Fungus Ain’t Fun: How to Prevent Mold in Your Shower
No one wants to look at their ceiling and see black mold in the bathroom. Trouble is, most people engage in bad habits to encourage mold growth without ever realizing it. Keep reading for a few essential tips on how to prevent mold in your shower.
What Is Mold?
First, though, we should address a basic question: what is mold?
There are many different types of mold (like black mold), but there are even more misconceptions about what mold is. It’s not a plant or an animal, and it’s not bacteria, which some people might suspect based on high school science experiments.
The mold that grows in your bathroom is actually a type of fungi (very different than the mushrooms you eat on pizza!).
Mold spores are very small and light, and they can feed on materials found in your home if provided the right growing environment.
How Does It Grow?
This begs the question: in the interest of avoiding it, what is a good growing environment for mold?
Mold loves three things:
Can you think of any spaces in your house that fit those criteria? Like, say, basements or attics?
Your shower, of course, can also provide the perfect conditions for mold, as moisture and heat are created every time you take a shower.
How to Prevent Mold in Your Shower
Knowing what mold is and what it needs to grow means you’re better equipped to prevent it from growing in your bathroom. The only way to get rid of mold is to get rid of the water or moisture that is fostering its growth in the first place, and a dehumidifier will do just that, so if mold persists, use a dehumidifier.
Because let’s be honest: mold is definitely not the luxury bathroom decoration you need in your life.
Here are a few tips to keep mold out of your bathroom.
Invest in a Good Vent Fan
Before you do anything else, it’s essential to invest in a good vent fan. One for each bathroom in your home.
Mold thrives on warmth and moisture – two conditions created each time you take a bath or shower. It doesn’t help that your shower or tub is an enclosed space where mold can easily set up camp.
Your first line of defense is a good vent fan, as it will suck out all the moist air in the bathroom and send it outside so that the moisture can’t settle in the walls and ceiling.
The cubic feet per minute (cfm) of the fan will tell you whether it’s sufficient for the space. Don’t mess around with these: you want a fan that’s powerful enough to ventilate your entire bathroom.
To calculate the ideal strength for your fan, find the square footage and multiply it by 1.1 (for an 8 ft ceiling) or 1.5 (for a 9 ft ceiling). This will give you the ideal cfm for your bathroom.
Run the Fan Often (and Long Enough)
Of course, simply having the vent fan isn’t good enough to scare mold spores away. You have to use it and use it properly.
Remember, you generate a lot of heat and moisture every time you take a shower or draw a bath. If you want to keep mold away, you need to get all of that heat and moisture out of the bathroom so it can’t settle in your walls and ceiling.
To that end, run your vent fan the whole time you’re in the shower to keep air moving. But don’t turn it off when you’re done. Ideally, you should leave it running for at least 30 minutes after your shower to ensure that any remaining moisture is removed.
Lower Your Humidity Levels
In general, you should always try to reduce your bathroom humidity levels as much as possible.
Outside of your vent fan, there are several options you can try. The first is to make friends with your squeegee.
It’s an annoying task, especially if you’re rushing out the door in the morning, but your squeegee plays an important role in keeping your bathroom clean and safe.
Immediately after a bath or shower, make sure to squeegee the walls and tub. This will eliminate about 3/4 of the moisture that mold and mildew use to grow.
Second, you want to check for any moisture that’s not coming from your morning shower. A common suspect on this front? Your leaky faucet.
It’s more than just an annoyance. It introduces a lot of unnecessary moisture into the room. To that end, don’t leave that leaky faucet for “when you have time”. Fix it yourself or get a plumber in right away.
Wash and Scrub (and Scrub Again)
Another key component of keeping mold and mildew out is keeping your whole bathroom clean.
This means scrubbing down your floor, bathroom counter, sink, and shower, but it can also come from more unexpected areas.
For example, you need to wash your towels and your bathroom rug frequently. Even if you wash your towels regularly, your bathroom rug can retain a great deal of moisture. Ideally, you should aim to wash them at least once a week.
Keep Your Bathroom Fresh
Finally, make sure to keep your bathroom fresh to keep any lingering spores at bay.
For example, you should replace your shower grout at least once a year, and you should make sure to refresh the waterproofing in your shower regularly. If you’re not sure where to start, this service can help.
Making the Most of Your Home Space
Half the battle of fighting mold is knowing how to prevent mold in your shower. But once that’s accomplished, you can move on to more fun things, like decorating your bathroom or taking that long bath you’ve been dreaming of all day.
And if you’re looking for a new home to take long baths in, you’ve come to the right place. Click here to check out our available South Florida homes.