The bathroom is one of the most common places that you can find mould in the home. With its naturally high levels of condensation and moisture, the bathroom provides ideal conditions for mould to spread and grow. 

Whether you find it between bathroom tiles, in the shower, sink, bath or toilet, mould in your bathroom can quickly grow and spread into other areas of the home. Bathroom mould can also indicate a larger problem such as extensive water damage or plumbing problems. In any case, here’s a little more about what to do when you find mould in your bathroom.

What is Bathroom Mould? 

Mould is a fungus that survives in warm, damp conditions by releasing its spores throughout organic and inorganic material. There are thousands of mould species in existence, appearing in a spectrum of colours and textures and is usually paired with a musty smell. The bathroom offers the perfect environment for mould growth and can easily travel around the home via their airborne spores, eventually impacting the overall air quality of the home. Some common types of mould found in bathrooms include: 

Cladosporium 

Cladosporium is commonly found in materials such as shower curtains, bathroom mats and damp towels. This species appears in a variety of colours such as olive-green to brown or black and is common in water-damaged areas or above-average levels of humidity. Cladosporium is known to release toxic airborne spores and can cause respiratory discomfort and trigger allergies. 

Aspergillus 

The Aspergillus strain loves warm, humid and moist environments. It is one of the most common mould species and finds itself growing on plant matter, household dust, window frames and bathroom surfaces. Its spores are known to trigger allergies, respiratory issues and cause serious health risks if inhaled.  

 Penicillium 

Penicillium can appear blue, green or yellow and commonly grows in damp conditions and is a sign of excess moisture levels in the bathroom and around the home. It can indicate a larger leaking problem or water damage. Its airborne spores make it easy to travel around the home and can trigger allergies as well as cause respiratory discomfort. 

Serratia Marcescens

Also known as pink mould, S. Marcescens is most commonly found in bathrooms, shower corners, toilets, bathroom tiles, cabinets and sink basins. Although it is classified as a bacteria rather than a fungus, this strain is caused by a buildup of soap scum or other forms of bacteria and will appear a pinkish-orange colour.  

What Causes Bathroom Mould? 

Mould growth will thrive in areas with naturally high levels of moisture and humidity. As a result, mould will usually find its way in crevices and hard to reach places. The bathroom is an area that is frequently exposed to bacteria buildup and above-average areas of condensation and steam. Therefore, if there is not enough air circulation or natural light, then it can cause mould to grow and spread. Common causes of mould include: 

  • Inadequate ventilation or minimal use of exhaust fans 
  • The buildup of condensation in door and window frames 
  • Untreated water damage or plumbing problems
  • The buildup of soap scum in showers or baths 
  • Not cleaning the bathroom regularly
  • Inadequate waterproofing 

How to Remove Mould from the Bathroom Ceiling 

Home remedies for mould removal will only offer a temporary solution, however, there are a few common ways to remove mould from your bathroom ceiling:

Vinegar

Mix a 50/50 ratio of water and vinegar into a spray bottle, shake well and spray onto the mould affected area. Allow sitting for 10 – 15 minutes before scrubbing clean. For a more concentrated solution, you can try an 80/20 ratio of vinegar and water. Spray onto the affected area and allow to sit for 15 minutes before wiping clean. 

Tea Tree Oil 

As a natural fungicide, you can mix 1tsp of tea tree oil with 2 cups of warm water into a spray bottle, shake well and spray generously onto the affected ceiling area. Allow to completely dry. 

Please ensure to wear a protective mask and gloves when you attempt to clean the mould to avoid coming into contact with it and inhaling its spores. 

Mould on the bathroom ceiling can indicate a larger problem such as water damage, leaking pipes or other plumbing problems. If you are concerned that you have a larger problem at hand, seek out the services of a professional mould removal specialist. 

 How to Prevent Mould in the Bathroom 

The best way to stop mould is to control the source of moisture. The most effective way to prevent mould from growing in your bathroom is to ensure the space is well ventilated and has access to natural light. Because of its naturally high moisture levels, bathroom mould cannot always be avoided, however, minimising humidity, moisture and bacteria build will go a long way. 

If you are concerned that mould growth in your bathroom is part of a larger plumbing or leaking problem, it is recommended that you seek out a professional removal specialist. Other ways to prevent mould in your bathroom include: 

  • Open windows to increase ventilation 
  • Use the exhaust fan while showering  
  • Leave the fan on for 30 minutes after showing 
  • Clean and wipe down shower walls and glass regularly
  • Fix leaks or plumbing problems promptly 
  • Do not overfill your shower with products
  • Clean your bathroom regularly 
  • Avoid leaving damp clothes or towels on the bathroom floor

Is Bathroom Mould Dangerous?

While finding small patches of mould is not considered dangerous, some mould species can trigger allergies and cause respiratory discomfort. Mould can lead to more severe reactions if left untreated or its spores are frequently inhaled. Common symptoms of mould exposure can include: 

  • Headaches 
  • Coughing/wheezing 
  • Rashes and inflammation 
  • Eye and throat irritations 

Some strains of mould, such as pink mould, are also associated with lung infections and severe inflammation if exposed to broken skin such as cuts and wounds. It can also begin to grow on personal items such as toothbrushes and contact lenses if left untreated for an extended period. 

Those who have weaker or underdeveloped immune systems, such as children or the elderly have a higher risk of developing more serious problems from mould exposure. Excessive mould growth can also pose a more severe health risk for those with underlying respiratory issues such as asthma or cystic fibrosis.   

 When to Call a Mould Removal Professional? 

Bathroom mould can be toxic and be dangerous to your health. If you come across mould growing in your bathroom, you should seek action for its eradication to prevent over-exposure and infestation. 

If you are afraid of mould becoming a problem in your home and are looking for a long-term solution, be sure to call upon a professional team to help you. The MouldMen team will inspect, treat, and provide you with a Mould Management and Prevention Plan to ensure that your home is kept safe and free from mould. Call us on 1300 60 59 60 to book your free inspection today.

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