Whether your bathroom is a haven from the world where you soak away all your stress, or simply a place where you rush into the shower before heading off to work, you want it to be a clean room. The sight of patches of dark mould growing on your walls or ceilings might be a depressing sight, but it could also be putting your health at risk.
The sight of mould growing on bathroom walls and ceilings is a signal that you have high levels of damp in the room. When the mould is confined to the bathroom, it is usually an indication that there is insufficient airflow to remove the water vapour released when you shower or bathe. It might mean that your existing extractor fan is no longer up to the task.
There are many species of mould that can grow in your home. Most commonly these are dark green or black in colour and can be easily seen against light coloured bathroom walls. Moulds grow from microscopic spores, and as the mould blooms on your walls, it releases millions of these spores into the air day and night. Mould spores can be an allergen. If people with respiratory conditions such as asthma inhale the spores, they can irritate the airways and cause distress, but spores can also irritate eyes and skin.
Some species of mould also release mycotoxins into the air as they grow. Stachybotrys Chartarum, or toxic black mould is such a species. If you have this particular type of mould in your home, it will need to be professionally removed as it can be very dangerous to inhale particles as you wipe it away.
If you already have mould problems in your bathroom, it is quite simple to get rid of in the short term. Spraying the affected area with a fungicidal cleaner or dilute bleach will kill of the mould and it can be wiped away with a moist cloth and then rinsed. When cleaning mould, it is important to wear eye protection, gloves and a face covering to prevent inhaling the spores as you clean.
Once you have wiped away the mould residue, you might want to wash other areas of the room to prevent any other developing colonies that are not yet visible from getting worse. Make sure you dispose of any cloths that you have used while cleaning after use to avoid spreading mould elsewhere in your home.
Unfortunately, simply cleaning mould away is only a temporary solution. If you want to stop mould from growing in your bathroom, you need to remove the underlying conditions that allow it to happen in the first place, and this means reducing humidity levels and improving air flow so that the mould spores cannot settle in still areas and are not provided with the damp conditions that they need to thrive.
Bathroom ventilation is normally based around an extractor fan mounted on the wall or ceiling that removes moist air from the room and releases it outside. Dry air from elsewhere in the property is drawn into the bathroom to replace the humid air, and this air movement inward prevents the humidity from escaping into other rooms.
Older extractor fans may not have the power to adequately deal with the amount of water vapour released when bathing or taking a shower, and as a result, or might be set on a timer that does not give them long enough to work properly.
Modern extractor fans such as the EnviroVent Cyclone 7 feature a humidity sensor that adapts the fan speed to the amount of water vapour in the air. This means that when the moisture levels are high, the fan pushes more air out of the room and dries it more quickly. This minimises the amount of time that condensation has to form in the room and prevents damp patches from growing.
If you have noticed patches of black mould growing anywhere in your home and are worried about the health risk that they might pose to you and your family, please contact us today. Our local specialists can conduct a free home survey that will identify the source of the moisture that is leading to the mould growth and will be able to provide you with advice about the best way of dealing with the problem.
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