mold allergy

How to Prevent Mold and Remove it from Grout Surfaces

Steve VanDenBerg Blog

Mold thrives in areas with warm temperatures, moisture, and poor air circulation, so you need to be wary of the potential for mold growth in areas with these conditions. As such, it is not uncommon to find mold in basements, bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms on walls and ceilings, between tiles, and on caulking.

In kitchens and bathrooms, mold in grout is very common. This is because grout is porous, which makes it susceptible to mold growth.

Mold Safety – How To Look For Mold – ServiceMaster Video

Mold has the potential to harm you and your family with negative health effects, and it can also jeopardize your home’s integrity if the damage is severe enough. Knowing this, you should do whatever it takes to prevent mold growth on grout surfaces and know how to remove mold if it does develop.

Mold Prevention

Air Circulation

After showering, run your bathroom’s exhaust fan for at least 20 minutes to get rid of steam and other excess moisture in the room. Additionally, open your bathroom window if the weather permits and leave it open for at least 15 minutes post-shower to allow moisture to escape to the outside. When you’re not using the shower, leave the shower door open so it can air out.

When cooking, open your kitchen windows so that any steam that is produced has a place to escape.

Anti-Mold Products

If you redo the paint or grout in your home, consider using mold-resistant grout and paint so that it’s more difficult for mold to develop on such surfaces.

You can also create an anti-mold spray to further prevent mold growth on shower and kitchen tiles. Combine equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle, and spray the solution onto the tiles at least once a week.

Cleaning and Drying

Hang dry your towels so that they can thoroughly dry and not contribute to any humidity and moisture concerns in your bathroom. When you’re done showering, eliminate excess moisture by wiping down the shower walls, door, and floor. You can wipe down your shower walls with a washcloth, a hand towel, or a squeegee.

Also clean and dry the tiles on a regular basis by scrubbing them down. This can minimize the potential for mold growth. If you opt against regular cleaning, the tiles will build up soap scum, which can trigger mold growth. In addition, draw out the shower curtain and liner to dry.

Mold Safety – How To Prevent Mold In Bathroom – ServiceMaster Video

Repairs

If you need to seal grout, use a grout that’s mold-resistant. One example of such is silicon-based grout; it doesn’t get as wet as normal grout, and it dries quicker. These qualities also make for good protection against microbes like mold.

If there are any leaks in your home, have those fixed immediately to prevent excess moisture and wasted water.

Mold Removal for Grout

If you find mold growing on grout in your home, you can take action to clean it up yourself. Removing mold from grout can be done through various do-it-yourself techniques that use common household items.

Baking Soda

The advantages of using baking soda to remove mold are that it doesn’t pose any health hazards and it will not discolor or harm tiles. However, it doesn’t clean mold as effectively as other products.

  • Method 1: Dampen a sponge and dip it into the baking soda. Use the sponge to scrub the grout and tiles. When finished, rinse the tiles and grout with warm water.
  • Method 2: Create a paste that consists of several teaspoons of water and ½ cup of baking soda. Once combined, apply the paste directly on the tiles and grout where there’s mold growth. Wait 10 minutes, and then use a bristle brush to scrub the paste. Rinse it down with water, and repeat the process if necessary.
  • Method 3: Combine a gallon of water with ½ cup of baking soda in a spray bottle, and spray this mixture onto the areas affected by mold. Let the spray sit for 30 minutes before using warm water to rinse down the tiles and grout.

Bleach

Bleach is an effective product for do-it-yourself mold removal because it kills mold spores and eliminates soap residue. It even acts as a disinfectant. However, bleach can cause discoloration and fading, so you shouldn’t use it if your tiles and/or grout are colored.

Bleach also gives off harmful fumes that can irritate your skin, eyes, and respiratory tract. So if you do use it, be sure to wear protective gear: safety glasses, a mask, and rubber gloves. You should also ventilate the room by opening windows and leaving them open for a few hours to ensure the fumes are no longer present.

  • Method 1: Scrub the affected areas using bleach and a stiff bristle toothbrush. Wait 15-30 minutes until rinsing the bleach off with warm water. If the affected areas are still not clean, repeat the process.
  • Method 2: Combine four parts bleach to one part water in a spray bottle, and spray the solution on the affected areas. Let the solution sit for 30 minutes, and then use an old toothbrush to scrub the tile and grout. Rinse the solution off with cool water, and if necessary, repeat the process until thoroughly cleaned.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide may be the best item to use for do-it-yourself mold removal because it’s very effective at killing fungi and bacteria. Unlike bleach, it won’t produce harmful fumes, but it can cause fading and discoloration.

  • Method 1: Create a paste by combining white flour and hydrogen peroxide. It will result in a thick paste that you then apply to affected areas. Let the paste sit there overnight, and then use cold water to rinse it off.
  • Method 2: Place hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle, and spray it onto the affected areas. Wait at least 10 minutes before rinsing and wiping down the tiles and grout.
  • Method 3: Use the hydrogen peroxide in conjunction with baking soda by applying a baking soda paste onto the affected areas. Carefully pour some hydrogen peroxide over the baking soda paste. It will start to fizz, loosening the mold from the tile and grout.

Salt

Dampen a cloth, and sprinkle salt onto it. Then use the dampened cloth to scrub the grout and tiles. Allow it to stay that way overnight before rinsing off the salt with water the next morning.

Vinegar

Vinegar is acidic, so it can prevent bacteria growth and be used for removing mold from grout. Create a solution of equal parts water and distilled white vinegar, and place it in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto affected areas of the grout and tiles. Let it sit for 30 minutes before scrubbing it with a bristle brush. When you’re done scrubbing the affected areas, rinse off the solution with warm water. Repeat the process to achieve the best results.

Professional Mold Removal

While there are various do-it-yourself methods to take when removing mold from tile and grout surfaces, there are some instances in which it is too much to handle on your own. The mold may affect a large area, DIY techniques may not be sufficient, or you may just prefer that a professional handles the cleanup.

Mold Safety – Why You Should Call a Professional for Mold Removal – ServiceMaster Video

ServiceMaster Disaster Restoration and Cleaning can remove mold growth from your tile and grout surfaces with our mold remediation services. Our trained and certified technicians can address any level of mold growth and safely remove the mold with advanced techniques and equipment.

Professional Mold Removal – ServiceMaster Video

 

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