Bathroom mould is perhaps one of the most common and troublesome problems in the home. Mould spores are ever-present in the air and it's not widely known, but they can grow on anything; wood, tile, textiles and even glass.
Of course, mould becomes a real problem when an outbreak results in damage to your home. Dampness, odours, damaged insulation, product deterioration, peeling paint and discolouration are the least of your problems. The most important problem is the air quality in your home. Some estimate that a quarter of the population suffers from allergies and asthma and the main culprits are dust, mould and mildew.
There is actually evidence that mould is an increasing problem in the modern world as our homes become more tightly sealed and insulated. So, we believe that it's important for everyone to become aware of the basic issues around mould prevention. Come with us to explore a few essential tips and learn how to prevent a mould outbreak in your home. Let's go!
Let's start with the simplest and cheapest prevention – air flow! The bathroom is particularly prone to outbreaks of mould because of the constant, steamy atmosphere. We will assume that you have a good quality bathroom fan or dehumidifier, but it's also important to follow the habit of opening windows or doors to allow for decent airflow, particularly after the bath has just been used.
Check your tiles and grouting for mould outbreaks. Every time you shower or use the bath, water accumulates in the crevices of the bathroom. The silicon bond breaks down over time and this is where the real damage will show in time. Other trouble spots are cracked tiles and improperly sealed joints. Just in case you aren't aware, these look like don't just look like black or green speckles, they can also just have a slimy film to the surface.
If there is mould present, it should be removed before any silicon or cracks are repaired. There are countless products on the market that can help, but the most powerful cleaning products are already present in most homes. Get a strong scrubbing brick, chlorine bleach, white vinegar and a generic bathroom cleaner. Scrub the effected areas with the bleach and generic cleaner using a vigorous scrubbing action and lots of water. After you have finished, some discolouration will remain. This is where your powerful natural white vinegar comes in handy. Just soak up a few papertowels with the vinegar and leave them on the affected areas. Once the liquid has been soaked up, add a little more vinegar and leave it overnight.
Before attempting to repair any damaged bathroom tiles, clean the cracks thoroughly with soap and water. The damaged area is porous so it will often soak up more water. Wipe the tiles and then use a hairdryer for a good 15 minutes to make sure the area is properly dry.
If you have a hairline crack, apply some oil-based primer paint to the crack. Take care to use the finest brush you can find and take care not to add any to the surface of the tile. This will seal the inner part of the tile. After the paint has thoroughly dried, add a second layer that matches the colour of the tile as closely as possible. When this has dried, dab a little epoxy into the crack so the cracked area blends seamlessly into the surroundings.
If you are in the building process or simply working on some serious renovations, consider the needs of each material. Timber is more porous than tile and will be prone to mould issues, particularly in a windowless bathroom. But no matter what materials are used in your bathroom, everything should be specially sealed. This means choosing sealants of the highest quality for each surface. Pay particular attention to the wettest areas around the shower, sink and bath. There's no denying that wood is beautiful in a bathroom, so it's well worth investigating the proper approach. Just look at this wooden bathroom for inspiration.
Finally, we'll explore an alternative to improving your air quality. While tiling and grouting hates steamy conditions, green plants certainly love all that steam. A steamy bathroom is a tropical atmosphere for plants, so look at adding a few air-purifying plants. Peace lilies are a good choice because they have been proven to remove mould spores from the air. They also tolerate low-light conditions very well and, of course they look beautiful!
If you are sprucing up your bathroom, you'll love this Ideabook Quick changes for your bathroom.