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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.
Why Does Your Bathroom Ceiling Have Mold?
Splotches of mold growing on bathroom ceilings and walls are an all-too-common problem among households.
The most probable culprit? Moisture that has nowhere to go.
For instance, steam from showers and bathtubs rises to the ceiling and settles there.
Without proper ventilation, the moisture will remain too long, creating a perfect environment for mold spores to grow.
Aside from being unsightly, mold is detrimental to your health.
According to the CDC, mold can cause a variety of health problems, such as respiratory symptoms, skin and eye irritation, and serious lung infections.
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.
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:
- Face mask
You will also need the following tools and supplies:
- Cleaning solution
- Mild detergent
- Cleaning brush
- Step ladder
- Spray bottle
- Microfiber cloth
- 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.
How To Remove Mold From a Tiled Ceiling
On tiled ceilings, mold will most likely form along the grout lines.
To remove the mold, make a cleaning solution by diluting one cup of bleach in one gallon of water.
Then, pour the solution into a spray bottle or apply it along the grout lines using a sponge.
Apply heavily so that the grout is completely saturated, and let it sit for around 15 minutes.
Next, scrub each line of the grout with a soft-bristled brush to remove moldy residue. You may need to repeat the process several times until any remaining mark or spot is gone.
After that, rinse the tiled ceiling and dry with a soft cloth.
How To Prevent Mold
Removing the mold and treating the area does not guarantee that it won’t come back. Remember that mold grows on almost any surface when moisture is present.
That said, you want to take some measures to address moisture problems in your bathroom.
Here are some important things to do to control the conditions for mold growth:
1. Fix Moisture Problems
Begin by determining the cause of excess moisture in your bathroom.
If pipes run through your ceiling, check for any plumbing leaks. Pipes should also be wrapped to minimize condensation.
Also, whenever you see a leak, resolve the problem right away or call a plumber to do it for you.
Not addressing water leaks early on can only make things worse, especially if mold has started spreading.
2. Improve Ventilation
Splotchy stains on walls and ceilings usually indicate poor ventilation or too much moisture in the bathroom air.
To enhance ventilation, you need to install a larger fan. The rule of thumb is you need one CFM for every square foot of floor area.
Some come with a humidistat that automatically turns on the fan when a certain humidity level is reached.
If most of your bathroom ventilation comes from a window, it is important to keep it open.
Alternatively, you can keep the bathroom door open after each shower, at least until the steam has evaporated.
Check out our Best Exhaust Fans recommendations here.
More 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.
- 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.