Mould is a common problem in bathrooms in South East Queensland due to our sub-tropical climate. Like most problems prevention is vital and often very simple.
Because your bathroom and especially the shower area are the wettest areas in your home it is not uncommon to see black mould growing in the grouting and silicon sealants. Mould loves your bathroom because it is the perfect atmosphere to create the ideal conditions for mould growth in the cracks and gaps in the tiling. Consequently black mould grows in behind and through the grout joints on the tiles. As can be seen on the photo on the right black mould loves getting in behind the silicon seal on the internal corners whether it be the wall or the floor.
The most common area to find mould is in your shower where it is nourished by your body oils, shampoo and soap residue that are left behind every time the shower is used.
Poor air circulation actively assists mould growth as the warmth and moisture created in the enclosed area of a shower offer further ideal conditions for mould growth in the dark areas of the shower around the internal corners and the shower floor drain. Poor air circulation is easily resolved by ensuring you install a good quality bathroom extraction fan above the shower that turns on automatically to remove all of the steam and water particles while you are using the shower.
If you are suffering from black mould growth in your bathroom then Whywait Plumbing recommend that you act early to remove it before permanent stains are created. To get rid of early mould growth the best solution is to use a paste of baking soda and vinegar. Simply mix one cup of water with white vinegar and water to create a smooth paste. Then apply the paste to the areas where mould is growing, gently scrubing it with an old soft tooth brush until it starts to turn white and then leave it. After half an hour rinse off all the paste using your shower spray and if any mould still is visible you will need to repeat applying the paste and scrubbing it until all of the mould has disappeared.
The paste above will work perfectly on mould that is detected and removed early but if you have a real infestation then use a 50/50 mix of water and bleach in a spray bottle. Ensure you have adequate ventilation in the bathroom before you begin lightly spraying the mould. Once again spray then leave for half an hour, rinse off and spray again until all of the mould has disappeared.
Mould behind the silicon sealant on the internal corners will require more thorough work. First use a utility knife to scrape off all of the silicon and you may need to use a blade to scrape the remnants clear off the tiles. Once all of the silicon has been removed spray the mould with the 50/50 bleach until it has all disappeared. Once the mould has gone rinse the area clean and dry it thoroughly with a hot air dryer to ensure there is no moisture trapped in the open joint. Finally reapply a good quality mould resistant silicon to the joint which is specifically designed for high moisture areas.
If mould reappears within a few weeks then you may have problems with leaking pipes or fittings that require a thorough investigation by Whywait Plumbing to ensure you are not damaging internal frames and wall linings.
Remember mould is only a sympton of a bigger problem and ignoring will not make it disappear. If in any doubt call Whywait Plumbing for advice on how to deal with mould in your bathroom.