Bathroom Mould – How To Get Rid it!

Bathroom Mould

bathroom mould
Don’t let mould take over your bathroom! Prevention is better and less costly than cure!

The source of moisture in bathrooms is mainly the steam from hot baths and showers condensing on the ceiling and walls making bathrooms the ideal breeding ground and bacteria. Mould on bathroom ceiling walls and tiles is mainly the result of condensation and poor air circulation in the bathroom.

How to get rid of bathroom mould

The first step to cleaning mould from a bathroom ceiling and walls is to use a product that will kill the mould and remove the staining. Therefore, this means using products like Domestos, Jik or any other bleach you may have in your kitchen. However, there are also propriety products like Mould Buster which have been specially developed to get rid of mould. If you prefer to use one of them follow the instructions carefully!

Safety first when cleaning up bathroom mould

Always use PPE (personnel protection equipment) when using dangerous chemicals like bleach and even vinegar!

The PPE listed below is essential to protect yourself against the cleaners:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Breathing apparatus (not dust  or medical masks)
  • Coveralls

How to kill the mould

  • If you decide to use bleach, create a mixture of bleach and water, using a spray or sponge to apply it to the mould areas in your bathroom. The bleach removes the mould stains!
  • Wash down the area with water.
  • Apply white vinegar with a spray or sponge to the mould area. Vinegar will kill the mould!
  • Wait about an hour before cleaning the area with water again.
  • Let the area dry thoroughly.
  • Ventilate the bathroom to help remove fumes and to help the drying process. Use a fan or heater to speed up the process if required.

Safety Warning

Never mix any other cleaning ingredients with bleach as it could create a toxic gas. Therefore, wash your mouldy ceiling with bleach first, then apply the white vinegar solution separately.

How to prevent mould from forming in bathrooms

Ventilation is the key to preventing mould from forming:

  • Leave shower and bathroom doors and windows open to provide proper ventilation to the bathroom, particularly after hot showers or baths.
  • Wipe down your walls with white vinegar whenever you see mould starting to appear.
  • Consider installing a ceiling fan and ducting to the outside of the bathroom.

Now that you know how to keep bathroom mould from ceiling areas and walls for good, prevention is the key! Be proactive by wiping down the tiled walls in your bathroom and the floor in your shower with vinegar once a week, especially in showers, and you’ll never have problems with mould again.

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Indoor Air Quality

Clearing The Air

indoor air and asthma
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When it comes to assessing your family’s indoor air environment during lockdown there are 5 categories of concern to consider! South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs is not concerned with residential indoor air quality! As a result, we need to learn what indoor air quality is from America’s Environmental Protection Agency. They have identified 5 danger levels of indoor air quality. Indoor air quality is a major human health issue worldwide under normal conditions. However, indoor air quality and possible incidents of asthma attacks are worsened during Lockdown when you and your family are spending most of your time indoors.

Homes with windows and doors closed have a lack of adequate ventilation. In addition, the lack of airbricks increased insulation and better-sealing windows and doors make new homes much more energy-efficient than older houses. As a result, in new homes, it is even more difficult to get fresh clean air into the home.

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Mould and Sleep Loss

Health Risks of Mould in the Home: Sleep Loss

sleep loss

WC: 529

Do you suffer from sleep loss?

Did you know that one way to identify a mould problem in your home is watching your water bill? Leaks and damp surfaces are primed for mould growth, especially in areas that are prone to collection surfaces and warmth—think your bathrooms, kitchen and basement.

In addition to leaky pipes, many people don’t realize that mould can form in other disguised areas of your home such as on your mattress. Whether you sleep in a damp room, spill a glass of water that is absorbed into your mattress, or sweat a lot at night, your mattress may be primed for mould growth. Mattresses can include soft, porous materials such as cotton covers or foam comfort layers, any of which can absorb moisture both inside and outside of your mattress.

So, while you may know to check your pipes or understand that your basement, kitchen, and bathrooms are often culprits of leaks and potential areas of mould growth, keep in mind that places such as your bedroom may hide a serious mould problem.

Here are five ways indoor mould causes sleep loss

Sleep Loss

Mould impacts the air quality in your house by releasing glucans which can cause an inflammatory response to your respiratory system. In turn, it affects your ability to breathe effectively by prompting your body to go into a fix-it mode such as an increase in mucus production which builds up and makes it difficult to breathe.

Sleep Apnea

It is estimated that nearly 22-million people are affected by sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a dangerous and potentially deadly problem wherein a person momentarily stops breathing. The result is gasping or snoring as the person’s brain tries to readjust breathing. Sleep apnea is caused by the blockage or narrowing of the airways that is often the result of congestion associated with mould.

Continue reading “Mould and Sleep Loss”

A Smelly Shower

Smells in your shower

shower

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Often what happens in a shower, while the tiler is tiling the floor, is that excess tile adhesive and grout is washed down the shower drain. As a result, some of this grout may be lodged somewhere in the drainage system causing a blockage.

The following may have happened:

  • Either the trap or drainage pipes were damaged during an attempt to unblock the drain.
  • Grout is lodged in the trap and drain pipes.
  • The stub stack vent valve may be below the level of the highest plumbing fixtures on the drainage system in the bathroom.  As a result, the lowest fixture, such as the shower P-trap water seal may be syphoned out of the shower trap.

Of course, a combination of all three may occur as well. Unless the shower trap or drain pipes are damaged, you should be able to handle the cleanup yourself.

Mould in the P-trap

If your shower drain smells musty, you most likely have active mould growing underneath the drain cover. But, if your drain smells like rotten eggs or sewage, you’re either smelling bacteria from a clogged or dirty drain or sewer gases that have escaped from your drainage pipes.

As part of their metabolic process, active mould spores release a gas that has a distinct musty smell. In addition, the gas can be dangerous. If inhaled, it can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue. Continue reading “A Smelly Shower”

Biological Pollutants

biological pollutants

Biological pollutants

biological pollution such as dust mites
Good housekeeping and maintenance of heating and air conditioning equipment are imperative in all homes. Furthermore, adequate ventilation and good air distribution are important in your home.

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Sources of pollution in your home

Biological pollutants can be a problem in your home, causing considerable health problems! They include bacteria, viruses, animal dander, cat saliva, house dust, mites, cockroaches and pollen.

Sources of biological pollutants can be reduced by controlling the humidity level in your home. Therefore, the relative humidity should be kept between 30-50%. Significantly, standing water, water-damaged materials or wet surfaces serve as a breeding ground for moulds, mildews, bacteria and insects. Furthermore, house dust mites, the source of one of the most powerful biological allergens, grow in damp, warm environments.

Biological Pollutants are:

  • Pollens, from plants.
  • Viruses are transmitted by people and animals.
  • Mould.
  • Bacteria are carried by people, animals, and soil and plant debris.
  • Household pets, which are sources of saliva and animal dander (skin flakes)
  • Droppings and body parts from cockroaches, birds, rodents and other pests or insects.
  • The protein in urine from rats and mice is a potent allergen. When it dries, it becomes airborne.
  • Contaminated central air handling systems can become breeding grounds for mould, mildew and other sources of biological contaminants.

Many of these biological contaminants are inhaled.

Locations that facilitate its growth, e.g. moisture, water etc. These include:

  • Damp or wet areas, e.g. cooling coils, humidifiers, condensate pans or unvented bathrooms facilitate mould growth.
  • Draperies, bedding, carpet and other areas where dust collects facilitates the growth of biological pollutants.

Health Effects of Biological Pollution

Some trigger allergic reactions, including:

  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
  • Allergic rhinitis.
  • Some types of asthma.

Moulds and mildews release disease-causing toxins. Symptoms include:

  • sneezing,
  • watery eyes,
  • coughing,
  • shortness of breath,
  • dizziness,
  • lethargy,
  • fever,
  • and digestive problems,

Allergic reactions occur only after repeated exposure to a specific biological allergen. In addition, the reaction may occur immediately on re-exposure. Therefore, if you have mild allergic reactions or no reactions at all, this may suddenly change to highly sensitive to particular allergens.

Humidifier fever is the exposure to toxins from microorganisms that can grow in large building ventilation systems. Furthermore, humidifier fever can also occur in home heating and cooling systems, and humidifiers.

Children, elderly people and people with breathing problems, allergies, and lung disease are particularly susceptible to disease-causing biological agents.

Reducing Exposure

Good housekeeping and maintenance of heating and air conditioning equipment are imperative. Moreover, adequate ventilation and good air distribution are important.

The key to mould control is moisture control. Therefore, if mould is a problem, clean up the mould and get rid of excess water or moisture. In addition, maintain relative humidity between 30% – 60%, to help control mould, dust mites and cockroaches.

Ventilation

  • Use exhaust fans to vent kitchens and bathrooms. Especially vent clothes dryers outdoors. Consequently, this will reduce moisture build-up from everyday activities.
  • Ventilate ceiling space to prevent moisture build-up. Keeping humidity levels in these areas below 50% can prevent water condensation on building materials.

Humidity

  • If using cool mist or ultrasonic humidifiers, clean appliances according to the manufacturer’s instructions and also refill with fresh water daily. In addition, clean evaporation trays in air conditioners, dehumidifiers and refrigerators frequently.
  • Thoroughly clean and dry water-damaged carpets and building materials. However, replacement may be preferable. Furthermore, it is difficult to completely rid carpets and building materials of biological pollutants.

Dust Control

  • Keep the house clean! Obviously, regular cleaning will reduce house dust mites, pollens, animal dander and other allergy-causing agents.
  • If you are allergic you may choose to use allergen-proof mattress encasements.
  • Wash bedding in hot (50°C) water and also avoid room furnishings that accumulate dust.

Vacuuming can increase airborne levels of mite allergens and other biological pollutants. Therefore, using vacuums with high-efficiency filters may help.

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