Top Causes of Musty Odors in Bathrooms
When spritzes of air fresheners fail to camouflage musty odors in the bathroom, it’s time to address the core of the problem: mold and mildew. The top causes of musty odors in bathrooms are from fungal growth. Mold and mildew are types of fungus found in damp spaces, like bathrooms.
How are mold and mildew identified?
Mold growth may be identified in numerous ways. Stepping into the bathroom and whiffing unusual scents, like damp, earthy ones, unquestionably points to mold growth. Some liken the smell of mold to dirty, wet socks. In either case, mold gives off a characteristically unpleasant smell.
Visual inspections of the bathroom also reveal when mold is present. The sudden eruption of dark, unsightly splotches indicate mold. Depending on the type of mold growing on the walls or behind the toilet, the stains may widely differ in color, ranging from green to black.
Be aware, however, homeowners may smell mold before it is visible to the naked eye. Mold colonies can flourish behind walls and inside the pipes. The average homeowner lacks the expertise to locate mold when it thrives in hidden bathroom nooks, making it important to call in mold removal professionals.
Differentiating between mold and mildew is easily done. Mold is often a large infestation with spores that reach deep into porous materials, making it difficult to eliminate. On the other hand, mildew latches onto the surface of moist areas but can be easily removed with a scrubbing brush.
Why does mold grow in the bathroom?
Mold spores are attracted to damp, dark spaces with an ample nutrient source, like moisture. The bathroom is an ideal spot for mold to colonize due to the constant moisture from hot showers, the frequent darkness inside the bathroom and the high levels of indoor humidity.
Infestations latch onto common bathroom areas, like behind the toilet, within the shower curtain folds, on the bottom of shampoo bottles and inside the cabinets. Mold flourishes around the faucets, bathtub and fan. The fungus is also found lurking on the tile grout and paint.
What are effects of mold exposure?
While inhaling musty odors in the bathroom is off-putting, breathing the microscopic airborne mold spores results in adverse health consequences. Exposure to mold can lead to headaches, nausea, runny nose and respiratory problems. Mold triggers asthma symptoms in asthma sufferers.
In addition to health concerns are the structural issues caused by the prevalence of mold. Spores are notorious for eating away at a variety of porous materials. Mold growth, such as along the drywall or wood, can weaken the home’s structural stability and lead to safety hazards.
What prevents mold growth and related smells?
To erase a musty odor in the bathroom, the mold must be cleaned from the premises. Bleach fights mold quickly. A cleaning solution of one part water and one part bleach is effective in removing mold from tiles. Wipe down the moldy tiles with the bleach solution and dry completely.
Eradicate mold growth on wood with a similar bleach and water solution. Mix four parts water with one part bleach for an effective clean. Painted surfaces covered in mold also respond favorably to a bleach and water cleaning agent. Dry wood and painted areas as much as possible after cleaning.
Thoroughly wash a shower curtain that is covered in mold or mildew. Also consider soaking the mildew-stained shower curtain in a cleaning solution consisting of bleach and water. If the mold and mildew fail to disappear after a soak in bleach and water, replace the shower curtain.
How are musty odors prevented?
Preventing the musty odors in the bathroom is as simple as preventing mold from taking hold. Adequate ventilation in the bathroom is extremely helpful in keeping the area dry. Mold spores are unable to thrive in areas that lack abundant moisture.
Turning on the bathroom fan while showering and keeping it on for 30 minutes afterward helps reduce the humidity levels and moisture content inside the bathroom. Alternately, open a window. If neither are available, run a dehumidifier in the bathroom or place a small fan in the area.
After showering, hang the wet towel on a rack to dry rather than toss it into a hamper. The dark recesses of the hamper combined with the dampness of the towel will nourish mold. Routinely move permanent wall hangings in the bathroom to wipe down the wall behind it.
A clean bathroom is mold’s number one enemy. A hygienic space also usually smells good. Rid the bathroom of potential mold invasions by performing regular cleanings. Use disinfecting bathroom cleaning products to keep fungus, mold, mildew—and offensive smells—at bay.
Professional Mold Remediation
Homeowners who are surprised to find extensive mold growth in the bathroom should turn to a professional mold remediation company, such as ServiceMaster EMT, for complete mold removal and deodorization services. Large mold colonies are best handled by trained experts.
Skilled mold remediation technicians from ServiceMaster EMT will arrive onsite to first identify the source of the mold growth. A mold problem will only be resolved when the moisture source is properly addressed. As mentioned, without moisture, mold will cease to grow.
ServiceMaster EMT mold remediation experts are careful to avoid spreading the mold spores to other rooms in the home. Containment of the mold-contaminated bathroom is achieved with our equipment. Our specialists wear protective gear to prevent inhalation of harmful mold spores.
Once our skilled technicians have replaced or restored the materials damaged by mold, we fully decontaminate the area. Our restoration contractors remove the odors using industry-leading deodorization equipment, such as thermal fogging and nano carbon technology, and employ advanced techniques, including air washing and contaminated air treatment.
It’s unpleasant to constantly smell musty odors in the bathroom, and it is highly unsafe to breathe in the mold spores. When you need a reliable deodorization service to eliminate musty odors and a mold remediation contractor to remove the mold, contact ServiceMaster EMT in the southern counties of California and all of Nevada.
We are available to provide free estimates at (800) 376-6678.