6 Steps to Prevent Mould in Your Bathroom
Despite regular cleaning mould can always occur in areas of high humidity around the home. Baths and showers create warm, moist air that condenses on cold surfaces providing the ideal breeding ground for the fungi that produce mould spores.
The following steps will help prevent mould from taking root in your bathroom.
1. Extract Moist Air
Opening the bathroom window is not an efficient way of getting rid of condensation, as it can simply blow the moist bathroom air into the rest of the house. Mould will not grow on a dry surface so ensure you have an extractor fan fitted in your bathroom that will expel the moist air outside.
2. Rent a Dehumidifier
The majority of mould problems are caused by condensation, and most condensation is caused by poor ventilation. A dehumidifier will condense moisture out of the air in your home and store it as water in a reservoir, which must be emptied regularly. Renting a dehumidifier for a few weeks from a local tool hire company will soon establish whether you have a condensation problem or not.
3. Remove Carpets
Stepping onto carpet when getting out of the bath or shower can lead to it getting wet, which will keep the humidity level high in the bathroom. Look into alternative bathroom floor coverings that do not absorb water.
4. Remove Pot Plants
Pot plants need to be watered regularly, keeping the soil moist. This is an ideal breeding ground for mould producing fungi so keep them out of the bathroom.
5. Check For Leaks
A constant but small leak can lead to untold damage if left unchecked. Ensure all pipe-work is bone dry (especially around connections). Have a close look around the shower tray and bathtub to make sure that all of the seals are still intact. Mould growing in the silicone seal itself usually (but not always) indicates that moisture has got behind the seal. Ceramic tiles use grout to seal between each tile but grout comes in various formulations - many of which are not waterproof. Also the application of grout can result in small pinholes or tiny areas where the gap is not filled totally allowing water to get through behind the tiles. Many leaks in showers are actually caused by grout failure rather than plumbing problems.
6. Install Surfaces That Do Not Harbour Mould
Ceramic tiles are commonplace in most bathrooms but are cold to the touch, attracting condensation. Although the tiles are waterproof the grout used between the joints can retain moisture and lead to mould growth.
Plasterboard (drywall) ceilings and walls can suck in moisture if they come into contact with water, enabling mould to grow even if the surface looks dry.
A modern alternative to these products is bathroom cladding. This is a form of waterproof wall panelling that is warm to the touch, so condensation will not form on it. Bathroom cladding uses no grout - each panel slots into the next using a tongue and groove system - so there is nowhere to harbour moisture.
Following these steps should lead to a mould free bathroom.