Do you have mold lurking in your bathroom? It’s a common fear we hear from homeowners all the time. The fact is that because of the high levels of moisture in most bathrooms, mold growth is a constant threat.
But don’t fear. In this blog, we will lay out how you can deal with mold in the bathroom. And if you find mold in any of these common spots, we offer free initial consultations on mold remediation and moisture control.
Why Does Mold Grow in the Bathroom?
Very high humidity levels in the bathroom often create a place where humid moist air has no where to escape, it builds up – everywhere.
Once water vapor builds up enough it will start to drip onto the floor, and then might even fall, pooling in small puddles. Condensation will begin to creep onto the windows. Any exposed piping will begin to rust. Paint on walls or ceilings will begin to peel back, and then of course mold will thrive and grow.
Mold can form on areas of the ceiling and on the wood trim of the door frame. It can also get deep in the tile grout.
Often, homeowners use bleach to scrub the tile grout – but it is back within a few days because this is not an effective way to “clean” or “remediate” mold. It’s a problem that will never be solved unless someone puts a stop to this vicious cycle!
How to Keep Your Bathroom Mold-free
Exhaust fans – Use them!
Always turn your exhaust fan on before you start your shower and leave it on for 30 minutes after your shower. This will help move that humidity around and out.
If you don’t have an exhaust fan, have one installed. If you can’t afford to do that, crack a bathroom window open during and after your shower. I know, that’s not exactly ideal in the winter, but a slight crack will help move that heavy air!
Humidity – Reduce it!
Condensation building up on windows is a sign the humidity level is high. Ideally, the relative humidity reading for inside our home should stay somewhere between 30-50% – I can bet it’s higher than that over here is this bathroom! Hardwood stores normally sell humidity meters – also known as a ‘humidistat’ – in which you can take the readings yourself – they are fairly inexpensive too.
To also help keep humidity levels down, use a dehumidifier when needed – something worth mentioning about dehumidifiers: box store, low-end, consumer-grade, dehumidifiers are really not all that effective. Professionally installed, commercial-grade, built-to-last, dehumidifiers is what you’d want to look into.
Use exhaust fans whenever cooking (yeah those fans, normally located on your stove, aren’t just to help get rid of cooking smells!), running the dishwater etc. Again, if you don’t have an exhaust fan somewhere in your kitchen, crack a window – it will help!
Venting appliances that produce a lot of water vapor will help to decrease your humidity levels as well. So clothes dryers, and combustion appliances like stoves and kerosene heaters, ideally should all be vented outside!
Ventilation – Increase it!
Make sure the air has somewhere to go! Otherwise, you’ll run into some of the same problems my mother-in-law is having.
You can do this by either opening windows or doors when practical, and again, utilize your exhaust fan!
Water/Condensation build-up – remove it!
If you see condensation, moisture, droplets of water, etc. on windows, walls, shower tiling, or pipes you need to TAKE ACTION QUICK! Drying the wet surfaces can reduce the moisture or water source by 3/4! You should also insulate piping to avoid rust build up.
Bottom line on mold in the bathroom
If you walk into your bathroom (or any other room for that matter), and you notice a musty smell, feel significant dampness, or heavy air, something is not right! Do what I did today – play detective and look for possible signs, or problem areas that could be causing the musty smells, or the damp, heavy air!
And of course, if you just aren’t sure, and don’t want to take any chances, call a professional, and qualified water intrusion and mold expert.