There are tens of thousands of kinds of mold in the world. Some are more harmful to our health than others. With prolonged exposure, some molds can even cause problems including bronchitis, allergic reactions, heart problems, multiple sclerosis, and even cancer!
Now, I’m no mold expert, so we won’t be going in depth on the issue of what mold is and does, but I do know it when I see it…and we for sure don’t want it hanging around in our house, do we!?
Anywhere there is moisture for a prolonged amount of time, even as little as 24 hours or longer, mold can grow. Common places are around windows that condense in the winter, under sinks, room corners and on baseboard, basements, and behind drywall where plumbing is. But the most common place in all the house is…you guessed it…the shower!
If you have mold in your existing shower and you’re wanting to clean the surface of the tile, a mixture of one gallon water, one cup bleach, and 1/2 cup detergent, should do the trick in killing the mold and helping remove the stain from the surface. You can also find several good products at your local hardware store made for killing/cleaning mold problems.
But if the mold has persisted for a long amount of time, there is a good likelihood it has grown throughout the drywall and the wood within the framing of the walls, floor, and ceiling. The best move here is to remove the shower material, drywall, and everything else infected with the mold. Many times, people don’t even realize the full extent of how bad the mold was until they start digging in. I have removed old tubs and/or showers, to realize in the end that there were hardly even floor joists left after the mold and rot to hold up the floor.
When removing the mold contamination, wear protective clothing, gloves, eye protection, and a mask or respirator. I use a professional grade respirator like this 3M model at Amazon. You just never know if the mold is the kind that’s seriously harmful to your health or not, so it’s best to always to take as many precautions as possible.
Before starting, hang plastic and tape it off in a doorway or hallway, and on air vents to protect airborne mold spores from spreading through the house. When you begin removing mold contaminated drywall, it’s best to go a couple feet past where the mold ends, to be sure to remove all of it.
Finally, before you ever begin rebuilding the shower or repair damaged areas, allow the area to dry and be free of all moisture.