Mold in a home is always a problem. Aside from being gross and unsightly, it can turn into a serious health concern. The substance known commonly as “pink mold” is one of the most common molds you might find growing in your bathroom. While disgusting, it is something that is relatively easy to prevent and remove. This guide will tell you everything you need to know to prevent and remove pink mold.
First, What Exactly Is Pink Mold?
The two most common types of pink mold that grow in bathrooms are aureobasidium and fusarium. They are not true molds or fungi but actually bacteria colonies. However, they can be accompanied by true molds such as white and gray molds. Fortunately, pink mold is seen as less of a health hazard than black mold. However, it can still be dangerous if allowed to grow unabated. It is not always pink in color, either: it can also appear pinkish-orange or orange.
What Are The Risks Of Pink Mold?
Some of the risks of bacteria buildup in your bathroom can include:
- Respiratory infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia
- Allergic reactions
- Diarrhea, stomach pains and nausea
- Food poisoning, if food with the pink mold on it is eaten
- Asthma problems, if the condition exists
- Bladder and urinary tract infections
- Endocarditis, which is an infection of the lining of the heart
- Illness in pets
Babies, young children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems are more at risk. If any of these individuals are in your household, you must be even more vigilant against pink mold.
First and foremost, keeping your bathroom clean is paramount to prevent and remove pink mold. Mold is much less likely to grow in a bathroom that is cleaned regularly. Once a week is usually recommended. Scrub out the sink, shower, tub and toilet with a bleach solution or other strong disinfectant.
Do not have carpeting in your bathroom. The moisture in the air makes pink mold and other types of mold much more likely to grow quickly in carpet. For any rugs you may have in the bathroom, make sure they are washed regularly. They also need to be left to dry thoroughly before you put them back in your bathroom. Shower curtains should be fully extended after getting wet to prevent trapped water and the growth of pink mold.
Make sure the bathroom fan is used when you and all members of your household bathe. If your bathroom does not have a fan, consider having one installed. This is particularly important if you are already having mold problems. Alternatively, you can leave the window open for at least fifteen minutes post-shower to allow the room to dry out. Another solution is to lower the temperature in the home – mold tends to grow more rapidly in warmer temperatures.
Plumbing issues can also be the cause of pink mold forming. Plumbing leaks can cause standing water that is an ideal habitat for pink mold to grow. This is especially a problem under sinks where you might not notice the mold for a while. Fix all plumbing leaks as soon as they are noticed. The longer they go unrepaired, the worse the mold problem will be.
Small colonies of pink mold are usually easy to remove from tile and tubs with basic household cleaners and disinfectants. A bleach mixture is usually effective to remove the pink bacteria in your shower. When cleaning it out yourself, always be sure to wear gloves, goggles and a protective mask that is approved for guarding against mold.
It is much more difficult to remove pink mold from porous surfaces such as drywall and carpet. If mold is growing on wall surfaces, it is very likely in the insulation already. Insulation that has been infested needs to be removed and replaced immediately. Areas between walls where the mold was must be cleaned thoroughly, and at this point it is often best to get a professional to help you. Take care while cleaning that moldy items are carried safely out of the house so they cannot spread or be exposed to other members of your family.
The Environmental Protection Agency does not recommend trying to clean mold by yourself if you are having ill health effects from the exposure, or if you have conditions like asthma. If the buildup is particularly bad, you will want to call a professional mold removal service. If the source of the mold buildup is due to water leaks, be sure to contact a licensed plumber to address the issue right away.
Pink mold may be gross and scary, but it can be kept under control by cleanliness and good prevention. If it starts to develop, use powerful disinfectants to clean it and get professional help if necessary. Your bathroom will be as good as new in no time.