold Found in Bathrooms

Bathrooms provide an ideal environment for mold, since they tend to be warm and damp. There are many different types of mold commonly found in bathrooms, including the following. 

Alternaria is a type of mold frequently found in showers, behind leaky toilets, and under sinks with leaky pipes. Many people are allergic to alternaria and it can also cause asthma attacks.

Botrytis is commonly found in bathrooms with poor ventilation, and like alternaria, it can cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks.

Cladosporium is a type of mold sometimes found on carpet in bathrooms and also on wooden surfaces, like bathroom cabinets, that have gotten damp. It can cause respiratory disorders and difficulty breathing.

Stachybotrys chartarum, sometimes called black mold or toxic mold, is found in places that stay damp a lot, like poorly ventilated bathrooms. It can cause numerous respiratory problems, including pneumonia and bleeding in the lungs.

Trichoderma can sometimes be found on damp carpet and wallpaper in bathrooms. It can cause respiratory problems similar to those caused by stachybotrys chartarum. In addition, many people are allergic to trichoderma.

Preventing Mold in Bathrooms

To prevent bathroom mold:

  • Turn on an exhaust fan or open a window a few inches when showering, since the steam from a hot shower creates the type of warm, humid environment that encourages mold growth.
  • Wipe up any water that spills or splashes on the floor immediately.
  • Don’t use carpet in bathrooms. Use throw rugs instead, which can be hung up to dry if they get damp. Make sure you do hang them up if they get damp; also dry the floor under them if it is damp.
  • Check for leaks behind the toilet and under the sink regularly and repair any leaks promptly. You can also put water leak sensors in these areas to alert you of any leaks.
  • Check your grout regularly for any signs of cracking or weakness. If water gets behind your tiles you can get mold inside the walls.
  • Use mold resistant paint, available at most home improvement stores in a wide array of colors, on bathroom walls.
  • Install a dehumidifier in bathrooms with showers/baths. Get one with an auto-control feature so it monitors the humidity and goes on and off as needed. Here is more on selecting the right dehumidifier.
bathroom grout with moldBathtub grout with mold

Getting Rid of Bathroom Mold

If you do find mold in your bathroom, take care of it as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse or spreading to other areas of the home. Of course, cleaning it up promptly can save you and your family members from getting ill, as well.

Many bathroom cleansers are meant to kill mold and mildew. These usually work well on surfaces like tubs, sinks, toilets, and tile. You can also purchase antimicrobial products at home improvement stores that will kill all kinds of mold on many bathroom surfaces.

However, some surfaces are more difficult to clean than others. If you have mold on your bathroom carpet, you’ll probably have to rip up the carpet and replace it. Better yet, pull up the carpet and replace it with tile or linoleum that will be less likely to harbor mold in the future and that can be more easily cleaned if it does get moldy.

It can be very difficult or impossible to remove mold from drywall, too, and if there is mold on your bathroom walls, there may be mold inside the walls, as well. Often insulation and drywall must be removed and replaced.

If you have a significant amount of mold in your bathroom, you should consult with a mold remediation professional before beginning the cleanup process. You can schedule a free in-home consultation with a professional, so you have nothing to lose. Follow the link to find experienced mold remediation professionals in your area.

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