Have a Moldy Bathroom? How to Identify and Fix a Moldy Bathroom
Mold can be scary. In fact, you may have heard about “toxic” mold in the headlines lately. The good news is that no kind of mold is particularly toxic. The bad news is that any mold can cause health problems, especially for young children and people with asthma or other respiratory conditions.
So, how can you tell if there is mold in your bathroom?
The bathroom is one of the most common places to find mold, as the recipe for mold includes water, heat, and organic material. Organic material might be in the form of wood, but mold can also form on other surfaces if there is something for it to eat. In fact, there’s always going to be some mold in your home, but the key is keeping the level of it under control. Older homes are more likely to have problematic levels of mold. The following are signs that you may have a mold problem in your bathroom:
- Splotches of black, brown, or green on the tiles or sink.
- Either a musty smell (mold) or earthy one (rotting wood).
- Other signs of rotting wood such as loose tiles or spongy floorboards.
- The presence of ants in the bathtub or around/under the sink.
- Cracked caulking.
Any of these are signs that you have a mold problem. Sometimes the mold is visible, sometimes it is hiding in your walls or floor. As mold can cause long-term damage to furniture or structures or cause respiratory problems, it’s important to fix the mold issue quickly.
What to do if you find mold in your bathroom?
Surface mold can often be dealt with by cleaning, but if you suspect there’s mold under tiles or in your walls or floor then you may have no choice but to redo the wet area in your bathroom including wall surrounds and a new shower or tub.
Avoid the temptation to cheap out with the style of remodeling where the tub and tile are simply replaced on top of the old ones. All this does is seal the mold in with plenty of food, where it will continue to eat your home. Instead, you should get a new tub/shower and wall surround. Make sure to get a high-quality installation. Good installers will make sure that all mold is cleaned out.
Take Precautions to Make Sure the Mold Doesn’t Come Back
- If your bathroom has a window, keep the curtains open as much as possible. When the climate is favorable, open the window.
- Have a bathroom fan or active vent installed when you have your bathroom redone, if you don’t have one already. Always run it when showering or using the tub.
- Wipe down the tile after showering.
- If you have a bathroom rug, wash and dry it regularly to prevent mold growth.
- Use a mildew resistant shower curtain or add a mildew resistant liner. Wash shower curtains a couple times per year.
- Always hang towels up to dry and avoid leaving them in a washing hamper for any length of time. Towels sometimes benefit from being dried outside when possible (mold does not like sunlight).
- Reduce the amount of product you store in the bathroom and wipe down items frequently.
Some mold is inevitable, especially in older buildings, but replacing your old bathroom with a new one and then following good mold prevention technique will help make sure that your bathroom stays as mold-free as possible. Older homes are particularly vulnerable to mold spreading through the walls, so check your home for mold and consider updating your bathroom.
NEWPRO is a third generation family-owned and operated home improvement company with over 75 years of experience in New England. We offer premium, high-quality tub and shower replacement systems treated with an anti-microbial combined with expert installation, including making sure that we never seal mold in to eat your walls.