It would be great if black mold was something that only grew in dark crawl spaces or basements where there is little contact with humans. Unfortunately, that is wishful thinking. Black mold, Stachybotrys chartarum, can easily grow and flourish in places where people congregate or frequent; bathrooms are one of these places. This harmful fungus requires moisture and the bath tub or shower guarantees there will be a sufficient supply of water for proliferation. A relative humidity (RH) of approximately fifty five percent is ideal for black mold, and a fifteen minute hot shower ought to produce that without much problem. While mold does not necessarily collect in shower stalls or bath tubs, its airborne spores can land on window sills or wallpaper within the bathroom.
It’s fairly easy to deal with moisture after a bath or shower. Running an overhead ventilation fan for a few minutes can dry up any water clinging to the tile or wallpaper, and bring down the humidity to an acceptable level. It is, however, very important to check the fan itself for moisture or signs of black mold spores, since either could be sprayed over the room by the fan. Ceilings can be protected from mold by using a paint that has ingredients to inhibit the growth of fungus.
Windows in a bathroom have the potential for being mold breeding grounds. Condensation can occur if the humidity in the room collides with windows whose glass has been cooled by lower outside temperatures. Because of this, sills of the metal frames can be where the mold collects, and it is important to check windows for any signs of condensation. Caulking a bathroom window not only makes it airtight, but also a bit warmer and thereby reducing the chances of condensation forming.
A final area where black mold can form is in the grout between the tiles of the bathroom floor. Preventing this includes simple routine cleaning with ordinary soap to keep any mildew or mold from having a chance to get settled. In fact, scheduled cleaning of the bathroom can prevent any mold or mildew from starting to grow, which means an ordinary household chore can really make a healthy difference. Other cleaning ideas to keep mold from forming are spraying the shower curtains with a mildew remover or a mixture of vinegar and water. If the bathroom has carpeting, it ought to be removed since this can be a perfect place for mold to develop and spread.
Bathrooms are places that people visit every day, at least once if not more. This means there can be routine contact with any mold that is in the bathroom. Black mold cleanup is not a project to put on a “To Do” list: it has to be done NOW! This dangerous fungus contains mycotoxins that can be a threat to the respiratory health of an individual. Extreme cases arise when the mold contamination is so great that it weakens the walls and even forces an evacuation of the premises. The situation should never reach a point where professional mold removers have to be called in. A bathroom is going to have periods of high humidity levels and any homeowner should know that. The room should be wiped dry after every bath and the ventilation fans turned on for a few minutes. Mold can grow quickly in the right conditions, and keeping the bathroom dry and free of lingering moisture can effectively eliminate the breeding ground.