Black mold is common occurrence in bathrooms, but did you know it can have serious effects on your health? Yes, that dark little line of black mold in your grout can be causing you and your family health problems! We want you to be safe and informed, so here is what you need to know about black mold.
WHY IS BLACK MOLD DANGEROUS?
According to the CDC, mold is a common occurrence in homes but can become dangerous when the mold produces mycotoxins. Black mold, Stachybotrys chartarum, is one of the molds that produces these dangerous mycotoxins. While a little bit of mold can be found almost anywhere, increased amounts of mold produce more toxins and can wreak havoc on your health.
HOW DOES BLACK MOLD AFFECT YOUR HEALTH?
Studies by the Institute of Medicine found sufficient evidence linking indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, coughing, and wheezing in otherwise healthy adults and children. They also found increased asthma symptoms in people with asthma, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition.
Further, recent studies suggest a potential link of early mold exposure to development of asthma in some children. They found that interventions to remove mold and improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies.
What should you do if you have black mold?
If you think you can clean the mold yourself, be sure to thoroughly clean the surface with mold specific cleaning products or a bleach-water solution. Absorbent or porous materials like ceramic tiles, grout, drywall, or carpet, may need to be thrown away when they become moldy because the mold can penetrate deep into the material. When removing mold, be sure to properly clean and dry the area, as the removed mold particles can still cause allergic reactions and regrowth of mold. If the mold is extensive, you may want to consider having professionals with mold removal experience intervene. If you feel that you may be having health problems because of mold in your home, be sure consult with a doctor.
HOW TO PREVENT BLACK MOLD IN YOUR BATHROOM:
Mold spores are everywhere but for the spores to attach and grow, they need moist environments. This makes bathtubs, showers, leaky window sills, floors, and tile very vulnerable places for mold growth. The best way to avoid mold is to keep the area dry and clean. If your tile shower is constantly moist, mold attaches to the grout lines and tiles. Tiles and grout are porous, so mold attaches and can be very difficult to remove.
Ideally, a non-porous bath is the best way to go to avoid attracting mold and mildew in your bathroom. Tile, fiberglass, marble, and granite’s porous surfaces attract mold, but acrylic is a non-porous material that repels mold attachment. West Shore Home acrylic bath systems also have a mold resistant coating called Silver Shield. Acrylic is also easy to clean, just use a soft cloth and a non-abrasive cleaner. To learn more about acrylic, click here.