Common Sources of Mold in a Bathroom
There are only a few things in life that are certain and one of those is mold in the bathroom. You may have missed it, but chances are, some of it is there. It’s just the way it is. Having mold growths in bathroom is one of the most common household problems. Luckily, it’s the one that is easily solvable and also preventable.
So, what is mold? If you’ve noticed some black or dark, moss-green colored spots on the ceiling, some greyish build up around the base of your toilet or between the tiles – that is the mold. It’s nothing serious or life threatening, it’s just a fungus that likes to show up in dark, moist places. Unfortunately for us, bathrooms are damp and dark most of the time so it’ often thriving in those conditions.
Unless you let it grow and don’t do anything about it, this problem is pretty easy to solve. However, before we can learn how to deal with it, let us take a look at what causes it and how we can prevent it.
Condensation Is Not Your Friend
As we’ve said – mold is a fungus that like’s damp places that aren’t in direct sunlight. Since most of us don’t have large windows in our restrooms, for privacy reasons, there are lots of places where sun doesn’t shine and moisture accumulates.
If the bathrooms were dry, it wouldn’t be around. However, a dry lavatory does not exist. We bathe and shower in there, we brush our teeth, wash our hands etc. A lot of water is being used in the bathroom, so it’s natural that the humidity is elevated.
With that in mind, it’s safe to say that the most common cause for mold is moisture. When you exit the hot shower, the room is filled with steam that condensates on the walls, floors and the ceiling. Little droplets of water are everywhere. You cannot possibly wipe the whole bathroom after every shower, so what can you do? The room has to dry out somehow.
The worst thing you can do after leaving a hot, steaming shower is to close the bathroom door and leave it that way. You have to ventilate. Open up a window, leave the door open. Create the airflow any way you can so that it dries faster. This is the best way to prevent mold growth. Deprive the fungus of the main thing it needs to grow – moisture. To sum it all up – humidity and lack of ventilation are the ideal growing conditions, therefore, keep the doors and windows open and let the lavatory dry out. Condensation is not your friend.
Leaky Pipes Are Nothing Nice
Another thing that could be causing you problems even if you do everything we’ve just mentioned is leaks. If there’s any leakage behind the toilet, underneath the sink or directly from plumbing you could see significant mold growth. That’s why it’s also common to see the greyish buildup around plumbing pipes. Some if it is limescale and some of it is, in fact, mold. That happens when there are some minor leaks that we don’t notice.
If that is something you’ve noticed around your bathroom, it might be good to call a plumber. You don’t want to waste water or risk any significant damage a leak can do. Inspect those places we’ve mentioned, we don’t look at them often so we may not even know that there’s a problem with them.
Keep the Rugs and Wallpapers in the Dining Room
Yet another possible cause for the fungal growth in your restroom could lie in the stuff you have in the bathroom. Ideally, bathroom walls are covered in tiles. The water cannot penetrate, or stick to them so you don’t have any problems. However, if the wall is only partially covered in tiles and the rest of it is drywall or wallpaper – you could have a problem. Those materials aren’t non-porous, they absorb moisture – especially wallpapers. The wall under the wallpaper could be covered in moldy stains and you would even know it. So, if you can – remove the wallpaper from the walls. They just don’t belong in humid rooms.
Another thing that could be unintentional petri dish for fungal growth is the rug. If you have a rug in the shower room, chances are that thing is always somewhat damp and therefore convenient place for mold to grow. If you don’t like walking on tiles barefoot, get rubber slippers or use an old towel, remove the rugs from the washroom – it doesn’t belong there. Nothing absorbent ever does.
Now, let’s talk a little bit about what you can to prevent any of this from ever happening.
- Install a ventilation fan. If you already have it, you’re halfway done. Turn it on every time you go in to take a shower or a bath and leave on at least half an hour after you finish. If you cannot install a fan, do as we’ve previously said, open up either window or door to the lavatory and let it vent that way.
- If you absolutely have to have a rug inside a shower room, wash it at least once every two weeks. Have a spare one and switch them out while the other one is being washed.
- Don’t let everything just sit in the shower. Shower gel bottles, shampoo bottles, loofas and sponges – all of those things are like magnets for mildew. Wipe the bottles and leave them on a shelf and just throw away loofas and sponges – those things are anything but sanitary.
- Now, if the problems already there, prevention isn’t going to take you anywhere, but bleach, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide will. Not together, obviously. That combo doesn’t work well at all. However, any of those things by themselves can easily remove minor moldy spots.
- If the problem has gotten out of hand and you have a large area just covered in different colored fungi, call the mold removal professionals. That might not be the task you want to tackle yourself.
There you have it, those were some of the most common causes and a couple of tips on how to prevent or deal with mold.
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