About 60% of your body is water. About 70% of the earth’s surface is water. We also invite a lot of water into our homes; each person uses an estimated 80-100 gallons per day. And there is about a 99% chance that extra moisture in your bathroom is encouraging indoor mold, even in the cleanest of homes.
Bathrooms have the perfect combination of high moisture, low natural light and poor ventilation which can create an optimal opportunity for mold and mildew. For example, after your daily shower, mold spores have ample moisture to start growing. And since you don’t usually open up the shower curtain until the next day, they also have time to continue to grow, undisturbed. Since mold isn’t always visible and obvious; here are some tips to managing your risk:
Every bathroom of the house needs an effective ventilation fan. Vents work by sending the moisture-saturated air outside; it’s the first line of defense against moisture and mold. But make sure your fan actually exhausts outside through the roof or a side soffit and not into the attic. Don’t encourage moisture into an unconditioned space, and you might be spreading even more trouble.
The CFM (cubic feet per minute) label on your fan will tell you if it’s large enough for the space it is installed in. No installed exhaust fan? Keep the doors open when not in use and set up any movement of air to help dry out the bathroom. Even a desk fan on the vanity will help. With any style of fan, leave it on for 30 minutes after your shower.
Identify porous and nonporous materials in the bathroom:
Non Porous, hard, sealed surfaces like tile are great barriers to mold. However, grout (the dried paste in the cracks) is semi-porous and can support mold growth. If lots of molds have built up on your caulking, it’s probably because it’s spread deep into unseen spaces behind it. If so, re-caulking may solve the problem. (Check behind the toilet and under the sink, as well.)
Porous materials must always stay dry and ventilated. Soft materials like fabric, drywall, and wallpaper get damp and stay damp– the perfect breeding ground for mold.
Mold is alive and spreads by floating, airborne spores. And it can grow on any surface coated with organic matter: porcelain, plastic, copper, silicone. Mold doesn’t live on your shower walls, it actually lives on the deposited skin cells and soap residues. So you have to physically clean away the food source.
Soap and water work well, no need to over toxify the space. While bleach and peroxide remove the stain, they don’t kill the mold. As you clean, don’t scrape or brush mold spores with your hand; they will go airborne and find new places to colonize.
Pare down your bathroom ‘stuff.’ Clutter interrupts airflow and causes condensation to build up. All that moisture creates microclimates that feed mold growth. Only keep the essentials within the bathroom; remove the things you don’t use every day. Push large items away from vents and grilles to keep air circulating.
The surface of the sink and counters should be kept clean and dry. Inspect the toothbrush area, behind the toilet, and underneath the bathroom sink where cleaning supplies are stored. Ensure that all damp rags, clothes, towels or shoes are dry before storing.
After a bath or a shower, squeegee water off the shower walls to eliminate at least three-fourths of the moisture that supports mold and mildew growth.Open the shower curtain to let it dry. Mop any water spills on the floor and counters. Avoid piling in too many shampoo and body wash bottles. Remove loofahs, sponges and product bottles from the shower when not in use. All these are opportunities for moisture and mold spores to hide.
To keep your family’s home safe from mold, K-tech Kleening can help. The team of highly trained and certified technicians can handle any job, big or small. Whether you are in need of a bio-wash antimicrobial cleaning in one room or entire remediation of your home or business, K-tech has the equipment and the staff to put your worries at ease.
K-tech serves customers in Rhinelander with multiple offices and a 45-plus fleet of vehicles to reach outlying rural and metropolitan locations.