Your bathroom provides the ideal growing conditions for mould. Here’s how to stop it in its tracks
A few simple steps will ensure your bathroom environment is healthy and everything pristine. Rossi range, Bathrooms.com
Horrible but true: mould spores that are invisible to the naked eye are naturally present in outdoor and indoor air. When they land on wet surfaces, mould can begin growing. Unfortunately, unless you stop washing, bathing, showering and, er, breathing in there, your bathroom is a prime site for mould to find its home.
As well as making your bathroom look grotty, some moulds can cause health problems, producing allergens, irritants, and even toxic substances, so it’s vital to prevent it for the sake of all your home’s occupants.
Although you can’t prevent the mould spores floating around your home, you can control the moisture caused by condensation it needs to grow, and stop it ruining your bathroom and your health. ‘Condensation is caused by a drop in the air temperature,’ explains Chris Plastow, a member of tradesmen recommendation site RatedPeople.com, ‘so cold walls in a bathroom, or any other room or surface, will cause condensation when dew point is reached – dew point being the temperature at which air will release some of its absorbed water vapour.’
To stop mould finding a home in your bathroom:
• Keep your bathroom warm, and insulate cold surfaces to prevent condensation. ‘The application of a 12mm insulation board to the walls where condensation is occurring is always the best solution,’ says Chris, ‘This would bring up the interior surface temperature to that of the air, thus reducing condensation.’
• If you have them, make sure the trickle vents above your windows are open.
• Keep the door closed when you’re using the bathroom, so you don’t move the warm moist air into other rooms where it will condense on cold surfaces.
• Use the extractor fan.
• Open the window a little when you’re showering, and wider once you’ve finished (but don’t forget to shut it before you go out).
• Keep up with the cleaning.
• If you ever have a leak, dry the affected areas thoroughly as soon as possible.
• Keep the humidity level of your home between 30 and 50 per cent, ideally. You can buy a humidity meter cheaply. This thermometer-hygrometer is from Amazon.
If you already have some mould in your bathroom, take care in dealing with it:
• Clean the mould from hard surfaces with a Health and Safety Executive-approved product – it will have an approval number – following the instructions carefully. Dry the surface.
• It’s best to throw away porous materials – such as carpet – that are mouldy. It’s possible that it has stained other elements of your room scheme, too, so say goodbye if that’s the case. Never vacuum mouldy carpets as this can spread the spores.
• Don’t paint over mould. Only repaint cleaned and dry surfaces – and reduce the air moisture to stop it recurring.
• Take precautions when you’re cleaning up a lot of mould: a mask will stop you breathing in the mould and its spores, and you should wear long gloves and goggles, too.