Ask the expert: why is there mold in my bathroom?

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Mold tends to appear and thrive in damp, damp and damp areas. While it’s most commonly found in bathrooms, mold does appear in basements and attics, and can also be found on porous surfaces like wood, concrete, and pavers. Indoors, mold thrives when damp areas are not properly ventilated; outdoors, it thrives when there is constant humidity, humidity and heat.

Mold is more noticeable in your bathroom due to the high humidity levels confined to this small space. It is found in the corners and bases of your shower, along tile joints and on caulk. Leaking toilets, sinks, and plumbing pipes also increase the likelihood of mold building up in your bathroom. Elements of wood, wallpaper and fabric will also help mold growth.

How do you know you have a mold problem? If you can see it or smell it, you have it. While bathroom mold is not always obvious to see, you should be looking under sinks, in access doors adjacent to your shower or bathroom, around exhaust fans, and even in crawl spaces or in the basement under your bathroom.

The best way to prevent mold is to prevent it from happening in the first place. If you have a bathroom exhaust fan, use it when taking a shower or bath and let it run for about 30 minutes after you leave the bathroom. Removing moisture from the bathroom is one of the best things you can do to reduce the chances of mold growth.

If you don’t have a bathroom exhaust fan, chances are you have a window. It’s a good idea to open your window to circulate the air and dry the room more effectively.

Try to dry toys, shampoo and shower gel bottles with a towel or even a paper towel before you leave the bathroom. Let the loofas dry outside the shower, as they provide additional surfaces on which mold can grow.

It is a good idea to dry damp towels outside of the bathroom. Place hooks behind your bedroom doors and dry towels for each person in their own bedroom. It will also offer the possibility of reusing the towels for the next time – this is environmentally friendly and a good green practice.

Remember to wash your bathroom rugs frequently. They are generally heavier than towels and retain moisture in the bathroom well beyond shower time. Over time, molds and germs can grow in the fibers, creating an odor and potential for mold growth.

Use mildew resistant shower liners and wash or replace them frequently. Try to stretch your shower curtain after you shower to prevent mold from growing in the folds.

Try to keep the humidity level in the house below 50%. Either your central air conditioning system, a nearby window unit, or a dehumidifier can help.

If you have a hand shower, rinse the walls and corners of your shower stall or tub to remove any excess soap, shampoo, and conditioner that might get stuck in the corners. The oils and wax in these personal care items trap mold if not properly rinsed off after showering.

Clean and dust your bathroom at least once a week, as dust is a food source for mold. When doing your weekly deep clean, use a spray bottle with a mixture of 70% water and 30% bleach and apply to walls. Leave on for 2 to 3 minutes then rinse with water. This will remove the mold spores.

Do you have mold? As long as the mold is on the surface and the infestation is not too bad, you can try to fix it yourself by cleaning your bathroom with anti-mold solutions and cleaners like water. Bleach, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Just be careful not to mix these products as they can cause a toxic reaction. By removing and replacing any caulk or sealant where you see mold, you will completely remove mold without having to clean it up. And finally, try opening windows and doors after cleaning to ensure ventilation and help dry surfaces faster.

Consider regularly checking your bathroom for leaks by feeling around the pipes and joints under your sink and near the toilet. If you notice your hands are wet, call a plumber before it gets worse. Clean your slow drains, as these can also cause mold to grow in your bathroom.

If it’s time to freshen up your bathroom, consider using a semi-gloss, moisture-resistant paint that’s easier to clean and creates a harder surface. This makes it more difficult for mold to grow.

If you have a mold affected area that is larger than 10 square feet, it is recommended that you call a professional who can help you identify the exact type of mold you are facing and what the appropriate reduction procedures are.

If you notice mold buildup on your walls or insulation, do not handle it yourself. Improper mold handling can lead to the release of mold spores all over your home, creating an even bigger problem than you initially had.

Max Mannino, President – Tri-Star Construction & Home Improvement

(718) 815-1800 www.tri-starconstruction.com

All of our experts are licensed, bonded and insured members of Staten Island Home Renovation Contractors (Staten Island HIC). Homeowners should always consult licensed professionals, verify a contractor’s license with the New York Department of Consumer Affairs (call 311 for more information), and ensure their project complies with NYC DOB regulations before to embark on a home renovation project. For more information contact us at (718) 356-2323 or visit www.hicofsi.org.

To ask your questions about home renovations, contact: [email protected].

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