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How to Know If a Shower Has Mold

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Mold can be extremely dangerous whether it’s in your shower or any other part of the house. Not only can it damage your property but it can also cause many health problems. That’s why it’s important to make sure that your house, especially the bathroom, is free of mold.

Your shower is one of the first places that fall victim to mold and mildew buildup. In this article, we’ll discuss how to know if your shower has mold and how to remove it effectively.

How to Know If a Shower Has Mold

The list of the following signs will help you determine whether your shower has mold or not. We’ll also discuss an effective method to check the presence of mold in your shower.

Dark Mold Spots on Shower Walls

If you see small dark spots with dark brown, green, gray, or black color and wooly texture, your shower has mold. It’s the most obvious sign of mold presence in your shower and it can also mean that it already has damaged your shower construction.

That’s because mold buildup usually starts from surfaces that you can’t see, like underneath the shower pan. When left unnoticed, it continues to grow and reaches open surfaces.

Musty Smell in Shower

Your shower might have a mold problem if you smell a musty odor right after entering your bathroom. It happens when mold starts to decompose organic material in your shower, such as wood.

Presence of Moisture Loving Pests

The environment that leads to mold buildup also attracts pests that love moisture. If you see such pests, like silverfish, ants, cockroaches, and termites, around your shower, it might have mold underneath.

Not only can these pests damage your shower construction but they can also cause health problems, just like mold.

Spongy Shower Pan

When the area underneath the shower pan has mold or it’s rotting, it’ll start to feel spongy. A shower pan that moves up and down can damage the shower pan seals, which can also lead to a water leak.

Health Problems

As mentioned, the presence of mold in your house can cause several health problems. While they’re not very common, they can occur and you’ll experience one or more of the following symptoms.

Air Test to Check Mold Presence

One of the most effective ways to determine whether or not your shower has mold is to perform a mold air test. For this purpose, you’ll need to use an air check mold test kit that comes with a pump and an air sampling cassette.

Keep in mind that the kit won’t provide you with results immediately. You’ll need to collect the air sample from your bathroom and send it to your nearest mold test laboratory.

They’ll provide you with results indicating whether there’s mold in your shower or not. The following steps will help you collect the air sample using the mold test kit.

  1. Clean and dry your shower pan thoroughly using a towel.
  2. Place the test kit’s pump on the dry area of the pan.
  3. Remove the tape from the bottom part of the air sampling cassette and install it on the circular opening of the pump.
  4. Remove the tape from the top part of the cassette.
  5. Turn on the power switch of the pump so that it can start collecting the air sample. Make sure that you read the user manual of your kit to find the correct method to turn it on because different models can have different mechanisms.
  6. The pump will continue working for about five minutes. When it stops, turn its power button off and cover its top hole using the tape you removed earlier.
  7. Take the cassette off the pump and close its bottom side using the tape.

Now send the air sample to your nearest mold testing lab for results.

How to Remove Mold from Shower

The method of removing mold from your shower depends on the damage it has done. We recommend you hire a professional plumber to get your shower checked.

They might need to remove your shower pan from its place to inspect the area underneath. They’ll also inform you if there is a water leak in your shower to fix the problem effectively.

However, if you have determined that the mold is only on the top layer of the shower and walls, you can use the steps listed below to remove that.

  1. Wear a pair of rubber gloves, safety goggles, and a face mask to ensure your safety.
  2. Add one cup of beach, two tablespoons of baking soda, and three cups of water to a big spray bottle.
  3. Shake the bottle to mix the ingredients.
  4. Spray the solution on areas of your shower pan walls with mold. Make sure that you cover every spot with the solution properly.
  5. Let the solution sit on the mold for 30 minutes
  6. After that, spray another coat and wait for an additional 30 minutes. It’ll allow bleach and baking soda to break mold particles and help you clean them easily.
  7. Now grab a tile cleaning brush with firm bristles and start rubbing it on mold spots.
  8. Once you have cleaned all mold spots, wipe away the solution’s residue using lukewarm water.

Important Note: If you have some stubborn stains that you couldn’t clean, consider leaving the cleaning solution on them overnight. You’ll find it easy to clean them the next day.

Tips to Prevent Shower Mold in Future

The following tips will help you prevent mold buildup in your shower in the future.

  • Always remove pooled water and puddles from your shower pan after taking a shower. You can use a wiper to guide water to go down the drain.
  • Make sure that your bathroom is well-ventilated. You can leave your bathroom door ajar all the time and install an exhaust fan for improved airflow. If you can’t install an exhaust fan, consider placing a dehumidifier in your bathroom.
  • Check your shower’s drain regularly and unclog it immediately whenever it becomes clogged. It’ll prevent water from going down the drain and will increase the risk of mold build-up.
  • Deep clean your shower and bathroom at least once a week using the mixture of water and bleach. You can also use a commercially available bathroom cleaner for the same purpose.
  • Replace your shower mixing valve if the showerhead is dripping constantly. Not only will it make the environment humid but it’ll also waste a whole lot of water and money.

Final Words

The buildup of mold in your shower can lead to severe problems and expensive damage. It’s important to hire a professional plumber to get your shower checked if it has mold.

We hope this guide will help you understand how to check your shower for mold build-up and how to get rid of this problem effectively.

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.