Mold grows in places that are damp and dark, and bathrooms often become breeding grounds. Mold can look and smell bad, and can also cause serious respiratory problems if it goes unchecked.
If you struggle with this common problem, you may be able to solve it by taking some simple steps. To prevent mold, consistency is key. Moisture in the bathroom will always be an issue, but changing your habits can help you keep mold away.
After you shower or take a bath, moisture can linger in the bathroom and allow mold to grow. Lack of ventilation can contribute to the problem. If your bathroom has a window, open it to allow moisture to escape.
A ventilation fan pulls moisture out of the air and directs it to the outdoors. When you shower or take a bath, turn on the ventilation fan. Leave it on for 30 minutes after you have left the bathroom so it can continue to dry out the room.
If the fan in the bathroom does not remove moisture from the bathroom efficiently, it may not be strong enough for the size of your bathroom. You may have to upgrade to a more powerful fan to keep moisture at bay.
If your bathroom has tile, use grout sealer to waterproof it. After you take a shower or bath, use a squeegee to remove most of the water from the walls. When you aren’t using bottles of shampoo, bodywash, etc., store them outside of the shower. That can give them an opportunity to dry out so mold won’t grow on them.
Moisture can come from other sources as well. A leak from a pipe, sink or toilet may be the source of the problem. If you notice a leak in the bathroom, even a minor one, get it fixed as soon as possible. Ignoring it or waiting to deal with it will only allow the problem to get worse.
Mold can also grow if fabric gets wet and isn’t dried out. Wash and dry the bathmat, rug and towels at least once a week. Use a shower curtain that is designed to resist mildew and wash or replace it often.
Control the amount of humidity in the rest of the house. Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner, if necessary, to keep the humidity level below 50 percent.
How to Get Rid of Mold
If your bathroom already has mold, you may be able to clean it yourself if it’s limited to a small area. Bleach, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide may be effective, but don’t mix them together, as they are toxic when combined.
Mold can form in places where it isn’t visible. It may be hidden under the sink, around fixtures in the shower, around an exhaust fan and inside the walls.
If mold affects a large area, you may have to hire a professional to deal with the issue. It may even be necessary to tear out walls to eliminate all the mold.