Bathrooms are prime victims when it comes to mould infestations. It is almost inevitable, especially in older houses, because of the high levels of moisture circulating the area. When you do notice the signs of mould, it is vital to take steps to combat the problem so it cannot lead to any bigger consequences. This post focuses on mould in bathrooms, how to spot it and what to do if you see patches appearing.
What is Household Mould?
Household mould can appear on a range of surfaces including tile, wallpaper, paint, wood, and most ceiling types. It also sometimes occurs on carpets and upholstery if left in damp conditions. It is essentially a fungus that feeds and grows on dead organic components. For mould to take hold, the conditions have to be moist, humid, and mostly warm. You can procure an independent survey to ascertain the presence of dampness in a house so that you are better aware of any potential risks and problems before you buy a property.
The Common Causes of Bathroom Mould
Figuring out what is causing your bathroom mould is helpful when finding ways to tackle the issue and finding the most effective solution. There are several common causes that can make mould appear in your bathroom, so it will be a process of elimination without an independent damp survey. The common culprits are explored in more detail below.
Condensation is unavoidable inside your bathroom to a certain extent. It happens when cold surfaces are hit by warmer air which then contrasts and causes moisture drips known as condensation. The water vapour in the air returns to its full liquid form and can cause some serious problems. The moisture has nowhere to go so it builds up on your surfaces which can then lead to a mould build-up. So, because in bathrooms there is a lot of moisture, for example, from showers or baths, and a lot of cold surfaces mixed with warm air, the formula is perfect and it will be an ongoing occurrence.
Can You Stop Condensation in Bathrooms?
No! You cannot realistically stop condensation from appearing in your bathroom. Instead, you have to put management strategies in place to limit the spread and aftereffects. You can, however, slow condensation down and divert it away from your bathroom areas by doing the following:
- Keep the door fully shut when showering so warm air can’t escape as easily, therefore spreading the problem all around your house.
- Open a window after a shower or bath so the air has a way of exiting the room and finding a new direction.
- Install good ventilation systems and switch them on during bathroom time.
Next, we move on to humidity. Much like condensation, humidity is unavoidable because the air tends to get warm during bathing routines. It comes as a result of steam in the air, and it is a natural occurrence in all bathrooms around the world. It is very similar to condensation and is a direct cause as well, so the methods of prevention and action are much the same too. Open the windows, get an extractor fan and use it, and consider a shower unit with a door.
Three: Lack of Ventilation
If there is a lack of ventilation in a bathroom, mould will definitely appear. When there is nowhere for humidity to turn to, it stays within the confines of where it appears. It builds up and builds up until mould starts to grow, and then you have a completely different issue on your hands.
How to Ventilate a Bathroom
Thankfully, there are easy ways to add some ventilation to any bathroom:
- Install a window if there isn’t one already. Opening a window after every shower or bath will bring fresh air into the room and allow steam or similar to move out. Frosted glass is a great option for bathrooms because it allows the space to stay private and is highly efficient.
- Consider upgrading your extractor fan as this is the most direct way to actively ventilate a bathroom. These devices push and pull the air as needed and can be switched on to help counteract the negative effects every time you shower.
Four: Rising Damp
Rising damp could also be the cause of mould in bathrooms. Though less obvious and less common than the other reasons above, it can still be a real issue if left unnoticed and unchecked. Before you buy any house in London, damp surveys are the clear choice to identify the problem and help form a plan of attack. Rising damp might happen if there are hidden leaks in your plumbing system. It is noticed most commonly on internal walls, and you will see it by its distinctive markings. It makes walls look discoloured and flaky and causes mould patches too. You have the option of insulating any single skin walls and looking into further insulation as well for the ceiling as this often helps to combat damp problems from causing mould.
Why You Should Be Mindful of Mould
Mould is well known to cause health problems if it is left to fester. It is directly linked to respiratory issues, worsening asthma, persistent coughs, and allergies. People in high-risk categories like the elderly and young children should be kept out of mouldy environments wherever possible until the problem has been eradicated.
Other Methods for Mouldy Bathrooms
Aside from the solutions listed above, there are other things to try too.
- There are lots of over-the-counter cleaning solutions that, when used correctly, are highly effective at cleaning and destroying mould spores. Always wear protective clothing such as something to cover the eyes, mouth, and nose, because inhaling these products or coming into contact with the mould is also harmful to health.
- Regular cleaning on a weekly basis will help.
- Stay away from wooden surfaces in a bathroom because these are vulnerable.
Mould in bathrooms is always going to happen. The conditions are too perfect for it not to grow, so everyone is bound to see it at some point in their life. As long as you take steps to prevent it, and deal with the problem immediately, your health and home should stay protected.