A Moisture Trap
If you’ve never seen mould in your bathroom, you’re either a truly fastidious cleaner or you’re simply not looking hard enough. It’s one of the most common cleaning problems in the house. This is because the bathroom often provides the ideal conditions for mould to grow – much of the time there is warm, humid air and lots of moisture in a small space with little ventilation, and this is the best way for mould to grow.
Sometimes mould is misidentified simply as a build-up of dirt or a stain, so it’s worth knowing exactly how to spot mould and what you should do about it if you find it. Here, contributor Mike James worked with The Bathroom Discount Centre to determine the most common causes of mould, how you can treat it but also perhaps more importantly, how to stop the mould from developing in the first place.
Common causes of bathroom mould
As a rule, mould occurs when moisture is able to build up over a period of time. Commonly you will see lingering moisture build up in a bathroom simply as a result of humid air or even just from water splashes from a shower or bath. One problem is when shower heads are jetting water in strange directions (usually as a result of not being cleaned properly) – this can lead to water hitting parts of the bathroom that are not really designed to deal with his level of moisture, or are hidden from view.
Mould can also be the result of leaks and issues with plumbing. So if you are finding mould in unexplained places, it may be that you have a leak somewhere that is causing a small amount of moisture to be released.
Is bathroom mould dangerous?
The truth is that while mould may be a very unwelcome addition to your bathroom, the vast majority of types of mould are not dangerous. However, this may not be the case for people with a weakened immune system, with asthma, babies and the elderly, as even standard mould can be a real irritant.
It’s also worth noting that there are some very rare forms of mould that can cause serious health problems, even for fit and healthy people. Often referred to as ‘black mould’, these substances can cause flu-like symptoms and even other ussies such as dizziness, skin rashes and fungal infections. However, these forms of mould are very rarely seen – even those many kinds of mould are black in colour, they are not especially dangerous.
Preventing the development of mould
Undoubtedly the best way to deal with mould is to not allow it to develop at all. As we already, mentioned, bathrooms present ideal conditions for mould to develop so this may be easier said than done, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take simple steps to help ensure that mould has a tougher time than usual.
The first thing to note is that if you want to prevent mould you need to allow for as much ventilation as possible, especially when you have a bath or shower. Open a window or use a ventilation fan whilst you shower or bathe and leave it open or on for at least half an hour afterwards. If you have a regular problem with mould and don’t have a ventilation fan, you should certainly look at having one installed.
You should also use a mildew-resistant shower curtain and wash it frequently, along with any bathroom rugs. Finally, make sure there are no places for mould to grow that you can’t see. For example, mould often grows behind bottles of shampoo and other bathroom paraphernalia.
How to get rid of mould
Generally as long as the mould infestation isn’t huge, you should be able to deal with it fairly easily. First you should start by simply cleaning the affected area with a substance that kills mould. Diluted vinegar is an effective way to eliminate mould on a non-porous surface. If the mould has seeped into caulking, it may be necessary to remove this and replace it.
However, if mould is widespread and is growing from the walls or insulation then it may be time to call in professional help to get the issue sorted. The more serious the mould problem, the more likely you are to develop health problems, so this is something that you really need to deal with as soon as possible.