Mold will grow anywhere conditions allow, including on surfaces in a bathroom. Before you brush off the mold that has started to form around your bathroom's window, consider the possible consequences of mold exposure and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and others before removing the mold.
Mold Growth Conditions
Mold growth occurs on surfaces such as drywall, wood and grout that have been exposed to water or in rooms with high humidity. Minimize the risk of mold growth in your bathroom by ventilating the room each time after taking a bath or shower. Run the bathroom's fan or leave a window open to eliminate extra humidity. Wipe condensation off the walls, including areas around the windows, using a towel.
Some people have an allergic reaction to mold. Symptoms of mold allergy are similar to those with cold or flu, such as runny nose, cough, sore throat and itchy eyes. Asthmatics can experience a more severe reaction from mold exposure, which manifests itself in chest tightness and shortness of breath. Mold exposure can also trigger a severe asthma episode, requiring immediate emergency medical care.
Additional Health Risks
People may suffer other mold-induced conditions aside from allergic reactions. Mold spores can attach to the interior of someone's nasal cavity, where the mold will grow in a condition called allergic fungal sinusitis, according to the Mayo Clinic. Surgery is one option to remove the growth from a person's nose. People who have cystic fibrosis or asthma may develop a lung infection from mold exposure. Other people who do not have asthma or cystic fibrosis may experience lung inflammation after breathing in mold spores, although the Mayo Clinic says such a reaction is rare.
Removing mold requires care, since improper practices will spread mold spores, leading to more mold growth. Before you start with the removal process, be sure to wear a long sleeve shirt, pants, rubber gloves, head covering and a face mask to help filter out the mold spores. Before you do anything with moldy surfaces, spray them down thoroughly with water to keep the mold spores from becoming airborne. Any surfaces that are porous, such as drywall or carpet padding, must be removed since you cannot clean the mold out entirely. For harder surfaces, use a scrub brush and a non-ammonia cleaner to remove the mold. Mix half of a cup of bleach with a gallon of water, then wet the hard surfaces you cleaned with the solution. Make sure the surfaces stay wet for 15 minutes, then rinse the area with clean water and dry the area quickly using towels and fans.
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