Mold, mildew and various types of bacteria tend to love warm, wet or damp, dark places. Unfortunately, your favourite warm shower or hot relaxing bubble bath—combined with a lack of ventilation or air circulation—can often make your cherished bathroom the ideal breeding site for these types of unhealthy organisms to set up shop.
Looking for some handy tips to help prevent mold, mildew and other types of bacteria in your bath?
Here are five of our top tips!
- Help the humidity get outside.
Hot baths and showers generate an intense amount of humidity, or water vapour in the air. So the first step is to give the extra humidity that has accumulated during bathtime the boot! Do whatever you can, as often as you can, to help the room return to being dry and moisture-free, and as quickly as possible.
You want the humidity to be cycled outside rather than inside so a properly installed bathroom exhaust fan is a must.
Bathroom exhaust fans are the norm but in some houses, especially older ones, building codes at the time dictated that the bathroom needed only either a window or a fan. An exhaust fan is a better bet, especially in winter, so consider having one professionally installed if you don’t already have one.
Experts recommend running bathroom exhaust fans for at least 30 minutes to help the warm air escape to the outside. Bonus tip: If you notice moisture on your bathroom walls or mirror, the fan hasn’t run long enough. Keep it going!
If you’re a busy professional or part of a busy family, you might enjoy the convenience of a bathroom timer. This simple investment makes it easy to run the bathroom timer while on a busy schedule—just set it and forget it! You can head out the door without worrying that the fan is going to run needlessly all day.
- Eliminate all accumulated water.
Mold and mildew can’t thrive in areas that don’t provide it with a ready and regular source of water. So the next step is to eliminate any water that accumulated during your bath or shower… and if you’re anything like most people, that can be a lot!
Water on the floors, countertops, glass or plastic shower enclosures, and especially on your shower curtain needs to be eliminated to help prevent mildew or mold from forming.
After every bath or shower, wipe up excess water on floors, countertops or other surfaces, and wipe down your glass shower enclosure or plastic shower curtain. You might also like to store your wet towels in another room or on a heated tower rack to help them dry faster.
- Stop all leaks.
In addition to the water that may accumulate during showers and baths, water can also be introduced through old fixtures, such as leaky toilets, taps or pipes. Have them professionally inspected and repaired to reduce additional water from being introduced and accumulating.
- Seal and caulk your tiled tub and shower surrounds.
It’s a common misconception that the grout between your bathroom tiles, under your toilet, or inside your tiled tub or shower surround is waterproof. In fact, it’s actually porous so it will absorb any accumulated water, which can then potentially cause damage to the subfloor or other structures.
In potentially humid areas like bathrooms, we highly recommend applying a grout sealant to newly tiled areas such as showers. In addition, you should caulk all corners, crevices and the bottom row of tiles where they meet the bathtub with a specialized bathroom caulk designed for the job.
- Inspect, clean and store children’s toys appropriately.
A common and yet not well-known source of mildew and mold in bathrooms is children’s toys. You know, those plastic tub toys that kids love to play with, drink water from, or put in or on their mouths during bathtime?
Yeah, those ones!
Sadly, even those beloved tub toys, when exposed to water and humidity, can become a serious harbinger of different bacteria, mildew and mold when not cared for correctly.
We recommend checking all your children’s toys on a regular basis. You can clean plastic toys with soap (unless the mold has infiltrated the plastic, in which case throw it out and buy a new one) and launder fabric or terrycloth toys in the washing machine.
That said, storing children’s toys properly is key to help prevent mildew and mold from forming and growing in the first place.
This means allowing the waterlogged toys to drain properly, either hanging up, stashed in a ventilated basket or nestled in a mesh bag. Don’t use baskets or bags where water can collect and be careful not to overload them. Aim to have 360° ventilation around the toys in your chosen storage solution.
Stuck for toy storage ideas? Check out Pinterest for a variety of effective and stylish storage solutions.
Do you suspect mold, mildew or other bacteria in your Toronto area home or workplace? Give us a call and our GTA-based mold testing professionals can perform an assessment to locate, identify and remedy any potential mold issues that may be present in your bath or other rooms. Free phone consultations. Contact us today!