Tackling a bathroom remodel can be both challenging and exciting. But, amid all the hard work and enthusiasm, it’s easy to focus too much on appearance and forget about what’s going on behind the scenes. In particular, whether the bathroom’s new design and layout do anything to help prevent the spread of mold and mildew. Regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces can undoubtedly help. Still, to keep these fungi at bay more effectively, you’re going to need to think about ways to improve ventilation and control moisture.
For your next home remodeling project, follow these tips from Quality DesignWorks to prevent mold and mildew from wreaking havoc in your bathroom.
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Mold & Mildew Love Bathrooms
Mold and mildew are known health hazards for both allergic and non-allergic people, even when tucked away underneath the bathroom sink. That’s because they release thousands of microscopic spores into the air, which can not only cause mild-to-severe respiratory symptoms but also continue the spread of these allergens. Unfortunately, these moisture-loving fungi love to nestle in bathrooms and other humidity-rich areas in your home, especially those without much ventilation. Less airflow means more moisture for them to grow.
Proper Ventilation Is Crucial
When developing a bathroom design for an existing or new bathroom, your priority should be to ensure proper ventilation to remove all the excess moisture produced when you shower or use any water appliances and remove any existing spores in the room. The best way to do so is to install a high-quality exhaust system if your bathroom doesn’t already have one. A proper exhaust fan can remove steam and mist quickly from the air while keeping good airflow.
Allow More Light In
Mold and mildew also love darkness for similar reasons. Less sunlight means wet surfaces dry slowly, which further increases humidity. The best way to brighten up your bathroom is by installing a window. Don’t worry about privacy — there are plenty of windows and blind options available to keep your bathroom private, including frosted window films and textured glass. Leaving the curtains open whenever possible, or even putting the lights on a timer can also help ward off these pesky fungi.
Choose Mildew-Resistant Materials
Nowadays, there’s plenty of building materials you can incorporate into your remodel that prevent mildew from spreading. If you’re painting over the walls, choose a paint that resists mold, or one with a mildew-resistant additive mixed into it, to give your walls an extra measure of protection. Also, consider installing vinyl flooring, which is not only easy to clean and affordable, but also highly resistant to water, mold, and mildew. Vinyl flooring is also available in sheet or tile form and comes in a wide range of colors to fit your style.
Update The Plumbing
You may be diligent about moping and preventing any spills in the bathroom, which certainly helps. Unfortunately, mildew growth usually begins out of sight, under the sink, in dark corners, and near plumbing. Leaking or corroded pipes, in particular, are mildew’s ideal breeding ground. If you own an older residence that was built more than half a century ago, consider inspecting and updating the plumbing, especially in the bathroom. Old pipes are more susceptible to leaks and fungal and bacterial growth. Make sure you’re working with experienced remodeling experts with a keen eye for hardware issues.
Need some fresh bathroom remodel ideas? Check out our project gallery for an inside look at some of our work building and designing stylishly functional bathrooms.