What’s lurking behind the curtain? One of the most damp places in your home, mildew and mold lurking in your shower or bath is not just smelly and unsightly, shower mold and shower mildew are also potentially dangerous to you and your family.
Hiding in Plain Sight
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), breathing in mold spores can cause a host of respiratory illnesses. Varying in color and appearance depending on the material on which they’re found, dangerous mold species can be especially difficult to identify…
A type of mold, powdery, fluffy mildew can cause cold-like symptoms and respiratory issues.
The most commonly found indoor mold, aspergillus can cause allergic reactions and respiratory infections.
Commonly found in showers, alternaria can cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks with prolonged exposure.
Produces strong, musty odors, spreads easily, and often causes allergic reactions.
- Stachybotrys chartarum
Referred to as “black mold” because of its color, this dangerous mold produces toxic mycotoxins and can result in severe health problems.
How’d It Get There?
The fungi that cause shower mold play a helpful role outside, and are commonly found in the air. Given a happy home in the hot, humid locale of your shower or bath and fostered by soap residue, dirt, and oils from your skin, these molds can quickly become quite the unwelcomed houseguest. Molds begin forming colonies as little as 24-48 hours after finding a hospitable damp surface, and once spore-making commences, can spread like wildfire. Fortunately, this common home problem is one of the easiest to prevent and cure — so long as you don’t let it get out of hand.
How to Remove Mold in Shower Grout
In most cases, you can skip the scary chemicals here, and rely on a little baking soda and elbow grease. What about bleach? According to the EPA, this traditional mold ‘remedy’ doesn’t actually work, only providing temporary reprieve. To move mold out, instead scrub it away using a paste of water and baking soda. Let the paste sit on moldy surfaces for up to 2 hours, spray with water, then use a good scrub brush to work out mold, using a brisk, back-and-forth motion. If baking soda is not compatible with your shower surfaces, eco-friendly cleaning solutions like Moldzyme or Concrobium from your local hardware store may work for you.
How to Get Rid of Mold in Shower Caulk
It is best to strip away and replace moldy caulk. Be certain to clean and dry well before reapplication, choosing the right caulk when replacing, or your work will be for naught. Look for caulk with mold growth inhibitors only.
Get Out & Stay Out!
Once mold and shower mildew have been removed, keep it away - or it will quickly reestablish residence. Eliminating dampness is key!
- After bathing, squeegee shower walls. This eliminates the majority of moisture that supports shower mold and mildew growth.
- Run bathrooms fan during your bath/shower, and for half an hour after. (Tip: A timer switch can help!)
- Seal grout lines yearly to waterproof them and lockout mold.
- Keep surfaces clear, reducing toiletry options to necessities. Clutter creates moisture pockets that foster mold and mildew growth.
- Use an antifungal shower spray to inhibit growth. It takes only seconds. Mix 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil to 1 cup of water, or make a spray with 1 part inexpensive white vinegar and 1 part water and spray after bathing.
Shower mold and mildew creeping up on you? Rainbow International® will show it the door! Don’t wait – contact us today.
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