Mold and mildew are common problems in any bathroom, but they are easy to prevent and cure, as long as you don’t let it get out of hand.
Mold loves damp, dark places, so naturally your bathroom is a perfect breeding ground. Without proper ventilation, one hot shower can get the walls dripping with moisture or prevent your bath rug from ever fully drying. These are ideal conditions for mold and mildew which can appear as black “gunk” in the grout of your bathroom floor, or green spots inside the bathroom vanity where the sink leaks. If not addressed right away, mold and mildew can become a major risk to your bathroom and your family’s health.
About Mold Growth in Bathrooms
Molds are microscopic organisms that contain enzymes and spores. In nature molds are helpful. They are responsible for breaking down toppled trees, dead animals, or rotten fruit and helping these things decompose – but indoors mold can get out of control and begin affecting the look, smell, and structural integrity of your home. Mold essentially eats away at the organic material it attaches to, whether it’s a toppled tree or the drywall behind your shower.
If you already have a mold issue, remodeling can help. You won’t know how bad the damage behind your shower or sink truly is until you remove them, but doing so will allow you to treat the damaged areas and start fresh. Be sure to call a professional to help with any extensive mold removal – mold can be dangerous, especially if you or a family member already suffers from asthma or other respiratory issues.
Ways to Prevent Mold & Mildew in Bathrooms
If you don’t have a mold issue, but you live in a humid climate and you know your bathroom is prone to excess moisture, take precaution to prevent mold and mildew before it starts. Here are some ways that you can prevent mold and mildew growth in your bathroom:
Ventilation: Prevent excess moisture by utilizing your bathroom ventilation fan whenever you shower or bathe. It’s a good idea to leave it on for at least 15 minutes after you’re done. If you don’t have an exhaust fan, talk to your local handyman or bath remodeler about installing one.
Damp Surfaces: Take a minute after your shower or bath to towel down wet walls and countertops.
Bath Mats or Rugs: Hang your bath mat or bath rug over the tub to dry when you’re done bathing. When you leave a damp rug on the floor it becomes a breeding ground for mold and can start to smell funny if you don’t wash it regularly.
Shower Curtains: Use a mildew-resistant shower curtain and wash it or replace it every three months.
Bathroom Cleaning: Clean your bathroom regularly and use a daily shower spray like Seventh Generation Daily Shower Cleaner to prevent soap scum build-up that can lead to mold. Added benefit, a daily shower cleaner will keep your bathroom smelling fresh and clean at all times. Check out our bathroom cleaning tips board on Pinterest »
Leaky Faucets and Pipes: Address leaky sinks or tubs ASAP. If your bathtub has a crack, water has been able to get between your bathtub and the drywall behind it/underneath it. Trapped moisture can quickly cause mold or mildew.