All About Mould

Contrary to popular belief, mould does NOT grow on surfaces such as glass, Formica, tile, or metal. It WILL however grow on dirt or other organic debris on these surfaces! In the shower, the most common culprit is bio-film. This film is made up of soap, shampoo, body oils, bacteria, skin flakes etc. and is the perfect environment for mould to grow in and on. It is imperative to keep shower surfaces clean in order to keep them free from mould and the best way to control indoor mould growth is to control moisture.

How Should I Clean / Manage My Mouldy Shower? Small areas of mould growth from condensation on bathroom tiles is topical (on the surface only) in nature and can be simply cleaned up. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals since these often do not work and may cause other environmental problems and health issues. Water with a detergent solution such as dishwashing liquid and a white scourer work very well in cleaning up small areas of mould growth from tiles. Cotton tipped swabs can be used to get into hard to reach areas. It IS possible to clean mould from hard surfaces using the methods above, but it is also very important to dry these surfaces completely after cleaning. On the other hand, it is NOT possible to simply clean mould from absorbent / porous materials such as grout. The mould spores actually penetrate into these absorbent / porous materials and they need to be replaced. While mould may be cleaned from the “surfaces” of absorbent / porous materials, the spores which have penetrated into them mean that the mould will simply redevelop again, from the inside out. Further, aggressive cleaning (using abrasives or harsh chemicals) in a misguided attempt to remove mould from these materials will actually make the problem worse – causing decay, making the material more porous, allowing mould spores to penetrate further and actually promoting mould growth!

Is Mould in your Bathroom Making your Family Sick? There is no practical way to eliminate ALL mould and mould spores in the indoor environment. However, high levels of exposure to mould have potential health effects and symptoms including allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints. Minimising exposure to mould can minimise the potential health effects and symptoms.

Top 9 ways to prevent mould development in your shower.

  1. Use a quality grout with an anti-mould additive.
  2. Have the new grout sealed (stainguarded).
  3. Keep the area well ventilated, especially whilst showering – use your extractor fan, open bathroom windows.
  4. Leave the shower screen door open / open the shower curtain after showering.
  5. Have shorter / cooler showers.
  6. Use body wash rather than soap to minimise build up of bio-film.
  7. Avoid the use of harsh chemicals and cleaners which decay the grout and make it more porous over time.
  8. Clean the shower regularly with a PH neutral cleaner or microfibre cloth.
  9. Dry the shower with an old towel / rag after each use.

If All Else Fails – It’s Time To Regrout.