How to Prevent Mold in Your Bathroom and Kitchen
Because of Colorado’s arid climate, we residents are pretty lucky when it comes to mold issues. Mold loves damp, dark places, and our dry environment can help to prevent these in the home. Mold does grow here, though, and if left untreated, it could become a problem.
Is your knowledge about this topic a little spotty? Pun intended. Let’s fix that.
Facts about Mold
Not only is mold an eye sore, it is a health concern. Breathing in these spores can exacerbate asthma, cause breathing difficulties (particularly in immunocompromised individuals and vulnerable people such as the elderly, children, and pregnant women), and induce allergy symptoms. So, it is important to minimize our exposure to mold as much as possible.
The “good” thing about mold is that it is pretty easy to see and to identify. It usually consists of dark, spotty areas that collect in a certain place. We often see mold as the spores form “clumps” on shower tiles, along the bottom edge of doors, or in the corners of wet linoleum. The most common places to look for mold in the home are those spaces that are consistently wet or exposed to moisture, like the bathtub, bathroom and kitchen tile, and areas around sinks, toilets, and windows.
A key way to prevent mold is to provide good ventilation to bathrooms and kitchens (and other areas that are susceptible to it, such as areas in the basement, garage, or crawl space). It is helpful to check for faulty seals on door frames and windows, and to keep surfaces dry. Think about areas in your home, big or small, where water can just sit. Where can it collect? Work to consistently dry out these spaces.
We often work with people who have installed bathtub liners for this purpose, thinking that they would provide a barrier against mold. Bathroom liners are not a good idea. Ironically, they trap moisture underneath and create the perfect condition for those spores! Rather than preventing mold, these liners allow it to thrive.
So, no bathtub liners.
The best way to treat and prevent mold is to be on the lookout for it, and most often the best way to clean it is just to clean it. Get rid of it. Then take steps to prevent it from coming back.
When cleaning mold off of household surfaces, remember that these spores can spread easily. So, wear a mask and make sure there is good airflow in the room (you don’t want so much that the spores blow into other rooms). Use hot water, a clean rag, and a brush to remove and clean the area. Check out more mold cleaning tips here.
It’s tempting to think that harsh chemicals are the answer, but that’s not true. In fact, you probably already have the surprising secret weapon for cleaning your bathroom and kitchen areas.
In addition to cleaning up moldy areas, we can work to prevent the conditions that allow it in the first place. Consider some of these tips and tricks.
Tips for preventing mold:
Increase airflow and ventilation to areas that are often damp or wet
Control moisture levels by keeping humidity levels low
Look for damp, dark areas around your home
Remove any standing water from inside or outside your home
Promptly clean and dry out any area that has been wet (or flooded)
So, in with the clean and out with the mold!
This unsightly issue does not have to become a problem in your home. A few simple steps can make your bathroom and kitchen surfaces clean and mold free.
If you’re on a roll, we also offer a variety of care instructions for how to clean and protect many important surfaces in the home.