9 Tips To Keep Your Home And Bathroom Safe From Mold
- Plumbing Services
Whether you like it or not, if someone were to imagine the perfect incubator for mold to grow in, it would probably be your bathroom. Everything that mold needs to flourish and spread is abundantly available in most bathrooms.
We all know that mold likes moisture and there’s no greater source than a steamy shower, leaky toilet or dripping water pipes. Mold also flourishes in dark places. You certainly don’t leave the bathroom lights on 24 hours a day, and it’s always dark behind the sheetrock. For food sources, mold can consume drywall, cotton, wallpaper and many other products found in the average bathroom. Yes, bathrooms are veritable breeding grounds for mold and that fact puts your health and home at risk.
In order to prevent harmful molds from taking root in your bathroom, you’ll need to get into consistent routines about thoroughly running ventilation fans, using mold killing products and most of all keeping your bathroom as dry as possible. If you allow mold to establish itself, you and your family could suffer significant health issues. And as a homeowner, there’s a strong possibility you will face costly remediation and a diminished property value.
We hear quite a bit about “black mold” in the media and how dangerous it can be to human beings. That’s not hype. Mold can have significant and even fatal effects on you and your family.
Mold is among the most common causes of allergic reactions. It grows and spreads allergens that can make you feel generally unwell. Because it’s difficult to identify as a source, families can suffer negative health affects for long periods of time. Even though your home appears clean, the allergens can become airborne and deteriorate the air-quality of your entire living space. They also cause coughing, sneezing, eye irritation and flu-like symptoms.
Children with asthma are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of mold. It tends to heighten asthma-related symptoms and has the potential to cause fatal attacks in the young. For people with weakened immune systems due to old age, chemotherapy or illness, mold has been strongly linked to upper respiratory infections and can also damage the lungs of infants. In terms of protecting yourself and your family, consider mold an intruder that’s putting you all in harm’s way.
One of the misconceptions about mold is that it’s plant-like. It’s really not. Mold is a fungus, a living organism that can root itself in your home. And that’s bad. Once it has established itself in your bathroom, it can spread inside the walls. Mold loves dark places and once it’s behind the drywall, there’s really no stopping it.
Mold can expand its base by a few feet every week if it is fed by leaking pipes and steady moisture. Proper remediation will likely mean tearing out every inch of the infected area and could easily cost several thousands of dollars.
And even though you pay for the costly cleanup, many states require that you disclose that the home had a problem. That fact could hurt your ability to sell the home at even average market value.
There’s nothing you can do about the bathroom being warm, dark or having materials that mold likes to eat. However, there are plenty of simple things you can do to stop a potential infestation.
- Seal all of the cracks and gaps in your tile. As grout ages it can flake and chip away. Key areas are where the tub or shower meets the floor and walls. That’s where moisture can seep through. Water can also filter under and behind your vanity. Keep in mind that condensation can accumulate on sink pipes.
- Always run ventilation fans while bathing or showering and for 30-45 minutes afterwards to remove excess moisture. A good measure is to add a timer that you can set and forget. It will help with consistency.
- Squeegee water off the shower and bath walls after use. That will eliminate 3/4 of the moisture that supports growth.
- Whenever possible, open windows while showering to draw out excess moisture. And don’t hesitate to let in fresh air during dry weather days.
- Stretch out your shower curtain after showering. This will help prevent mold from growing in the damp folds.
- Clean your bathroom once a week with an all-purpose cleaner. This will stop mold before it gets started.
- Make regular checks of the bathroom fixtures for leaks. Key areas that go unnoticed are the water supplies behind the toilet and seepage at its base.
- Address slow draining pipes. They could be ripe areas to spur on mold growth.
- Make sure your walls are painted with a bathroom-grade product. Gloss or semi-gloss paints are stain resistant and easy to keep clean. This will make it more difficult for mold to grow.
By taking precautionary measures, your home can be safe from dangerous mold. You’ll be protecting the substantial investment you’ve made into your property. And most importantly, you’ll be taking steps to ensure the health of yourself and your loved ones. Don’t allow mold come like a thief in the night and rob you of those things.