Finding mold in the bathroom is always a distressing thing. Some types of mold are more concerning than others, and you can test to see exactly which type you are dealing with. The important thing is to safely get rid of the mold and then prevent it from happening in the future.
You are probably going to need to consult a plumber to locate and repair some of the causes of water leaks in your home. WaterWork Plumbing is one of the premier plumbers in Detroit.
What is Mold?
A mold is a natural form of fungi – in the same family as mushrooms – that occur most often in damp places. There are many types of mold, and they exist to break down organic matter. That’s a good thing in nature – but not in your home.
Water leaks from old or improperly installed plumbing, high humidity in your home, and flooding are some of the reasons that you might find mold in your home.
Molds are a health hazard. You’ve probably heard about the dangers of toxic black mold, but all molds can cause respiratory symptoms. Allergic reactions can also include skin rashes and headaches. Those with compromised immune systems can become seriously ill. You do not want mold to gain ground in your home!
Bathrooms are often the perfect environment for mold to grow. Tubs, showers, sinks, and toilets are all sources of potential water leaks and moisture.
Unless you are dealing with toxic black mold or large amounts of mold, it’s a job you can do yourself. We’ll look at ways to do that below, but you can always call in experts to remove it if you don’t feel comfortable tackling it yourself. Mold remediation companies can be found in most cities.
How to Remove Mold in the Bathroom
There are commercial products for mold removal available at your local hardware store, but you can also use some regular household cleaners. Just remember that you can never mix bleach with ammonia or acids because that produces a dangerous gas.
Wearing gloves, eye protection, and a respirator are good safety precautions when removing mold. You will want to throw away any soft materials like carpet and drywall that are contaminated. There may be regulations about how to dispose of construction materials, so check with your local trash removal company.
Here are some recommended solutions for mold removal:
- Spray the area with a solution of 1 part chlorine bleach and 2 parts water, and let it sit for several minutes. If the mold doesn’t go away, you can scrub it with a brush. A final wash with soap and water should be all that’s required for simple molds. Be sure to rinse well, and then allow the area to dry thoroughly.
- White vinegar can be effective but will need to sit for longer before scrubbing and rinsing the area.
- A cup of white vinegar and a cup of borax powder added to a gallon of warm water works in the same way.
- Scrubbing grout with a paste of water and baking soda often works. Use a toothbrush to get into the grout lines.
How to Prevent Mold in the Bathroom
Keeping the bathroom dry is the most important step to preventing mold. Here are some steps to help you keep humidity down in the bathroom.
- Faithfully use the ventilation fan when bathing and showering, and for a while afterward. Replace fans that are not doing the job. You may need a larger, more powerful one than was initially installed. Fans are rated for the square footage of the room.
- Hot showers produce lots of steam, so moderate your water temperature to avoid adding extra humidity to the air.
- Use a squeegee on the shower stall after showering or bathing. Dry off shampoo bottles and the like, too.
- Don’t hang wet towels or rugs in the bathroom to dry. Wash them regularly and use the clothes dryer instead.
- Replace old silicone grout around tubs and toilets.
- House plants love humidity! The bathroom might not be the best place for them.
- Seal the grout between tiles so that moisture does not settle into it.
- Use the correct paint for bathroom walls. Semi- or high-gloss paints are moisture-resistant and easier to clean.
Ways a Plumber Can Help Prevent Mold
Dripping faucets and broken pipes need to be replaced promptly. Leaking toilets and those that run incessantly also need attention. Plumbing requires special tools and knowledge, so most people will call for professional help for these kinds of issues.
Sometimes the source of the problem is not immediately evident. A good plumber will check all the water and sewer lines including those in basements and crawl spaces. In multistory buildings, they will check those units above yours. An upstairs tenant might not even realize that they have a water leak until you report mold or water in your living space.
A sewer line inspection can give you information about the health of underground sewer lines. If underground breaks are located, they can be repaired so that water won’t continue to seep up into your home from below. Tree roots can grow into those lines, too, and can be removed with specialized equipment.
No one wants to discover mold in their bathroom, but it’s not the end of the world. Small problems are more easily fixed, so don’t ignore musty smells, drips, or the presence of mold in your bathroom.
When water and mold problems are taken care of quickly, the damage is minimized. A water leak that causes mold in your bathroom is a potentially serious problem, but it does not have to become a crisis. Pay attention to the little things so that they don’t become big problems later.
Often you can remove the mold yourself, and some issues can be quickly corrected. If you’ve been negligent in using the bathroom exhaust fan, or have been leaving wet towels hanging, you can take corrective action. If you’re handy with tools you could replace a dripping faucet while it’s still a small problem.
If the problem is more than you can tackle on your own, don’t hesitate to call in a professional plumber. In the Detroit, Michigan area, WaterWork Plumbing is ready to lend a hand in finding and fixing the cause of your water problems.