How To Get Rid of Mold in Bathroom Ceiling and When To Call A Pro

For many of us, seeing green or black spots on bathroom walls and ceilings is a nightmare.

Not only do they ruin the clean look of the bathroom, but they can also trigger allergic reactions like itching, sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, and more.

Luckily, you don’t have to live with mold forever. We’ve put together the steps on how to get rid of mold in bathroom ceilings and keep them from coming back.

How To Get Rid of Mold in Bathroom Ceiling

Why Does Your Bathroom Ceiling Have Mold?

Mold growth on bathroom ceilings is a common issue faced by many homeowners. Not only does it detract from the aesthetics of the space, but it can also pose health risks and indicate underlying moisture problems. Understanding the causes of mold growth on your bathroom ceiling is essential for effective prevention and remediation.

  1. High Humidity Levels: One of the primary causes of mold growth on bathroom ceilings is high humidity levels. Bathrooms are typically high-moisture areas due to activities like showering and bathing. When warm, moist air comes into contact with cooler surfaces like the ceiling, condensation occurs, creating an ideal environment for mold to thrive.
  2. Inadequate Ventilation: Poor ventilation exacerbates moisture buildup in bathrooms, contributing to mold growth. Insufficient airflow allows moisture to linger in the air and settle on surfaces, including the ceiling. Without proper ventilation, dampness becomes trapped, providing the perfect conditions for mold spores to germinate and spread.
  3. Leaks and Water Intrusion: Leaky plumbing fixtures, roof leaks, or water seepage from above can introduce moisture into the ceiling cavity, promoting mold growth. Even minor leaks, such as those from a leaking shower or bathtub, can lead to significant water damage over time if left unaddressed. Inspect your bathroom regularly for signs of leaks or water intrusion.
  4. Poorly Insulated Ceilings: Inadequate insulation in the ceiling can contribute to condensation and moisture problems. When warm, moist air from the bathroom comes into contact with a cold ceiling surface, condensation forms, providing an ideal breeding ground for mold. Proper insulation helps maintain consistent temperatures and reduces the risk of condensation.
  5. Lack of Regular Cleaning: Neglecting regular cleaning and maintenance allows dirt, dust, and soap scum to accumulate on the bathroom ceiling. These organic materials provide nutrients for mold growth when combined with moisture. Regularly clean your bathroom ceiling with appropriate cleaning solutions to prevent mold buildup.
  6. Structural Damage: Structural issues such as roof leaks, damaged flashing, or compromised waterproofing membranes can result in water infiltration into the ceiling space. Over time, accumulated moisture can lead to mold growth and structural deterioration. Address any signs of structural damage promptly to prevent mold-related problems.
  7. Poorly Sealed Grout and Caulking: Damaged or deteriorated grout and caulking around bathroom fixtures, such as showers and bathtubs, can allow water to seep into the walls and ceiling. Moisture trapped behind tiles or in the ceiling cavity provides an ideal environment for mold growth. Inspect and repair grout and caulking regularly to prevent water infiltration.

Common Causes of Mold in Bathroom Ceilings

Before cleaning the mold, it is important to identify its cause first so that it doesn’t keep coming back.

In many homes, mold is caused by excessive humidity, poor insulation, and water leaks.

Mold buildup due to roof leaks is often accompanied by discoloration and staining in a circular pattern.

Thus, if you see circular marks on your bathroom ceiling, chances are that there is water leaking through your roof.

Types of Mold in Homes

It is also important to figure out the type of mold growing on your bathroom ceiling. Molds that thrive in houses are classified into three categories:

  • Allergenic Molds

These are the most common type of mold, and they can be removed with home disinfecting products.

  • Pathogenic Molds

These can also be controlled using household cleaners, but large infestations may require professional removal.

  • Toxic Molds

These are the most harmful, so they need to be addressed professionally.

get rid of mold in bathroom ceilings

How To Get Rid of Mold in Bathroom Ceiling

Once you’ve figured out the cause of the mold in your bathroom, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and tackle it. Follow these steps on how to get rid of mold in bathroom ceilings:

Step 1: Prep Your Cleaning Gear and Supplies

Removing mold is serious business, so make sure to grab some safety supplies before you start, such as:

  • Gloves
  • Face mask
  • Goggles

You will also need the following tools and supplies:

  • Cleaning solution
  • Vinegar
  • Mild detergent
  • Bleach
  • Bucket
  • Cleaning brush
  • Step ladder
  • Spray bottle
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Sponge
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Dishwashing liquid

Before you start, close off vents to prevent mold spores from spreading to other areas of your home.

You can open a window to ventilate your bathroom and speed up the drying process.

Step 2: Gear Up

First of all, put on protective gear. It’s best to wear old clothes you won’t mind being splattered with bleach.

Then, put on a face mask, goggles or protective eyewear, and a pair of gloves.

Inhaling mold spores can cause allergic reactions like coughing and wheezing, so make sure you are fully protected.

Step 3: Wash the Moldy Area

Using a sturdy step ladder, wash the affected area with dishwashing liquid and warm water.

You can also use a commercial mold cleaner if you like, but mild detergent should be enough in most instances.

Spray it all over the infected area, then scrub the mold off with a long-handle scrub brush.

Step 4: Apply Bleach

To kill the mold, you need a strong cleaning agent such as bleach.

Mix one part of bleach to three parts of water and then transfer the mixture into a bottle spray. Thoroughly saturate the moldy areas in your ceiling.

Open a window or keep a fan running as you work because bleach fumes are unpleasant and can irritate your nose and lungs.

Let the bleach soak into the mold for at least 20 minutes before scrubbing it off with a brush.

Keep brushing the affected area until the stain is gone.

If the stains are extensive, you may need to repeat the process a few times to remove all discoloration.

Step 5: Spray White Vinegar

Bleach works well in killing mold on the surface and removing unsightly marks. However, it doesn’t penetrate deep into the drywall to destroy the mold roots.

As such, the problem is likely to occur after a few days or weeks.

Luckily, there is an easy and inexpensive solution to tackle mold growth beneath the surface—spraying vinegar onto the affected area.

Hydrogen peroxide is another excellent mold removal remedy you probably already have at home.

Just put a three-percent concentration of hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle, apply it to the moldy area, and let it soak for 15 minutes. Then, scrub it lightly with a cloth or brush.

Step 6: Treat the Ceiling

After cleaning the ceiling, you want to treat it to eliminate any remaining spores and prevent the mold from coming back.

To do this, you need a borate-based solution, such as borax.

Apply the solution to the affected area and do not rinse it. Borates not only help control bacteria and fungi but also help eliminate stains.

learn how to get rid of mold in bathroom ceiling

How To Remove Mold From a Tiled Ceiling

Mold growth on a tiled ceiling can be unsightly and potentially hazardous to health if left untreated. Tiled ceilings in areas like bathrooms and kitchens are particularly susceptible to mold due to the presence of moisture and humidity. However, with the right techniques and products, mold can be effectively removed from a tiled ceiling. Follow the step-by-step methods below for safely and efficiently eliminating mold growth.

  1. Safety Precautions: Before starting the mold removal process, it’s essential to take necessary safety precautions. Wear protective gear, including gloves, goggles, and a mask, to prevent exposure to mold spores. Ensure the area is well-ventilated by opening windows and using fans.
  2. Preparation: Clear the area surrounding the tiled ceiling and cover any furniture or fixtures with plastic sheets to protect them from mold spores and cleaning solutions. Remove any loose debris or dust from the tiled surface using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
  3. Cleaning Solution: Prepare a mold cleaning solution by mixing equal parts of water and white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle. Alternatively, you can use commercial mold removal products formulated specifically for tiled surfaces.
  4. Application: Spray the cleaning solution generously onto the mold-affected areas of the tiled ceiling. Ensure complete coverage, focusing on areas with visible mold growth. Allow the solution to penetrate the mold for at least 10-15 minutes to loosen and dissolve it.
  5. Scrubbing: Using a soft-bristled brush or scrubbing pad, gently scrub the tiled surface to remove the loosened mold. Work in small sections, applying moderate pressure to effectively dislodge mold from grout lines and tile surfaces. Rinse the brush or pad frequently in clean water to prevent spreading mold spores.
  6. Rinse and Dry: Once the mold has been scrubbed away, rinse the tiled ceiling thoroughly with clean water to remove any residual cleaning solution and mold debris. Use a clean cloth or sponge to wipe down the surface and absorb excess moisture. Allow the ceiling to air dry completely.
  7. Preventative Measures: To prevent mold from returning, address the underlying cause of moisture buildup in the room, such as inadequate ventilation or water leaks. Install exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens to reduce humidity levels and promote airflow. Regularly inspect the tiled ceiling for signs of mold growth and promptly address any issues.

How To Prevent Mold

Bathrooms are susceptible to mold growth due to the high levels of moisture and humidity present in these areas. Mold not only poses health risks but also detracts from the aesthetic appeal of the space. Fortunately, there are several proactive measures homeowners can take to prevent mold growth in bathrooms. Below you will find practical strategies to keep bathrooms mold-free and maintain a clean and healthy environment.

  1. Proper Ventilation: Adequate ventilation is crucial for reducing moisture buildup in bathrooms. Install and use exhaust fans or ventilation systems to remove humid air from the bathroom after showers or baths. Run the fan during and after bathing to expel excess moisture and prevent condensation on surfaces.
  2. Monitor Humidity Levels: Keep humidity levels in check by using a hygrometer to measure moisture levels in the bathroom. Ideally, humidity should be maintained below 60% to inhibit mold growth. If humidity levels consistently exceed this threshold, consider using a dehumidifier to reduce moisture in the air.
  3. Ensure Effective Sealing: Inspect and repair any leaks or cracks in bathroom fixtures, such as faucets, pipes, and showerheads. Properly seal joints and seams around tubs, showers, and sinks to prevent water infiltration into wall cavities and behind tiles. Regularly check caulking and grout for signs of deterioration and reseal as needed to maintain a watertight barrier.
  4. Promote Air Circulation: Maximize airflow in the bathroom by keeping doors and windows open whenever possible. Consider installing a louvered door or adding ventilation grilles to improve air circulation within the space. Allow natural light to enter the bathroom, as sunlight helps inhibit mold growth and promotes drying of damp surfaces.
  5. Use Mold-Resistant Materials: Opt for mold-resistant building materials when renovating or remodeling bathrooms. Choose moisture-resistant drywall, paint, and flooring materials that are less susceptible to mold growth. Consider installing ceramic or porcelain tiles with epoxy grout, which are more resistant to water and mold infiltration.
  6. Clean and Maintain Regularly: Implement a routine cleaning schedule to remove soap scum, mineral deposits, and other organic matter that can foster mold growth. Use mildew-resistant cleaning products or natural solutions like vinegar or hydrogen peroxide to disinfect surfaces and inhibit mold growth. Pay special attention to areas prone to moisture accumulation, such as shower walls, bathtub surrounds, and grout lines.
  7. Dry Wet Surfaces Promptly: Wipe down wet surfaces, including shower walls, tubs, sinks, and countertops, with a squeegee or towel after each use to remove excess moisture. Hang damp towels and bathmats to dry thoroughly between uses, and avoid leaving damp clothing or towels in the bathroom for extended periods.

Best Tips To Stop Mold Growth in Bathrooms

To keep your bathroom mold-free, follow these tips:

  • Install a bathroom fan.

Always switch on your bathroom fan when showering or taking a bath.

Then, leave it on for at least 30 minutes to an hour after showering or open the window to allow fresh air and sunlight in.

Doing this prevents excess moisture from damaging the ceiling and walls.

Find Our Bathroom Fan Buying Guide Here
  • Run a dehumidifier if you have one.

A dehumidifier is a device that removes leftover moisture from the air.

The bathroom is one of the most humid areas in a home, so it will greatly benefit from a dehumidifier.

  • As much as possible, leave things dry after showering.

Wipe up standing water when you see it, particularly on your bathroom sink or counter.

Run a squeegee on your tub, shower walls, and even the shower door to remove excess moisture.

  • Clean spots whenever you see them.

Keep a spray bottle containing vinegar in your bathroom, and make it a habit to spray surfaces after you shower to prevent mold growth.

  • Don’t leave wet clothes lying around.

It’s also a good idea to regularly wash towels, bath rugs, shower curtains, and liners.

Hang wash rags, sponges, and loofahs to dry completely. If you don’t, they will contribute to more moisture buildup.

When To Call a Mold Removal Specialist

While you can get rid of the mold on the surface, eliminating mold spores and keeping them contained can be tricky for some homeowners.

If the mold covers an area of more than 10 square feet or about the size of a bath towel, this indicates a serious infestation.

In that case, you should consider calling a mold removal specialist.

Mold professionals are trained and equipped with the right tools and knowledge to deal with all sizes of mold growth.

Aside from cleaning the mold, they can also track down where all the moisture is coming from.

Get Rid of Mold For Good

With these steps, you should be able to eliminate mold in your bathroom ceilings.

You can also apply the same steps to your shower, sink, walls, and other surfaces that have mold growth.

Make sure to address the root cause of the mold buildup so that it doesn’t grow back once you’ve cleaned the surface.

Lastly, if the infestation is too large for you to handle, get in touch with a mold removal specialist who can tackle all sorts and sizes of mold growth.