How to Prevent Mold and Mildew in the Bathroom

Yellow toy rubber duck sitting on bathtub with mildew tile in backgroundHave you noticed a weird smell in your bathroom? Discolored growths on your walls, sink, or shower? Are you seeing an increase in respiratory issues when using the restroom? Mildew or mold in the bathroom can seriously impact your daily routine and create a potential health hazard. To keep bathrooms free of annoying mold growth, learn more about how you can prevent these fungi from taking hold in your home.

What’s the Difference Between Mold and Mildew?

Both are types of fungi, but mold tends to stick out from the surface it lives on. Mildew usually lies flat and looks fluffy or powdery. Typically, mold shows up in darker colors—like green or black—while mildew often appears white or yellowish, potentially turning gray or brown over time.

Signs of Mold in Bathrooms

The first step to preventing mold growth is recognizing it as it happens or identifying spots that might give you trouble. Keep an eye out for signs of unwanted additions to your bathroom ecosystem:

  • Visible mold or mildew. Look for growth in damp areas, such as mold on your faucet head, in your shower, around your toilet, or under the sink. Dark, fuzzy spots or light-to-dark powdery patches may be mold or mildew.
  • Mildew smell in the bathroom. That “musty” or “damp” smell that’s filling your bathroom might be caused by mildew. If you smell something that could be compared to damp earth, rotting wood, or wet carpets, it’s time to look for sources of contamination.
  • Signs of water damage or leaks. Both types of fungi thrive in damp and wet environments. Take note of anywhere that’s getting particularly wet as a potential mold growth spot. Leaks can provide unseen homes for mold and mildew but don’t forget to check your shower, tub, sink, and toilet too.
  • Increased respiratory issues. Mold and mildew can irritate conditions like allergies or asthma or cause general respiratory issues. If you touch or inhale spores, you might experience a sore throat, coughing or sneezing, irritation in your eyes, or wheezing. Encountering these symptoms while, or just after, using the bathroom might point to mold growth.

Related Topic: My Bathroom Smells Musty (You’re Not Alone)

How to Prevent Mold in Your Bathroom

Reduce bad smells and health hazards by taking steps to prevent mold and mildew growth. Here are some tips for keeping things clean and comfortable in your bathroom:

  • Clean regularly. Clean bathrooms are the enemy of mold and mildew. Mopping up water, wiping down damp surfaces, and removing dirt all make it harder for fungi to grow.
  • Dry it out. Mold and mildew need moisture to take hold. Keep your bathroom ventilated, especially during and after steamy showers. Make sure to spread towels out so they dry thoroughly and take care of spills and plumbing leaks as soon as you notice them.
  • Fix leaks. Not only is this generally a good practice in any room in your home, but finding and fixing leaks also gets rid of a major source of moisture that mold and mildew would use to grow.
  • Keep ventilation fans in working order. Ventilation is the key to keeping your bathroom dried out. It’s especially important in bathrooms with no windows or in cold months where you can’t open a window for extra airflow. If you’re having trouble with your exhaust fan (or if you don’t have one), Mr. Electric offers exhaust fan repair service in your area.
  • Replace cracked shower grout. When grout starts cracking or crumbling, it provides the perfect opportunity for water to seep in and allow mold and mildew to thrive. If you can, replacing and re-sealing your damaged grout cuts down on mold’s opportunities to grow.
  • Remove current mold and mildew. Eliminate any growth that’s currently in your home. Mildew grows on the surface of objects, so you can scrub it off yourself. Make sure to wear gloves and a face mask to protect yourself from irritants.

Mold penetrates deeper into grout, drywall, and wood, so it’s a good idea to have it removed by professionals, such as Rainbow International.

Find a Reliable Plumber Near You

Keeping your bathroom free of mold and mildew will help create a cleaner, healthier home. Taking just a few steps to prevent mold growth can make a big difference when it comes to your bathroom’s trouble spots. When it comes to trouble with your plumbing, call your local Mr. Rooter Plumbing for help. Our experienced pros have the expertise to spot problems and fix them quickly. To learn more, give us a call us or request a job estimate online today.