How To Prevent Bathroom Mold: 7 Easy Steps
The bathroom…just trying to keep it clean is enough of a burden. As it is arguably the one room within your home that is continuously hit with high moisture levels, combating the mold monster, once it’s allowed to move in, is often a very difficult task. It is always better to attack this annoying monster before it’s allowed to take up residence in your bathroom and prevent bathroom mold before it even starts. Eliminating bathroom dampness and moisture is the key to preventing mold growth from starting and more importantly, from spreading through your walls floors ceilings and air to other areas within your home, resulting in a more serious and costly cleanup. Here are 7 easy tips to help combat the bathroom mold monster and prevent any contamination before it starts:
1. Ventilate, Ventilate, Ventilate! This point can’t be stressed enough. Retaining moisture in your bathroom will encourage mold growth and it’s best to get the dampness out as soon as possible. Turn on your bathroom exhaust fan both during and after your shower! This will allow the fan to help circulate the air and reduce steam, allowing the bathroom to dry faster when you are finished. Just make sure that your fan is properly vented to the building exterior, and not just vented into the attic, so you are not simply moving the problem from one area to another. Opening a window in the bathroom can also help. Allowing fresh air in will also increase air flow and allow the bathroom to dry quicker.
2. Use that squeegee! By using a squeegee on the shower walls and any glass surface (like your shower doors), you can eliminate at least ¾ of the moisture present after a shower. Squeegee-ing the shower and doors can also help prevent hard water stains from forming and this makes bathroom cleanup much easier.
3. Seal your grout! If you have a tiled shower, make sure you seal the grout lines once a year with a proper grout sealer to effectively waterproof your tiles and prevent moisture from seeping through the grout. This prevents the mold monster from making an appearance behind your tiles and causing a much larger issue to deal with.
4. Let your shower curtain dry! If you use a shower curtain, it’s important to stretch it out fully across the length of the shower rod once you have finished showering. This simple task is effective in preventing mold from starting to grow in the folds of your shower curtain and will allow it to dry much faster.
5. Check for Leaks! Regularly check your bathroom for any signs of leaks or water intrusion. Make it a point to feel around the pipes and seals in your bathroom. Check under the sink for moisture or drips and feel around the toilet for any signs of leaks. Doing a regular check of the plumbing in the bathroom will allow you to catch any problems before moisture is allowed to accumulate and any mold is allowed to develop.
6. Clean and dust your bathrooms regularly. I know, it’s not fun, but cleaning your bathroom at least one a week will help keep the mold monster out! Dust acts as a food source for mold and with the added moisture in a bathroom this becomes a mold growth super combination! Clean your bathroom walls by spraying an all-purpose cleaner on them and then wiping the surface areas down with a sponge. This is great for all bathroom surfaces including the toilet, bathtub and sinks. Just remember to allow the cleaning product to properly disinfect where you spray before wiping it away with a sponge or cloth. Washing your cloth shower curtain weekly is also a great idea. Throw it in the wash machine while you soak the plastic liner in the tub, with a water/bleach or water/cleaner solution, for 30 minutes to remove any mold spores that may have already started to settle in.
7. Use proper paint! When painting your bathroom, use proper kitchen/bathroom paint on the wall surfaces, or make sure to use a semi-gloss that is easy to wipe down. Semi-gloss paints, and paints specifically designed for the kitchen and bathroom are easier to clean, more resistant to stains and create a surface on the walls that makes it harder for mold to start to grow.
These 7 simple steps will go a very long way in helping to prevent any mold growth from being allowed to take hold in your bathroom. If you find that your bathroom is still retaining moisture after 5-10 minutes after your shower, your fan may be under specked for the size of the room. Make sure you are using the right fan capacity for your bathroom. If, after doing all these steps, you are still seeing regular signs of mold developing in your bathroom, or other areas within your home, you may want to consult the services of a specialized mold inspection and testing provider to help you determine the location and cause of any contaminations.