Mould In The Bathroom: Prevent And Remove!
The bathroom is the room in the apartment that has a particularly high development in humidity. As a result, the bathroom is often affected by mould. If it occurs, immediate measures should be taken to combat mould in the bathroom. Permanent mould infestation can have an effect on health.
In every 10th household, there is mould infestation. The bathroom and bedroom are particularly often affected. The formation of mould in the bathroom is based on high humidity. The formation of water vapour occurs when bathing or showering. This creates an excellent basis for moulds. If wrong ventilation comes in addition, the growth is still promoted. The bathroom should be ventilated after a shower or bath. It is recommended to ventilate the bathroom. This means opening the window in the bathroom for five to ten minutes.
Mould develops particularly quickly in some places in the bathroom. These include
- Shower curtains
- silicone joints
- tile joints
Colours in black or green indicate that mould has formed here.
How Can Mould Be Detected At An Early Stage?
If you want to protect your family from serious health damage, you may want to ask yourself how you can regularly check the rooms in question for possible mould infestation. The simplest way is, for example, the Schimmelfinder measuring device (you will also find an explanation video and simple instructions "In four steps") from the German measuring device manufacturer Testo. Testo develops the devices for the use in the handicraft, thus for the professional.
If there is mould, the question arises as to what type of mould it is. Tests can also be carried out for this purpose. Suitable test sets are available from specialist dealers. For such a mould test one uses test strips or accomplishes a mould sample on a culture medium.
Why certain types of mould are particularly dangerous, we explain immediately.
Black Mould In The Bathroom: Here's Why It's So Dangerous
The black mould is counted among the Trichocomaceae, a family of moulds. It is particularly noticeable because it leaves black spores. It grows particularly well in a humid environment. It is therefore often found in bathrooms. The infestation usually begins in room corners, since the humidity collects here. Besides the aesthetic problems, black mould also brings high health risks with it. So it is assumed that black mould is involved in the emergence of the following illnesses and symptoms:
- Lung diseases
- concentration difficulties
- Fever and cough
- shortness of breath
- gastrointestinal problems
Tip: The Federal Environment Agency has published a mould guide. Here you will find information on how to prevent, record and combat mould infestation.
Remove Mould From Joints In The Bathroom
The joints are particularly often affected by mould infestation. Today, silicone joints are mostly used in bathrooms. This is a problem with mould infestation. Joints made of silicone can be wiped off well. Usually, however, the spores have already penetrated the material. Superficial cleaning does not solve the problem. Instead, it is advisable to replace the joints. If you want to do this yourself, you can proceed in the following steps:
- Removing the grout: The grout can be removed with a knife. Care should be taken not to damage the tiles.
- Removing residues with a silicone remover: The residues can be removed from the joint with a silicone remover. This is the only way to ensure that no spores remain. The joint is then cleaned again.
- Use of alcohol: Now the joints are provided with alcohol. This can be bought in the pharmacy. The alcohol should act for 24 hours so that it kills the mould. The surface is then cleaned again.
- Tape tiles and insert grout: The tiles are now masked with masking tape so that the silicone compound does not reach the surface. The grout is then inserted into the joint using a suitable cartridge.
Finally, a smoothing trowel is used and the compound must dry. After this process, the mould has disappeared from the bathroom if it has only sat in the joints.
Note: There are also special joint brushes. If it appears that the mould is only present on the surface, cleaning alcohol can be added to the joint brush. With this, the joints can be freed from mould.
Home Remedy For The Removal Of Mould In The Bathroom
In the case of mould in the bathroom, there are various household remedies that can be used:
- Alcohol — Cleaning alcohol or methylated spirits are particularly recommended for eliminating mould. This is medical alcohol. This has at least 70% and can be bought in the pharmacy. It is also possible to opt for isopropanol, which can be used to remove mould with alcohol in just a few steps. It should always be done with open windows and doors. Rubber gloves are used to protect the hands. Protective goggles can also be useful. Now a cloth is soaked with alcohol. The affected area is now cleaned with the cloth. Another possibility is to apply the alcohol with a spray bottle and let it work. After it has been removed from the surfaces, the mould should no longer be visible. Cloths that have come into contact with alcohol and mould are discarded.
- Hydrogen peroxide — Even hydrogen peroxide can be bought in the pharmacy. The application takes place similarly as with the mould removal with alcohol. The active substance should be applied to the affected areas with a brush and removed again after a contact time.
- Mould remover — There are special mould remover products on the market. They can be used against mould in the bathroom. However, some of them contain dangerous chemicals. It is therefore important to ventilate sufficiently.
- Anti Mildew Paint — Wallpapers are also affected by mildew in the bathroom if they are completely replaced. Then a special anti-mildew paint can be used. It is applied directly on the wall or on the new wallpaper and should prevent that the mould can form again in the bath.
Important: The cause of mould growth should be investigated. If structural defects are present, the landlord must be informed, if it concerns a rented dwelling.
Preventing Mould In The Bathroom: The Best Tips
It is important to take care to prevent mould in the bathroom. This works in different ways:
- Sufficient ventilation — Mildew in the bathroom develops because the fungi have an optimal culture medium due to the high air humidity. If you want to prevent mould in the bathroom, you should ventilate regularly. After taking a shower or bath and airing twice a day, it is advisable to ventilate.
- Remove condensation — When condensation forms on windows or tiles, it should be wiped off. If it remains on the walls or windows, it is also a breeding ground for mould.
- Using lime plaster — Lime plaster is ideal in the fight against mould in the bathroom. It is designed to absorb steam from the air. This lowers the humidity in the room and spores have no chance to multiply. The lime plaster is used in areas that are not exposed to splash water. However, tiles should be used for sections with high exposure to splash water.
- Using a hygrometer — Often it doesn't even occur that there is high humidity in the bathroom. A hygrometer in the bathroom is recommended in order to be able to estimate the values better. It shows the current values and gives an indication of when ventilation should be restored. Temperatures between 21 and 24 degrees Celsius should also prevail in the bathroom. The humidity should be below 60 %.
- Use open-pored wood — Wood in the bathroom is trendy and can prevent mould in the bathroom. Open-pored wood is able to store liquid. So for example ceiling plates or furniture with a surface from open-pored wood can help with the Vorbeugung.
- Use of vinyl — A very good material for use in the bathroom is vinyl. Vinyl is normally used as flooring. It offers a smooth surface that is easy to clean. It also has a very good grip. Even if the air humidity in the bathroom is very high, residents do not slip out on the floor.
- Cork for the floor or splash-proof areas — Cork is a material that is waterproof and does not change its shape even in high humidity. In addition, it can be cleaned very well and therefore does not provide an adhesive surface for mould spores. When the cork is used, it should be checked at regular intervals whether there are any cracks. If this is the case, the cork boards should be replaced.
- Using Bamboo — For the floor in the bathroom, the handle is suitable for bamboo. The environmentally friendly material is quite cheap to buy and can be easily replaced if the floor is damaged. Cleaning is quick and easy.
- Cleaning Surfaces — It only takes a few minutes, but this can help in the fight against mould in the bathroom: Cleaning the surfaces is particularly important. After washing or brushing the teeth, the fittings should be wiped and dried. This also applies to the fittings in the shower and bathtub, as mould can also form here.
Important: If there is no window in the bathroom, effective ventilation should be installed. This helps to dry the air and to keep the climate in the bathroom pleasant.
Check For Mould Infestation With A Mould Test
A mould test provides information about the type of mould, how badly the bathroom is affected and how high the wall humidity is. In the meantime, the mould test is already available for use at home. With the help of small sets, tenants and owners can find out the type of mould. However, the home mould test is not as detailed as a professional test. It is better to contact an expert directly. This can be for example a building biologist.
A mould test is particularly useful if the infestation in the bathroom is already advanced and there is mould in other areas of the apartment. The test report provides information on how pervasive the infestation actually is.