Bathroom Mold: How to Remove Mold in Bathroom
When you walk into a bathroom, there’s nothing worse than the sight of mold—whether it’s mold in the shower, mold around the toilet, mold on the floor tiles and grout, and even mold on the ceiling.
And yet, black bathroom mold is so common that homeowners find themselves scrubbing away at their shower tiles and grout on a regular basis.
This is because mold in the bathroom is not a one-time fix. It’s an ongoing issue that can recur if steps are not taken to manage and prevent mold growth in the bathroom in the long term.
Our mold experts have compiled everything you need to know about mold in the bathroom—from what it looks like and what causes it to how you can get rid of bathroom mold and prevent it from growing back. Let’s get started!
- About bathroom mold
- Health risks & symptoms of bathroom mold
- Types of bathroom mold
- Where does mold in bathroom appear?
- How to identify bathroom mold?
- How to prevent bathroom mold?
- How to get rid of bathroom mold?
About bathroom mold
Think about this. When you shower, where does the steam go? When you take a bath, where does all of the water splashing around go? If you don’t have an efficient ventilation system in place, all of this moisture and water builds up on surfaces like bathroom walls, floors and ceilings, leading to mold growth.
The most common places to find mold in your bathroom are around bathtubs, sinks, toilets, and windows; on walls and grout; behind tiles and cabinets; and in corners.
Simply ignoring bathroom mold will not make the problem go away. The mold problem will keep getting worse until you do something to stop it.
That’s why you should look for a remediation professional for more advanced bathroom mold removal projects. Mold Busters operates in both the Ottawa and Montreal areas, providing quality mold remediation services for bathrooms, basements, and every other room in your house.
Not only will we eliminate the mold safely and effectively, but we will also provide you with a free air quality test upon completion of the work to ensure that the mold has been completely removed from your bathroom.
What causes mold in bathroom?
When it comes to mold, there’s no beating around the bush over what causes it. Undeniably, moisture is the leading cause of mold growth. And since bathrooms are easily one of the dampest rooms in a house, it’s pretty obvious why they make the ultimate breeding ground for various molds, including toxic black mold.
Chances are that if you have a mold problem in your bathroom, you also have an unaddressed moisture issue, such as:
- A leak, flood or other form of moisture intrusion
- Poor or inadequate ventilation
- Insufficient air exchange
- High relative humidity (above 50%)
- General uncleanliness
Whatever your moisture problem may be, you need to fix it immediately if you want to get rid of the mold permanently.
Keeping mold out of your bathroom is a lot of work, and you have to be consistent with regular mold inspections and cleaning, otherwise the mold will grow back. Call the certified and experienced pros at Mold Busters for fast and effective bathroom mold cleaning.
What does bathroom mold look like?
There are hundreds, even thousands, of species of mold, each with its own unique physical characteristics and appearance. As such, mold can appear white, black, green, yellow—practically every colour of the rainbow. It can even be invisible (if it’s growing behind walls, under floors and above ceilings), making it very hard to detect.
Here are a few examples of the most common bathroom molds we’ve come across in our experience to help you determine if you have a mold problem in your bathroom.
Signs of mold in bathroom
Some of the most common physical signs of mold contamination in bathrooms are:
- Foggy mirrors and windows during/after showering
- Black spots and other wall discoloration
- Yellow stains on walls
- Condensation on walls
- Relative humidity above 50%
- Musty or damp smell
- A slimy film covering your bathroom tiles
- Blistering or bubbling paint and/or wallpaper
In addition to these visible signs of bathroom mold, you should also be aware of common health symptoms associated with mold in the bathroom.
Mold in bathroom health risks & symptoms
There is a wide array of health effects and symptoms of mold in bathrooms, which range from acute to chronic depending on the species of mold present. Also, people who have weak or immature immune systems like the elderly or children are at a higher risk of developing health problems due to mold exposure.
Here are a few of the most common reactions people experience after being exposed to bathroom mold:
- Coughing and/or sneezing
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy, watery or swollen eyes
- Breathing problems
- Headaches and fatigue
- Dizziness and/or nausea
As you can see, the dangers of mold in the bathroom can drastically impact your health and quality of life. The best way to protect yourself is to prevent mold from growing in the first place.
Types of bathroom mold
Not all species of mold are harmful. In the following sections, we will describe some of the more dangerous types of mold so that you can better identify threats in your bathroom and eliminate them promptly.
White mold in bathroom
Often mistaken for efflorescence, white mold looks exactly what it sounds like: a white, powdery or feathery substance often found on painted bathroom walls, shower tiles, ceilings, wood and even insulation.
Expert tip: When trying to distinguish between efflorescence and white mold in your bathroom, keep in mind that efflorescence occurs only on concrete and masonry materials, not drywall, tile and other bathroom surfaces.
Many species of white mold are toxic, like black mold, and can trigger symptoms such as allergies, respiratory issues, headaches and skin/eye irritation. This makes prompt white mold removal a must; otherwise, it can quickly start to affect your health and well-being.
One white powdery mold is called Geotrichum and it typically breeds in temperate climates. It spreads quickly through the air and can cause pulmonary infections as well as tuberculosis. Less serious but equally debilitating reactions are itchy eyes, fatigue, and headaches
Black mold in bathroom
Perhaps the biggest threat to your bathroom and your health is the notorious black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum. This mold is every homeowner’s worst nightmare as it is toxic, hard to clean, and spreads easily.
You can often find black mold on bathroom baseboards, shower grout and shower caulking, bathroom walls as well as any wet cellulose-rich material like cardboard, towels, and drywall.
But what makes black mold particularly difficult to identify and remove from bathrooms is the fact that it often grows behind tiles and drywall and underneath floor tiles.
Due to its toxic nature and ability to cause serious health problems, safety is the biggest concern when removing black mold from bathrooms. Therefore, only experienced, certified mold professionals who can ensure proper containment and effective remediation should attempt black mold removal in bathrooms.
Pink mold in bathroom
Pink mold often appears as a pink film over your shower base, shower tiles, bathtub or other bathroom surfaces that are most exposed to water. It can also grow on the grout in between your shower tiles, making it difficult to clean.
Surprisingly, this pink mold is actually not mold at all, rather a bacteria scientifically known as Serratia marcescens. Much like black or green bathroom mold, this bacteria grows in damp environments, feeding off soap scum, shampoo, other residues and hair.
Fusarium is a pinkish sometimes red or white mold that is capable of growing in cooler conditions. This mold grows best on food products, carpet, wallpaper, and other wet surfaces.
Because “pink mold” is airborne it can keep coming back despite your biggest efforts to clean it. This is why regular cleaning of your bathroom is so important. The longer you put it off, the harder it will be to clean.
Red mold in bathroom
You will often see red mold in your shower or bathtub. You may also see red mold on your shower curtain and shower tiles—practically any place that gets wet during your shower.
Similar to pink mold, slimy red mold in the bathroom is typically not mold—it’s the same bacteria (Serratia marcescens) that causes the pink film to grow on your shower base and tiles. To get rid of this red mold, simply scrub it off with a brush and bathroom cleaning spray. Ensure to dry your shower or bathtub after each use (you can use a squeegee for this). Additionally, you’ll want to vent out your bathroom in order to reduce the amount of moisture and humidity in the air.
And remember to clean your bathroom regularly to eliminate soap scum and other residues that feed the growth of red mold.
Green mold in bathroom
Green mold refers mostly to the Aspergillus and Cladosporium types of mold that typically grow in warm, moist environments like bathrooms. Green bathroom mold is easy to identify due to its colour; however, it is not always as easy to clean.
Firstly, green mold is hazardous and can cause serious health problems in people who come into contact with it. So if you’re going to remove green bathroom mold yourself, you have to be equipped with the proper safety gear in order to prevent contact with and inhalation of toxic mold spores.
Secondly, because green mold thrives in moisture-rich environments, it is often found growing next to the most toxic black molds, which means you need to be extra careful not to disturb the mold spores and spread the contamination to other parts of your home.
Cleaning green mold from your bathroom is not as easy as with some other molds like pink or red mold. Depending on the size of your bathroom and the extent of the mold contamination, you may want to consider hiring a professional who specializes in bathroom mold removal. For a small cost, a mold expert will be able to effectively eliminate green mold from your bathroom without exposing you or your family to toxic mold.
Where does mold in bathroom appear?
Many people think that mold growth occurs only after a major catastrophe, such as a flood. This, however, is not true. All mold really requires is humidity, a food source and some form of moisture. And unfortunately, bathrooms fit this description perfectly.
Bathroom mold can appear in any area of your bathroom, but it is especially common around sinks, bathtubs, showers, toilets, or any other source of moisture.
You should also look for it in small, hard-to-reach spaces that can typically get wet during daily bathroom activities. Because these areas are small, they are harder to wipe dry or air dry so they end up fostering mold.
Mold in shower
We can all agree that one of the hardest things to clean is shower mold. The story is always the same: the mold grows in the shower; we clean the mold using some kind of chemical, bleach or anti-fungal cleaner; and the mold grows back within a couple of days.
Sound accurate? This is because we’re using our showers constantly and giving them very little time to dry thoroughly. Add to that an ineffective ventilation system, a missing exhaust fan or cracked tiles, and you have a moisture problem that feeds the mold and keeps it coming back.
You can expect to find mold on or behind baseboards surrounding the shower as well as underneath shower tiles simply because those are the areas that tend to get wet during regular shower use.
As a challenge, we invite you to take a look at your shower. Chances are that you’ll see black spots on the grout between the tiles, in the corners where the walls meet the tub or on the caulking. Shower mold can also grow underneath tiles, hidden from plain view.
As small as this mold growth may seem, it can turn into a major threat if it’s not cleaned up quickly or properly.
How does shower mold form?
In the shower, things like soap, oil, and debris can get trapped in the grout, on the tiles or around the faucets. These provide nutrition for mold while the shower itself provides the moisture required for all mold growth. Together, these conditions create the ideal breeding grounds for mold.
That’s why it’s important that bathrooms be equipped with powerful ventilation systems and exhaust fans that will promote air circulation and remove excess moisture from the air.
Otherwise, even small patches of mold growth, such as mold in the shower, could eventually turn into bigger headaches, contaminating surrounding walls, floors and even making their way down to sub-floors.
Fortunately, with the help of a professional, you can prevent mold from spreading by identifying the underlying moisture issue and addressing it directly. Only afterwards, once this issue has been fixed, will the actual mold clean-up work begin.
If you need help with this, or any steps in the mold removal process, contact the pros at Mold Busters!
Mold in shower grout
One of the biggest concerns homeowners have is how to remove mold from shower grout. Often, they are afraid that they will have to remove and replace all the tiles in their shower in order to get rid of the mold.
Luckily, this is not always the case. Depending on the extent of the mold contamination, it is possible to remove mold in shower grout without completely demolishing your shower. Of course, it is up to the mold inspector to determine the most effective remediation plan; however, smaller mold jobs often require only scrubbing or removal of the grout—not the tiles themselves. And as with any mold problem, the sooner you start the cleanup, the more likely it is to keep your bathroom intact.
Mold in shower caulking
Mold in shower caulking is another common headache for homeowners. Not only is it ugly, but it’s also next to impossible to clean once it has started growing on the sealant.
Many of our clients believe that the only way to remove moldy shower caulking is to re-caulk their entire shower. This is effective but not always necessary. For one, it is extremely time-consuming and labour-intensive.
Mold growing on shower caulking is typically black and easy to identify. If you have the right tools, knowledge and experience, you can save time and money on bathroom mold removal. Call Mold Busters today to learn more.
Mold on bathroom ceiling
Condensation and excess moisture can affect every aspect of your bathroom, even the ceiling. If you don’t turn on the vent or open the windows to let steam escape, the humidity inside your bathroom will quickly rise and create condensation on ceilings and walls..
And while it’s easy to wipe a wall to remove the condensation, wiping a ceiling isn’t so simple because they are so difficult to reach. Once they become wet, black mold can quickly appear and eat away at your entire bathroom ceiling. In addition, hidden pipe leaks behind the walls can contaminate your ceilings with black mold as well.
Mold on bathroom walls
Much like ceilings, bathroom walls can also be affected by the humidity created after a shower or bath. Similarly, the walls can also hide leaky pipes or other insulation problems, causing even more water damage and thus black mold.
Mold in the bathroom sink
The bathroom sink is a naturally small damp environment that offers a perfect environment for black mold to thrive. And while black mold cannot grow on the sink itself (since sinks are made of inorganic materials like ceramic), it can and will grow on the soap scum, dirt, debris that’s left on the sink surface due to regular use.
In addition, a leaky faucet, broken pipes or dirt buildup in the sink will most definitely lead to black mold. Therefore, by not cleaning your bathroom regularly, you are making it easy for black mold to contaminate your bathroom.
Mold on bathroom tiles
The grout between your bathroom tiles can get wet easily and is very hard to dry. Combined with being very porous, grout becomes the perfect breeding ground for black mold. Once mold has started to grow on your bathroom grout, it requires more time and effort to clean.
It is also more likely to spread to other parts of your shower, like the caulking, tiles and shower base. This is why you should properly clean and dry not just your tiles, but in between your tiles after showering.
Mold on toilets (tank and bowl)
Considering that black mold loves moisture, toilets may seem like the ideal environment for mold growth. You may notice a slimy orange-pink residue near the top of the toilet bowl or a where the water sits in the bowl.A greyish-black ring near can appear at the upper rim of the bowl.
However, because toilets are also made of inorganic materials, mold will only grow on them if they are not kept clean. Preventing mold on your toilet is therefore easy: simply clean your toilet regularly. To avoid black mold growth around your toilet, make sure that your toilet or any pipes around it are not leaking.
How can you be sure you have black mold in your bathroom?
The best way to tell if you have toxic black mold growing in your bathroom is with a professional mold test. As we’ve seen, molds can have many different appearances (even black mold may not always appear black), which makes determining whether or not you have black mold by a simple visual assessment inaccurate and risky.
If you suffer from minor irritation such as, itchy or watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, skin irritation, or headaches, this could be a sign of a reaction to black mold. However, these symptoms can also be caused by something else so it is important not to rely on them alone. Other signs of black mold in your bathroom include slimy black buildup, a distinctive musty odour and bubbling paint or wallpaper.
How to prevent bathroom mold?
Although it is impossible to completely eliminate moisture from your bathroom (unless you decide to boycott personal hygiene altogether), you can manage humidity and moisture to minimize the likelihood of mold growth. Coupled with regular cleaning and maintenance, this should be enough to keep dangerous molds like toxic black mold at bay.
After the completion of any bathroom mold removal project, we always tell clients that it is up to them to maintain proper conditions in order to prevent bathroom mold from growing back.
Mold prevention tips for your bathroom
Here are a few tips on how you can do so and achieve long-lasting protection against future mold growth:
- Ensure proper ventilation.
- Turn on exhaust fans when showering or taking a bath.
- If you have a washing machine in your bathroom, make sure it vents outside.
- Fix leaky faucets, toilets and other plumbing promptly.
- Keep surfaces dry.
- Open windows and doors regularly for natural ventilation.
- Use a dehumidifier.
Read more about mold prevention in bathrooms.
How to get rid of bathroom mold?
If you’re looking for ways to remove bathroom mold, there are a number of options, from DIY mold removal to professional bathroom mold remediation. The right choice for you depends on a number of factors including the size of your bathroom, the level of contamination and your budget.
Are you hesitant to hire a professional mold removal company because you want to save money? If so, it is important to evaluate your ability to clean the mold thoroughly and to safely dispose of contaminated materials, without putting yourself or other people at risk.
Think of it this way. If your car’s brakes malfunctioned, you wouldn’t try to fix the problem yourself. You would take it to a mechanic who has years of experience and professional training in the field. The same can be said for bathroom mold remediation.
Call Mold Busters, Ottawa and Montreal’s most trusted mold removal company, for immediate help getting rid of bathroom mold. Your satisfaction is guaranteed.