A water leak can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Maybe a pipe burst, the roof leaked or some other plumbing issue caused water damage. The wet spots could have been there longer than you realized and now there is a growing dark stain on your drywall.
What do you do when you spot mold on the bathroom ceiling (or elsewhere)? Is mold dangerous? Black mold (aka ‘toxic mold) is talked about the most, however the CDC notes that all mold should be removed. Repairing the water damage and treating the mold is important to ensure those spores don’t cause issues for your health.
Preventing Mold in the Bathroom
How do you prevent mold? Can you? Unfortunately, some leaks may remain undetected for a long time, resulting in mold growth. Moisture is a key element in mold growth, so any leaks could leave you vulnerable.
The bathroom also has a high humidity area. Open the windows a bit after you’ve finished showering and turn on a ceiling fan to circulate air. This will keep daily moisture levels down. However, these efforts won’t prevent mold from growing if there is a leak.
If, however, you catch those leaks quickly, you can alleviate the moisture so there isn’t an issue later on. Some companies that specialize in repairing water damage will set up fans that suck up moisture and dry out the bathroom. This leaves your room moisture free so no mold can grow. The company also may apply an antifungal cleaner or treatment. Of course, you may still have to repair drywall or baseboards if they were damaged by a leak.
Is All Mold Toxic?
No mold is good for us, which is why the CDC recommends cleaning it all. Don’t try to handle this issue on your own, though. Hire a professional who knows how to effectively clean mold and remove it completely. You don’t want any spores lingering.
What Can Cause Mold on the Ceiling?
If your walls are clear of water damage, why is your ceiling wet and moldy? You may have a leaky roof! This could mean replacing the roof or just repairing the damage. If it is a leaky roof, call a pro immediately!
However, Hunker also notes that mold on the bathroom ceiling could have another cause: bathroom humidity! Yes, that humidity and moisture issue we discussed earlier could be causing mold growth on the ceiling. Again, call a pro and have it checked out!
Is the Black Gunk in My Bathtub Mold, Too?
You may have noticed mold on your ceiling or wall, and now you’re freaking out. You’re looking throughout the bathroom for evidence of more mold. You may notice black gunk near the caulking of your bathtub. Has the mold invaded?
Chances are this gunk is mildew, not mold. You may have to remove the caulk, clean out the area and add new caulk around the bathtub. Mildew is very common in bathtubs and showers, and, yes, it is gross!
However, if you don’t clean up that mildew, it may evolve into mold. And you definitely don’t want mold in your bathtub or shower! Not sure if it’s mold or mildew? HGTV has a great article about the differences between these two gross growths.
Will My Insurance Cover Mold Damage?
You may think about filing a claim if your home sustained a water leak that was substantial. Mold is expensive to repair, though, and your policy details affect if you can file a claim or not. Insurance.com states that “insurance covers mold damage if it was caused by a “covered peril.” Otherwise, an insurance company will likely not cover mold damage.” Look through your policy to understand what is covered and what is not covered.
The Health Risks of Mold
You may Google the health risks of mold and come up with quite a list. According to the CDC, black mold (Stachybotrys chartarum ) “and other molds may cause health symptoms that are nonspecific.” However, there really is no way to know whether or not that cough you have is related to mold. Why? The CDC states that “no test exists that proves an association between Stachybotrys chartarum and particular health symptoms.” A mucous swab won’t reveal that black mold is the culprit.
If you notice health issues—any health issues—and you also have mold, then you need to take action. Again, hire a professional who knows how to properly clean and remove mold. Then, you won’t have to worry! And, remember, always air out your bathroom to keep the humidity low. As for plumbing, you can install a water leak detector to catch drips and pipe issues before they wreak havoc.