There’s nothing like a hot shower. The water relaxes and rejuvenates, all at once. But unless you live in a cabin with outdoor plumbing and neighbors distant enough to not see you bathing, there’s a drawback to all the steam from a shower. As the humidity levels in your bathroom rise, water pools in any crack or crevices it can find. And if water sits too long, you can get mold.
Mold spores are a constant in the air we breathe. It’s part of nature and the atmosphere around us. But when those spores land on water, they can grow. And when a population gets too large, and too close to your living areas, there can be problems. It’s estimated that mold can grow on standing water in as little as 24 to 48 hours, so the issue needs to be addressed as it’s happening.
Dangers of Mold
The dangers of mold spores range from allergic reactions to life-threatening. For both people who are allergic and non-allergic, the spores can create respiratory issues, irritated eyes, runny noses, and some skin rashes. Mold can be deadly when you’re dealing with mycotoxins, which are byproducts of a fungi’s life cycle. These toxins can produce various types of diseases in people, including liver or kidney ailments.
So you can see why it’s a good idea to keep mold from getting started in your home in the first place. With the case of a humid bathroom, one of the best solutions to stopping mold before it starts is a properly functioning exhaust fan that vents to the outside.
Most fans are rated in CFM, or cubic feet per minute, a number which refers to the volume of air the fan moves out of a space. When purchasing a new fan, its CFM is important in relation to the total volume of your bathroom. You need to be sure you’re moving that humid air out quickly, so the moisture doesn’t have too much time to pool.
But the chances are you already have an exhaust fan installed in your bathroom. It might have been there for a while. Maybe it makes strange sounds when you turn it on, like a rusty propeller on an airplane that hasn’t been fired up since the 1950s. Instead of removing the entire ceiling unit and replacing it, which can cause a domino effect of projects like adding to the ceiling joists and repairing the drywall on the ceiling, there are ways to simply retrofit the fan assembly into the existing structure.
Companies including NuTone, who traces their exhaust fan roots back to 1932, not only make complete exhaust units, they also have several retro-fit kits for upgrading a fan that’s already installed. And these kits come with all the tools you need for the job. Within a few minutes, you can upgrade your exhaust fan to work more quietly and more efficiently.
So don’t let the fear of mold stop you from enjoying that long hot shower. Install or upgrade a proper exhaust fan and prevent problems before they even begin.