Although keeping your bathroom clean is always necessary, did you know that it will not prevent mold? Mold is a function of high humidity, not cleanliness, and since the bathroom is one of the most humid rooms in our house—with the exception of the basement, perhaps—it is no surprise that our bathrooms are a haven for mold growth.
Preventing mold growth is a battle against humidity. The shower, the sink and the toilet cause humidity levels to rise and water can also soak into mats, towels and curtains. Taking a hot shower and closing the door can force water vapor to collect on walls, ceilings and floors. All of these factors cause the humidity in your bathroom to rise and create the conditions for mold to grow.
So what are some good ways to prevent mold from growing in the first place? Here are some tips:
Provide Proper Ventilation
The first line of defense in decreasing the humidity in your bathroom and preventing mold is employing the use of an effective fan. The vent will pull the moisture from your bathroom and expel it outside. Double check to make sure that the fan is powerful enough for your space.
Additionally, it is important to run the vent during the shower and bath, and not only then. The vent should also run at least 30 minutes after your shower is over. This prevents the dampening of your walls and ceiling mentioned above. Some fans even have a timer built to shut it off after a specified amount of time so you don’t even have to worry about turning it off!
Use a Squeegee
Perhaps you knew specialized squeegees for shower cleaning existed, but if not, they are designed to be used on your shower walls and floors. It probably doesn’t sound like the most fun task to do every day after a shower, but it can decrease the moisture in your bathroom by a great deal.
Fix Leaks Immediately
In addition to moisture coming from your shower and sink, water can also accumulate from plumbing leaks, increasing the humidity of your bathroom. Address the problem as soon as you see the leak, even if it is a small drip that you would like to put off for later. That small drip can cause an increase in humidity that makes it easy for mold to grow, and it is always easier to prevent mold than it is to get rid of it once it has begun growing.
Keep Towels and Rugs Clean and Dry
Your bath mat, cozy bathroom rug and all your towels are great places for mold to grow, especially if none of them are washed on a regular basis. This is an easy fix. Wash all of them together at the same time at least once a week. This keeps them dry, clean and mold free!
Remove Bottles and Sponges from Shower
Actually, it’s best to remove everything from the shower once you are done! Sound strange? Just like water can attach itself to the ceiling and walls, so it can to just about anything in the shower: shampoo bottles, sponges, wash cloths, etc. As water dries, it forms a spot underneath bottles, or it can simply grow on a sponge or wash cloth. Remove everything and keep it dry.
It’s always best to prevent the conditions where mold can grow easily than it is to fight the mold once it gets a foothold in your bathroom. Remove water and moisture from the air and keep everything clean. If after checking for mold and/or following the steps above, you find that mold is growing, the best thing to do is to call a professional to take care of the problem.