Mould growth is a common problem in many showers and it can sometimes prove difficult to address. Not only is it unsightly but it can also pose a health hazard to you and your family. Identifying signs of shower mould early on is crucial to limiting its spread as dealing with larger mould colonies can be quite challenging. In this article, we’ll be discussing what shower mould is and how you can get rid of it to keep your bathroom clean and hygienic.
What is shower mould?
Mould is a type of fungi that spreads in cold, damp environments. These microorganisms spread throughout an area relatively quickly which is why immediate action is required to prevent them from growing. It doesn’t take much moisture to encourage mould growth as it only requires a bit of moisture and humidity in your bathroom to facilitate their spread.
Cracked tile grout, unaddressed water leaks, and poor ventilation are some of the most common causes of mould growth. You’ll know you have a mould problem in your shower when it smells quite musty and there are black spots on the shower floor, walls, etc.
Black mould is a dangerous strain of mould. You can find many types of mould growing in damp places, but black mould is arguably the most hazardous to human health. Sometimes black mould can make its way into showers and wreak havoc from there. The negative health effects associated with black mould are:
- Respiratory problems
- Allergic reactions, including watery and itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, and a runny nose
- Memory loss
- Skin irritation
- Mould-induced asthma
- Lung infections
At first, black mould can appear like speckles of dirt. You might think that a little scrubbing may be enough to remove them. However, as you scrub vigorously, you might notice that the “dirt” isn’t coming off easily. To be clear, you don’t want any type of mould growing in your shower as no mould is good for your health. But black mould is different and is more toxic than other types of mould. If you notice black mould, you should seriously consider having your shower regrouted.
How to get rid of shower mould
If you’re not dealing with black mould in your shower, then you can proceed to remove it yourself. Start by using an anti-fungal cleaner to kill off the microorganisms. While bleach and other similar cleaners may reduce the visible mould, it won’t be enough to kill the fungus and its spores.
Vinegar is also a cheap yet effective alternative against mould. Place the vinegar inside a spray bottle and spray down the affected areas. Leave the vinegar to soak for around 15 minutes before scrubbing. Be sure to wear a mask when cleaning mould from your shower or tub as inhaling mould spores can trigger allergic reactions, possibly severe ones from people with serious allergies.
What to do if you have black mould in your shower
Like we’ve previously mentioned, black mould is more dangerous than the typical shower mould and will most likely need the attention of a professional cleaner. If the mould in your shower is particularly stubborn, then it’s best to contact an expert cleaning service to get rid of all the black mould.
It’s crucial to remove all mould spores before taking measures to prevent regrowth. Even if your shower looks clean, any remaining mould spores can spread quickly and start a new crop of mould. Repairing a cracked grout and a leaky shower base won’t do much if there’s still existing mould in the shower. Once the mould has been thoroughly removed, you can start waterproofing your shower and fixing any issues that may lead to mould regrowth.
Waterproofing your shower is a great way of preventing mould growth. This includes regrouting the shower tiles, applying a liquid waterproof coating to the backing board, and installing new reinforcement membrane. But waterproofing is only the first step as tiles and grout are porous surfaces. Mould loves to make itself at home on the tiny little nooks and crannies on porous materials which is why regular sealing and maintenance is just as important as waterproofing.
To block mould spores from spreading in your shower tiles, have them resealed every one or two years. This applies to tile grout as well. Preventive maintenance will go a long way towards keeping mould at bay so don’t neglect tile and grout resealing.