Fungus/Mold Behind Shower Walls
It’s never too early to take action against mold behind your shower wall. If you postpone dealing with mold anywhere in your home, it could cause devastating damage to your property and to your health. If you suspect that mold has invaded your home, read on to learn more about mold and removing it from behind shower walls:
Is Mold Dangerous?
The answer to this question is yes, but the extent of mold’s dangerous effects depends on how each individual reacts to it and the number of mycotoxins it has released into the atmosphere. Also, some types of mold are more toxic than others – like black mold, for instance. These are a few symptoms you may want to look out for if you think or know that your house has been infected with mold:
- Memory issues
- Trouble thinking
- Brain fog
- Allergy issues
Is Mold Common?
Mold can thrive in a multitude of places, but wet and humid climates are its most friendly environments. What mold needs to grow is food and moisture, so places like bathrooms, kitchens, and basements are easy breeding grounds for mold. In addition, certain factors contribute to there being a higher chance of mold growth in one particular area or building over another, such as poor air circulation, mold spores in the air, temperatures of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and non-waterproofed building materials.
Where Can Mold Be Found?
As I mentioned above, mold most often grows where it has a source of food and moisture. So aside from the moisture that could easily be found in a warmer room that’s not been waterproofed, what does mold feed on? Wood beams, basement ceiling joists, cinder blocks, drywall, and concrete are just a few of the most common food sources. Some of the most frequent moisture sources are the following:
- Heavy rains
- Busted plumbing and/or HVAC components
- Fire sprinklers
- Appliance problems
- Lack of ventilation
That being said, if your home has been affected by water damage, it’s not a fix that you want to save for later. Repair water damage as soon as possible to avoid bigger problems down the road.
How to Know If There Is Mold in Your Property
So, how do you know if you are a victim of mold? The scary thing about mold is that sometimes you can’t even see it. Often, you can catch the musty smell, but it’s not always guaranteed. If you think you have a mold problem, the best way to know for sure is to purchase a mold testing kit. Hopefully, you are able to catch the mold in its early stages, making the damage less and the remediation process shorter and much easier on your wallet.
Mold Removal from behind Shower Wall
Here is most professional’s step-by-step process for mold remediation:
Step 1: Develop a Mold Redemption Plan
The first thing your mold specialist will do is examine your property to see the extent of the mold damage and, from that, form a plan for remediation. Once you have the plan in hand, you should submit it to your insurance company along with any other documentation you may have concerning the matter, like a professional mold test. What remediation work your insurance company will cover depends on your insurance coverage plan and how the damage occurred, but it’s always best to at least try!
Step 2: Moving Your Personal Belongings to a Separate Area
You’ll want to compromise as little of your personal belongings as possible; the more things get infected, the more you’ll lose and have to replace! You and/or the restoration company you’ve hired should remove any personal belongings near the area affected by mold to a different part of the house until the work is complete.
Step 3: Fix the Moisture Issue
We talked earlier about how moisture is the main source necessary for mold to grow, so it’s likely that your home has experienced some sort of moisture damage. To detect it, you or your professional could use a moisture meter; once you’ve found the issue, you should fix it ASAP to keep the mold from growing and returning later on.
Step 4: Isolate the Affected Area
Mold spreads through spores in the air, so when remediation begins and it is stirred up, it can easily spread to other parts of your home. To keep this from happening, the professional will isolate the affected area. If it’s small, he will probably only need to shut doors and windows surrounding the area, but if the area is large, he will need something a bit heavier duty, like polyethylene sheeting, to block off the area.
Step 5: Demolish the Mold-Damaged Areas
Unfortunately, you won’t get away with just cleaning the mold off of infected areas. There’s a high chance some is still residing within, so your contractor will have to demolish the infected areas and dispose of them.
Step 6: Properly Throw Away the Removed Building Materials
How will your contractor go about throwing out the demolished, infected areas? Often, professionals double-bag the materials in special polyethylene bags because if it isn’t disposed of correctly, the mold can return. An extra precaution would be to wipe down the outside of the bags as well.
Step 7: Clean and Sanitize
Once you’ve removed all the damaged areas, you can sanitize the area and whatever is left behind. The best way to do this is with wire brushes and disposable wipes.
Step 8: Water Damage Repair
This sounds just like Step 3, but it is in your best interest to be sure that any moisture issues have been resolved. Once the remediation is complete, moisture may still be present, so to dry the remaining moisture, the professional will probably use special dehumidifiers and fans. In addition, they could raise the room temperature to aid in the drying process.
Step 9: Reconstruction
Now that the mold is completely gone, it’s time to rebuild what has been lost! You want to get your property back the way it was – or take this opportunity to make improvements. Some remediation professionals offer to do this part of the job as well, but many will sub-contract to another company or, at the very least, recommend a company that will do restoration work for you.
Step 10: Repairing Your Personal Belongings
Either your remediation professional or your restoration company will restore order to your property and put your personal belongings back where they go. This also includes cleaning the area again. You never know what your insurance company will cover, so it’s worth noting down any possessions that have been lost and submitting a claim for them.
Prevent Mold from Returning
If you’re having to go through this extensive process, you’ll want to do whatever you can to keep from having to do it again! Here are some ways to prevent mold from appearing behind your shower wall or anywhere in your home again:
- Maintaining your plumbing and HVAC components
- Checking regularly for moisture issues
- Cleaning and maintaining your roof and gutters
- Using an air purifier to decrease the number of mold spores in the atmosphere
- Ensuring your property has good ventilation
If you suspect your bathroom shower walls have been contaminated by mold, give us a call today, and we’ll give you a free estimate!