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Showers & Mold: A Never-Ending Battle

Moldy Tub
Since the beginning of time (or the modernization of showers) people have been fighting mold. Why? Because mold LOVES showers! It provides the perfect conditions to grow – moisture, warmth, and edible nutrients (soap residue). It’s the perfect place for mold to live. The most problematic areas tend to be on the silicone sealant. Its low thermal conductivity means that it is the warmest part of the shower. It also can be lumpy and retain excess moisture on its ridges.

What causes mold and mildew in the shower?

Mold spreads by microscopic spores that travel through the air. These spores land in your damp shower and immediately start growing on the sealant. They reproduce rapidly and you will soon see a visible dark spot growing on top of the sealant. If you catch this early, it is considered a Primary Attack. If you leave it there for an extended amount of time, the mold will secrete a substance that is able to break through silicone caulk and begin reproducing under the surface. This is called a Secondary Attack. Once the mold gets to this stage, the sealant needs to be removed and reapplied. Before you apply a new bead of caulk, the best way to keep mold from growing underneath is to thoroughly clean the area with a fungicidal spray.

How can I keep my shower mold-free and fresh?

Despite the constant struggle, there are many countermeasures you can take to prevent mold in the future.
  1. Clean off any mold or mildew as soon as you see it to prevent the secondary attacks.
  2. Consistently rinse the shower each time you are done using it. If you rinse out any soap bubbles on the walls or curtain, the mold won’t have anything to feed on. A hand shower is a great tool for this. It makes it easy to direct the water right where it needs to go.
  3. The most important step in mold prevention is to remove excess moisture. Bath fan ventilation technology has come a long way in the last decade. The best fans run at a low speed all day long to keep moisture out. When it senses a person in the room it will speed up for a set amount of time. Not only do these fans clear out bathroom moisture, but they also are incredibly quiet, and no longer roar like a jet engine taking off. One flaw of older or basic models of bath fans is that you take a shower in the morning, then leave the house. You don’t want to leave the fan running for 8 hours on full speed, so you turn it off before it gets a chance to do its full job. These new models run constantly and silently, which allows them time to complete their job – reducing moisture, mold spores, and odors. Handy Man carries a wide variety of bath fans to suit your every need – bath fans with night lights, motion sensors, and more. We’re here to walk you through it!

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