How to Prevent Mildew and Moisture Buildup in the Bathroom

What You'll Need
Extractor fan
Insect screen
Bright lighting fixtures

It is very important to prevent mildew and moisture from building up in the bathroom. Mildew is caused by elevated temperatures, low lighting, poor air circulation, and damp or wet environments. It is white or black in color and is generally found on walls and ceilings, shower curtains and spreading in between tiles. The following are various ways of controlling and eliminating mildew buildup.

Step 1: Install An Extractor Fan and Insect Screen

We produce an average of one liter of water a day just by breathing. You can, therefore, only imagine how much moisture a bathroom produces considering the frequency it is used and that most of its uses involve water. If this moisture is not let out, it will settle on cold surfaces and seep into little cracks, causing damp and mildew. The ideal way of preventing all this build-up is by having an extractor fan. When this is not possible, open the window until all the moisture dries off. Dehumidifiers can also do the job.

Step 2: Check the Drainage and Water Pipes

Other ways of avoiding moisture is by making sure that whatever drainage and water pipes are running around your house are properly functional, with no leaks that can cause water to soak into walls. Levels that are underground should be damp-proofed, and if they are not used as living quarters, charcoal can be placed to soak up excess moisture.

Step 3: Install a Bright Light

Maximize incoming light into the bathroom. Mildew doesn’t grow in well lit environments.

Step 4: Clean Soap and Similar Residues

Clean bath soap and oil residues regularly off your bathroom surfaces, as mildew feeds on these substances.

Step 5: Let the Shower Curtain Dry Well and Consider Carpet Usage

Do not keep your shower curtain gathered on one side; rather, open it up and allow it to dry properly. Avoid excessive bathroom carpeting and wash mats regularly.

Step 6: Regularly Wipe Dry Any Water Residue

Wipe up bathroom surfaces when you are finished using the bathroom for the day. This will reduce the presence of moisture and avoid further spread of mildew. Also, make sure not leave wet towels and washcloths inside the bathroom to dry.

Step 7: Apply Bleach

Once you have considered all the above general tips and guidelines, it is a good idea to use bleach from time to time to remove any mildew which might be present. Bleach is usually suggested as a treatment for mildew removal. However, 35 percent hydrogen peroxide mixed with an equal amount of water is a healthier and more environment-friendly alternative. Thoroughly clean the area with soap and warm water, then spray the mixture and let it sit for an hour before spraying again without rinsing. Apart from the fact that is a more environmentally responsible solution, you will also avoid the nasty bleach odors.

If your bathroom smells of dampness, check all corners for leaks and watermarks, as it is a definite sign of the presence of mildew. Mildew can cause respiratory problems, so always remember to wear an appropriate mask when cleaning it off.