How And Why Mold Spreads In Your Bathroom
June 19, 2016 / Mansfield

Mold is a fungus that can become problematic in your home, especially in the bathroom. Not only is it unsightly but can cause a variety of health conditions as well as structural damage to your house. But how and why does mold grow specifically in the bathroom and what can you do to prevent it?

How Does Mold Grow?

Mold reproduces by releasing tiny, microscopic spores into the air. These spores are all around us and require the smallest amount of moisture to take hold. Warmth also contributes to mold growth and will speed up the process. The fungus can appear within 48 hours of spores landing on a moist surface at an ideal temperature.

Black mold growing on shower tiles in bathroom

Black mold growing on shower tiles in bathroom

Mold also needs food to continue to grow. Any organic matter in an environment will feed the mold and cause it to spread rapidly. Dust is one of the primary food sources for mold in the home.

>> Interesting fact! It is estimated that around 70% to 80% of dust is made up of human skin – a great food source for mold.

Why Does Mold Grow In Your Bathroom?

Moisture and heat that is present in your bathroom causes a humid environment that is ideal for mold spores to begin to grow. This ideal habitat is created every time you take a bath or shower, or simply wash your hands or face in warm water in the bathroom sink.

Other microscopic organisms and dust in the air and on the surfaces in your bathroom then feed the mold, resulting in it spreading rather rapidly.

How To Prevent Mold Accumulating In Your Bathroom?

There are a number of ways in which you can prevent mold growth in the warm and wet conditions of your bathroom:

– The most important step you can take is to eliminate moisture. Make sure that all surfaces are dry after a bath, shower or wash and allow fresh, clean air to circulate around the room. All bathrooms should have an exhaust fan to remove moisture.

– Eliminate the food source by ensuring that the surfaces in the bathroom are clean and free of any bacteria, dust or other organic material. Bleach or antibacterial cleaning agents are ideal. Pay special attention to corners, ridges and niches where bacteria, dust and mold spores can accumulate.

– Repair any leaks or damp areas that could allow water or moisture to accumulate. Make sure that the drains in the bathroom are draining effectively and cleaned regularly.

– Use mold-resistant paint in the bathroom.

How To Get Rid Of Mold?

Unfortunately it can be very difficult to get rid of mold once it has taken hold and started to spread. Why? Because when you try to scrub, scrape or wash it away, more spores are released which simply exacerbates the problem.

Mold and scale on old bathroom walls

Mold and scale on old bathroom walls

If you have just started to notice mold in small patches you can use bleach, hydrogen peroxide, ammonia or a mold cleaning agent to kill the mold before scraping or scrubbing it away. It is best to simply discard any fabric items such as towels, bathroom mats or shower curtains that have become susceptible to mold.

>> TIP: Never mix ammonia and bleach! Highly poisonous gases are produced and are extremely dangerous. When using any type of chemical, be sure that there is proper ventilation and wear a respirator to protect yourself.

If you tend to smell mold and mildew but can’t see any mold, you may need to hire a home improvement or mold remediation expert to find where the source is. If you have water leaking behind a wall, this could be the ideal breeding place for mold to grow.

Creating a hygienic and dry environment is the most effective way to prevent mold from accumulating in your bathroom. All bathrooms should be equipped with an exhaust fan to eliminate moisture.

The author of this article, R.S. Hall, is the owner of several successful businesses and the publisher of the website which provides solutions for mold problems.