While it’s a natural presence in the air, mold presents a number of problems for everyone. When growing on the walls or floors, it consumes the cellulose within the building materials, causing staining, warping and even weakening of the property structure. You will also notice a musty smell, particularly if the mold covers a large area.
Mold can also trigger numerous health issues for everyone, especially for those with asthma and compromised immune systems. Elderly adults, babies and young children, and those with compromised immune systems face also face a higher risk. Exposure to mold growth can result in itchy eyes and throat, coughing, headache, rashes and even a respiratory infection.
How and Why Mold Grows in Your Bathroom
So with mold being problematic, why is it growing in your bathroom? Mold grows in your bathroom because this area often contains excess moisture, an important ingredient for it to grow. It feeds off the moisture and organic material – known as cellulose – contained within your porous materials.
Porous materials can include any of the following:
- Ceiling material
- Wood flooring
- Clothing and towels
So how does mold grow on these materials? Well, there are microscopic mold spores floating everywhere in the air; they are a natural presence as a necessary ingredient to break down organisms. When moisture is detected, the spores will naturally flock to the area and form a colony, thus, mold growth is formed.
Mold growing in your bathroom is particularly common if you don’t have adequate ventilation, such as not running an overhead fan or opening a window after showering. The steam is left to condense on the walls and attract the mold spores and there you have it. In fact, mold can grow in as little as 24 hours after the water beads sit on the walls.
How to Prevent Mold from Growing in the Bathroom
The best way to prevent mold from growing in your bathroom and anywhere else in your home is moisture control. If you keep the air flowing throughout the room and prevent moisture from accumulating, especially after taking a shower, you shouldn’t have to worry about mold.
Here are some additional steps to keep in mind when preventing mold from growing in your bathroom:
- Don’t leave any damp clothes or towels on the floor; hang them up to dry
- Wipe down any walls with condensation
- Turn on the overhead fan before taking a shower
- If there is a window in the bathroom, open it to let the steam flow out
- Fix any water leaks, such as a dripping shower head or faucet
- Wipe up any puddles on the floor after showering
- Keep the shower curtain stretched out across the tub to allow it to dry out after showering
If you are particularly wary of mold growing in your bathroom, you can always paint over the walls with mold-resistant paint; however, it wouldn’t protect against mold growing on the ceiling, floor or doors.
You could also run a dehumidifier in the bathroom if you don’t have an overhead fan or window in the bathroom. This is a great way to prevent moisture from settling on the walls and floors.
Removing Bathroom Mold
Generally, it’s never recommended to remove mold yourself due to the dangers of the job, however, if its covering a small area on your shower tiles, it can be easily removed with the right materials.
Before starting the cleaning job, it’s highly recommended to use a breathing mask, eye wear and gloves to prevent any spores from triggering allergies or breathing issues. Keep in mind that mold is a living organism and will protect itself if threatened by dispersing spores as a defense tactic.
But once you are wearing the proper equipment, simply add a small amount of vinegar to a spray bottle with water and spray a generous amount onto the affected surface. Then use a scrub brush to scrape away the mold. Pay extra attention to the grout or cracks of the shower tile as mold loves to hide in small crevices. Be sure to wash the remains away with water. You may have to repeat the process a few times until it’s all gone, but with a little persistence you should have success.
Professional Mold Removal Services
If the mold has already affected the walls, floors or any surface other than the shower tile, it’s time to call in a professional. Again, it’s important to leave large areas affected by mold to a licensed mold remediation contractor because of the dangers and difficulty of removing all parts of the mold.
Even with the right equipment, over-the-counter products are not effective to remove mold at the source. If any spores remain in the area, it will simply grow back any you have the same problem again. Also, if there is still moisture present in the area, such as not fixing a shower leak or not airing out the steam from the bathroom, it will invade other areas as well.
A professional mold removal service uses personal protective equipment, including eye wear, gloves and a mask to protect themselves from the dangerous spores. Some even use hazmat suits. Then they will set up a containment chamber within the bathroom to prevent the spores from spreading during the removal process.
Finally, using advanced products and methods specifically designed to remove mold at the source, they will treat all areas and even apply anti-microbials to help inhibit future growth.
If you are located in the Lincoln, Omaha or Grand Island, NE area, ServiceMaster is always available to remove mold growth. Providing mold removal, water damage restoration and so much more, you can count on our expects to follow the process explained above as well as guarantee your satisfaction so you can have peace of mind knowing the mold won’t return in the future.
Get a Free Estimate
For a free estimate on our mold removal services in the Lincoln, Omaha or Grand Island, NE areas, contact ServiceMaster.