Black Mold Growing Inside the Bathroom: What to Know
Black mold is a problem that affects many households, particularly properties located in states with high humidity levels.
This infestation can result from many things, including a lack of ventilation in bathrooms and kitchens or a hidden leaking pipe producing excess moisture.
Once the black mold is visible, the problem has established itself and will be tough to eliminate. Sometimes, this can require specialist remediation services.
Fortunately, there are ways to eradicate it and prevent it in the first place. Read what you need to know about black mold growing inside the bathroom.
Read more: How quickly does black mold grow?
What Is Black Mold?
Black mold is a fungus that can grow within the home environment, particularly in bathrooms and kitchens.
Unfortunately, black mold is a dual problem, the mold you can see and the dangerous spores you can’t.
The visible part looks unsightly. However, what’s more concerning is when the fungus releases spores into the environment, which can be dangerous to health.
Why Does Black Mold Grow in the Bathroom?
Mold requires two things to multiply quickly: moisture and warmth. A bathroom provides the ideal conditions for growth because it presents a humid, warm environment.
The fungus can develop within 48 hours in these conditions.
Black mold also needs organic matter to thrive. Think of that as food. Dust is one of the primary food sources for mold in the home.
Besides dust, organic materials like wood, wallpaper, grout, and porous surfaces also are inviting breeding grounds for mold.
Read more: How to remove mold from grout?
How to Spot Black Mold
Black mold is usually visible, but the problem is pretty established when you see it. The real problem is that the spores you can’t see will affect your health.
Sometimes, mold is not visible, but there is a lingering smell of dampness or mildew. If you cannot find the source, you may need to consult a remediation expert to trace the cause.
Fitted bathrooms are notorious for developing leaks in inaccessible places; underneath the shower, the mat is another favorite.
How to Get Rid of Black Mold in Your Bathroom
Black mold is difficult to eradicate. This is because when you clean it, the cleaning process releases more invisible spores into the atmosphere, actually making the problem worse.
Fortunately, there is a safe way to get rid of an infestation. Follow the steps below:
- Use protective gloves and a face mask, and keep the windows open to the outside. Use the exhaust fan while you clean to help get rid of the spores. The bathroom door should remain closed during cleaning to prevent airborne spores from spreading throughout the home.
- Scrub visible patches and stains with a brush, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or a cleaning agent. Remove the patches as soon as you notice them.
- All the bathroom surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned with an anti-mold agent and then well-dried. This includes surfaces that appear free of visible contamination too.
- Carefully dispose of the cloths and brushes once finished ensuring you don’t end up transferring microscopic spores to other household objects.
- If towels and bathmats are changed regularly, a hot wash should be sufficient in the laundry with an appropriate antibacterial detergent. However, shower curtains that remain in situ for extended periods should be discarded and replaced.
- Bathroom exhaust fans need care as well. The filter should be changed regularly after a de-mold cleaning session.
Remember when cleaning with products like ammonia or chlorine bleach to ventilate the room adequately and wear a proper face covering to prevent inhalation of vapors and gases and illness from chlorine exposure.
Black Mold Prevention
Air It Out
Adequate ventilation is critical in the bathroom to help avoid moisture build-up on tiles and surfaces.
Open windows regularly or fit an exhaust fan if the bathroom is en suite and lacks easy ventilation. Even bathrooms with good natural ventilation should have an exhaust fan as well.
You can also eliminate moisture by drying wet surfaces in the bathroom after a bath or shower.
Keep It Clean
Keep surfaces scrupulously clean and free of bacteria with regular cleaning.
Antibacterial agents or bleach are ideal, but if you don’t want to use chemicals, then a simple vinegar spray is also effective, to which you can add some essential oils like tea tree oil.
Cleaning must be thorough, so don’t overlook corners, ridges, and recesses that easily harbor dust and bacteria. A hotspot for mold growth is the grout on wall tiles.
Make It Uninviting (for Mold)
Black mold likes to adhere to limescale on surfaces, so fit a water filter to soften your water if you need it.
Mold-resistant paint can help repel the accumulation of spores and is a common choice when redecorating or re-fitting a bathroom.
Read more: Black mold on the bathroom ceiling
Black mold can be difficult to eliminate once it is visible in a bathroom. Targeted action is crucial to prevent a long-term problem.