Mould is a type of fungi that is spread by spores. It collects in areas where the environmental conditions are suited to its growth. In particular it likes to grow in dark and damp places, which is why it loves bathrooms. According to the WA Health Department, indoor condensation is the main source of moisture for the growth of mould. Condensation occurs when the vapour that is created when water is heated, cools and then changes back into liquid, usually affecting the walls, ceiling and floors of the bathroom.
While you will never be able to totally eliminate the existence of mould, you can minimise the conditions under which it thrives. So to reduce mould build up we need to increase the natural light, reduce the amount of moisture staying on the hard surfaces and kill any mould that does start to grow before it gets worse.
Improve the natural ventilation in the area – unfortunately in many bathrooms ventilation is in the form of an exhaust fan that only works while someone is using the bathroom but then remains off for the remainder of the day. To reduce the damp conditions that are ideal for mould to grow, we need to get the air in the bathroom circulating to dry out the walls and minimise the length of time that the condensation sits on the walls, floor and ceiling. This can be achieved by installing a skylight with ventilation, ducting a whirlybird into the ceiling, installing wall ventilation, or using louvres in place of a standard window. It is important that you are not just venting into the roof space but actually venting to outside the home so that you aren’t just transferring the problem from one area of the house to another. For product options please look at our Ventilation range.
Use mould-resistant paint on the walls and ceilings.
Reduce the build up of moisture in your home through the use of a dehumidifier.
Ensure you have the best insulation you can afford.
Remove mould as soon as it appears – there are a number of commercial products in the marketplace. We suggest that you be careful about using bleach-based products as they may simply be turning the mould white and not actually killing it. Also beware that many bleach-based products lose their effectiveness as they get older so if they have been sitting on your shelf for a while they may not be able to do their job properly any more. For a more natural remedy try spraying on a vinegar solution that is 80% vinegar, 20% water. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then sponge off – don’t use a brush as this could lead to the mould spores becoming airborne. Another suggestion for bathrooms is to use ¼ teaspoon of oil of cloves with one litre of water, spray it on and leave overnight before sponging off (don’t use oil of cloves on timber surfaces as it may discolour the timber).