Mold in your home isn’t just unsightly, it can cause a range of short- and long-term health conditions if left untreated or allowed to grow back repeatedly. Continue reading to learn from Camfil’s air quality experts about how the right air purifier can help prevent mold from growing back in your bathroom.
What Conditions Cause Mold and Mildew Growth?
Mold and mildew are two different types of fungi growth that can occur in a range of different circumstances. While mildew only occurs on visible surfaces, such as walls and ceilings, mold can occur anywhere, and when it grows in concealed, difficult-to-reach places, it can be difficult to eliminate.
Mold thrives in warm, humid conditions with poor ventilation. Bathrooms, in particular, are prime breeding grounds for mold and mildew growth: bathrooms are rarely fully dry, and doors and windows often remain closed, preventing air from moving through the room. Mold is even more likely to grow in bathrooms that have no overhead fan or other form of ventilation.
Other factors, such as the type of paint used on a particular surface, can make bathrooms more hospitable to mold. Oil- and alkyd-based paints are typically less resistant to mold and mildew growth than water-based latex paints. Additionally, flat and matte paint finishes are usually more porous than gloss and semi-gloss options, allowing for mold to grow more easily.
Is Mold in Your Bathroom Dangerous?
Mold is a significant health hazard that should not be taken lightly. Even in the hard-to-reach corners of your bathroom ceiling, where it is unlikely that the mold will come into direct contact with anyone’s skin, mold still releases spores into the air at a near-constant rate, making it impossible to avoid exposure as house occupants breathe in these spores.
According to the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, approximately 10% of people in the United States are allergic to mold, accounting for around one-quarter of people with allergies. However, exposure to mold spores can still cause respiratory irritation in people who do not have mold allergies, with symptoms ranging from mild congestion to lung infections that require hospitalization.
Getting rid of regular bathroom mold growths usually isn’t difficult, but keeping it from growing back can be a significant challenge.
How to Keep Mold From Growing Back in Your Bathroom
Here are some tips for preventing mold from growing back in your bathroom:
- Always turn on the overhead fan when you shower. If your bathroom has an overhead fan, make sure to always turn it on when you shower or take a bath. This will move some of the moisture out of the air so that conditions are less hospitable to mold. You should leave the fan running for thirty minutes to an hour after you are finished with the shower to minimize the amount of moisture that is allowed to remain in the room.
- Put soap, shampoo, and other hygiene products on racks. This allows water to drain out through the bottom of the rack instead of pooling underneath bottles, containers, and soap bars, which is what happens when you place them directly on ledges. Not only does using a rack mean that mold is less likely to grow under these items in the first place, but it also makes moving products out of the way easier when it’s time to clean.
- Always hang towels, loofahs, and washcloths up to dry. Mold doesn’t just grow on walls, it can grow on fabric items too. Leaving wet towels in a pile on the floor facilitates mold growth. Be sure to always hang your towel and any other wet items used to clean or dry your body up after use. If your bathroom has poor ventilation and retains humidity throughout the day, hang towels up in another room where they can fully dry.
- Use a daily shower cleaner. If your bathroom is prone to mold growth, you may want to use a daily shower cleaner, especially if your bathroom is poorly ventilated and never able to fully dry. Otherwise, cleaning shower and bath surfaces once per week is usually sufficient.
- Replace cracked grout and caulking, if possible. Cracked grout and peeling caulking can allow mold to grow in places where it is difficult to remove, such as behind tiles or underneath the bathtub. If you are able to, it is a good idea to replace cracked grout or otherwise fill gaps that allow mold into unreachable areas.
- Use an air purifier to prevent mold regrowth. Mold spores are microscopic and airborne. Removing them from the air altogether is one of the best ways to prevent mold from growing back in your bathroom. Continue reading to find out more about how the right air purifier can help with a recurring mold problem.
How Do Air Purifiers Help with a Mold Problem?
Air purifiers can’t treat surfaces where mold has already grown, but they play an important role in preventing mold from regrowing. Mold reproduces by releasing spores into the air that find new surfaces to settle on to begin growing. An air purifier with an individually factory-tested and certified HEPA filter removes mold spores from the air by trapping them in dense filter media, therefore preventing mold regrowth altogether. Additionally, an air purifier will be able to provide air circulation to a poorly ventilated space and remove excess moisture from the air.
Another way that an air purifier can help provide relief from a mold problem is by removing VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that come from cleaning chemicals from the air. Preventing mold regrowth usually involves using bleach-based cleaning agents and other harsh chemicals on surfaces, which are unpleasant to work with and cause symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, and respiratory irritation when inhaled, and may linger in the air for hours after use. Using these chemicals in enclosed, poorly ventilated bathroom spaces that are prone to mold problems can be especially uncomfortable. An air purifier with an activated carbon filter will remove VOCs from the air to reduce the negative effects of harsh cleaning chemicals on your lungs.
About Camfil Clean Air Solutions
For more than half a century, Camfil has been helping people breathe cleaner air. As a leading manufacturer of premium clean air solutions, we provide commercial and industrial systems for air filtration and air pollution control that improve worker and equipment productivity, minimize energy use, and benefit human health and the environment. We firmly believe that the best solutions for our customers are the best solutions for our planet, too. That’s why every step of the way – from design to delivery and across the product life cycle – we consider the impact of what we do on people and on the world around us. Through a fresh approach to problem-solving, innovative design, precise process control, and a strong customer focus we aim to conserve more, use less and find better ways – so we can all breathe easier.
The Camfil Group is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and has 30 manufacturing sites, six R&D centers, local sales offices in 35+ countries, and about 5,600 employees and growing. We proudly serve and support customers in a wide variety of industries and in communities across the world. To discover how Camfil USA can help you to protect people, processes and the environment, visit us at www.camfil.us/
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