It seems almost impossible to prevent mould and mildew from forming in your bathroom. Mould and mildew loves the steamy, damp atmosphere created when you run that hot bath or enjoy a long cleansing shower. Mould and mildew cannot form in dry conditions, so to prevent their growth concentrate on removing moisture from your bathroom as quickly as possible.
You know if you have mould or mildew in your bathroom as you usually find black spores around the place. If you have a damp bathroom it will smell. Mould and mildew are a recognised health hazard. Breathing in mould spores can cause respiratory illnesses and trigger asthma attacks. Mould & mildew can also cause headaches and nasal congestion. Once mould and mildew is established in your bathroom it can be almost impossible to remove, so prevention is vital for a mould and mildew free bathroom.
Here are some tips to reduce moisture in your bathroom:
- install a fan
- fit a shower dome
- open a window
- wipe down shower, walls and tub
- use a squeegee
- deal with leaks
- fix dripping taps
If your bathroom or shower room doesn’t already have an extractor fan, get one fitted as soon as possible by a qualified electrician. For the cost of installation you will be rewarded with a dry and mildew free bathroom.
Every single time you shower or run a bath turn on the extractor fan and leave it running for at least 30 minutes after you have finished to remove as much moisture from the air as possible. This will help prevent moisture from collecting on your windowsills and around the bath/shower edges. When moisture grows on your bath edge mould and mildew can grow in the sealant.
Waterproof sealants are a great way to reduce mould and mildew attacks. If your fan is not clearing most of the moisture from the air within 5 to 10 minutes you may need a more powerful fan to cope with the volume of air in your room. Opening a window while you shower and leaving open for 30 minutes after can also help with moisture reduction but it not so much fun on a freezing winter morning!
When you have finished your shower or bath take a moment to dry or squeegee the walls or screens to remove as much of the excess moisture as you can; doing this can reduce the available moisture for mould and mildew to grow in by up to 75%. If you have a wet floor shower use a long-handled squeegee (rubber-edged scraper) to persuade the excess water down the drain.
A shower dome can be retro-fitted to many shower designs. These innovative fixtures attach to the top of a shower cubicle and trap the moisture in the shower preventing it from getting into the air.
To reduce the risk of mould and mildew build up wash shower curtains and non-slip bath mats regularly. Regularly cleaning and drying your bathroom fixtures and fittings especially any grout will help prevent mould and mildew from taking hold.
Be wary of products that simply bleach the mould and mildew white without actually killing it or removing it. Some mould and mildew removers are highly toxic so follow manufacturer’s instructions which usually include wearing gloves and only using in a well-ventilated room. Baking soda and vinegar are a natural alternative to chemical cleaners for effective mould and mildew removal.
Promptly fixing leaking taps and shower heads can also help prevent mould and mildew building up around your drains but it is important to use a registered plumber that guarantees their workmanship.