Spotting mold or water damage in your bathroom may not be as simple as it sounds. Between your shower, tub, toilet, and sink there are plenty of pipes to break and joints to leak, causing mold or water damage that can potentially go unnoticed until it’s too late. Is your bathroom currently susceptible for mold growth? Poorly executed tiling, flooring, and caulking can leave parts of your home highly susceptible to mold damage.
Mold thrives in humid, dark locations. Bathrooms are the ideal place in your home for mold growth, especially after water damage that has not been fully addressed. In the wild, mold is a helpful fungi, breaking down dead organic matter and leaves. In your bathroom, mold attempts to do the same thing, feeding on anything when the conditions are right, including soap scum, caulking, insulation, wet towels, wall paint, tiles, bath toys, and flooring.
Why Should You Clean Up Mold or Water Damage
When water damage is left unchecked, especially in bathrooms, it can become a perfect location for mold to grow. Even though many molds are not life threatening for most people, those with weakened immune systems can suffer from respiratory issues, dizziness, and flu-like systems. If someone in your household is elderly, an infant, or suffers from allergies, it’s even more of a reason to tackle your water damaged bathroom immediately.
The first step to conquering your mold and water damage is identifying the problems areas. Most of the water or mold damage may be obvious, however it’s vital to assess all problem areas so you can restore your home to its original condition.
1) Start by checking common bathroom locations that are damp. Humidity is the tipping point for mold growth in households, and bathrooms have lots of dark, damp corners. Areas in a bathroom prime for indoor moisture include under sinks, corners of showers and tubs, caulking, windowsills, and shower curtains. If an area of your bathroom has been recently damaged by water, be sure to thoroughly check this area for potential mold growth. Household mold commonly is identified by a damp, muddy appearance, ranging in color from black, pink, orange, green, and white.
2) Let your nose lead the way. Besides seeing the presence of mold on bathroom walls and hiding under your sink, a musty or sour smell in your bathroom is a dead giveaway for mold growth. Mold thrives in humid, dark places with poor circulation. Under your sink, around the toilet, behind your shower walls, and underneath the tub are all areas ripe for mold growth. If your bathroom continues to have unpleasant, sour odors, it is likely mold is present in your bathroom. Mold is also commonly described to have an earthy smell, which is likely coming from the mold decomposing of surfaces such as wood. Remember, if any areas of your bathroom have been recently damaged by water, those areas are good place to start checking. When there is no visual evidence, like water stains or rotted wood, a stale smell could be your only clue.
3) Give your bathroom a check one week and one month after the water damage or mold damage has been taken care of. Look for the appearance of mold, survey the area for any leaks or residual water, feel the surface of infected areas, and smell for any musty or stale odors. If mold or residual water can be detected after you have fully treated the area, you’ll need to take more drastic measures, such as replacing flooring or hiring a mold or water removal specialist. If you have hired specialists to handle your repair, don’t be ashamed to give them a call if mold or water damage seems to have returned.
4) Check the floor for water damage. Whether your flooring is wood, carpeting, or tile, there are a variety of warning signs to be on the lookout for mold or water damage. If your flooring is tile, look for a muddy appearance, which can be a sign of black mold. Tiles can also be spongy when stepped on from rotting floorboards underneath. Signs that water is underneath the surface also include cracks in grout and caulking, sogginess when stepped on, and a rotting or sour smell.
5) Check the walls and ceiling for damage. Ceilings, walls, and air vents are also prime locations for mold growth. It’s important to catch any water damage in the walls before it leads to mold spreading in your home, undetected. Eventually, the growth will become visible with moldy reside on the walls.
How Can You Prevent Mold Growth in Your Home?
Being preventative is the best way to combat mold growth in your home. Here are a few simple ways to prevent mold growth in your home:
Even in a tropical state of Florida, it’s important to keep the humidity levels of our homes in check. Aim to keep the humidity in your home at 30 to 50 percent. Investing in a dehumidifier for trouble areas can be an easy fix.
Reduce clutter in your shower. Downsize the items within your shower’s reach to just a few items you use. The pooling of water around bathroom items is a breeding ground for mold.
Wipe down shower walls and shower curtain after every shower. An even better option is replacing plastic curtains with cotton or hemp fabrics. Air will be able to flow through the curtain, allowing it to completely dry.
Repair all leaky faucets and drippy showerheads.
Clean bathroom rug regularly.
Don’t toss wet towels on the floor. Hanging wet towels flat will allow them to completely dry.
Use fan ventilation during and after a shower, until most of the moisture is gone.
Clean your bathroom regularly.
Freshen up stale-smelling towels by adding vinegar into the wash.
Knowing When to Hire a Professional
Were any of the topics included in this article beyond your knowledge of home improvement? Are you physically unable to check your floor for water of mold damage? It’s best to act fast to prevent further damage to your home, so calling a professional to handle your water damaged bathroom could be the best solution for you. Leak repair specialists have access to professional-grade vacuums, testing meters, and fans, so you can rest assured that your bathroom will be free of mold and excess water in no time!
It’s our passion at Accutech that homes are safe from excess water that can lead to mold growth and health issues. Especially in locations with high humidity levels, it’s important for homeowners to be on the lookout for water and mold damage. Mold growth in homes can be a health concern, especially for homes of young children, elderly, and those with allergies. If you have spotted water damage in your home or signs of mold growth mentioned in this article, don’t hesitate to contact our staff today. We are trained and ready to tackle any water damage your home is facing.
Along with detecting mold and water damage, our technicians are certified and trained to repair drywall, wood flooring, tile flooring, carpeting, ceilings, paneling, and more. Contact us today to learn more about how our repair specialists can remove excess water, dry out your home, restore your living space, and keep your family safe, happy, and comfortable.