Our bathrooms are the perfect damp and humid environments that may support the growth of unsightly yellow mold, especially if there are additional damp problems caused by leaks.
In this article we will find out what yellow mold is, what damage it does and how to get rid of it for good.
There are around 300 types of mold that might be yellow in colour, ranging from a bright, intense yellow to a more muted or creamy tone.
Yellow Mold in the bathroom might also differ in texture from dusty, fuzzy or furry, mushroom-like or slimy and sticky.
What Causes Yellow Mold in Bathrooms?
Yellow Mold can grow and spread anywhere in bathroom as long as it has ready access to these 3 key ingredients;
- Moisture – provided by water leaks, humidity, dampness
- Organic matter on which to feed – provided by dirt, shampoo and soap residue
- The right temperature
The bathroom has perfect conditions for yellow mold growth…
In bathrooms, yellow mold might grow happily in places like within shower walls or on shower curtains, around taps and faucets, under sinks and around sinkholes, behind cabinets, around tiles and grout and even within the walls or floorboards.
You might not even know it’s there until it is quite well established and big suspicious patches of discolouration appear.
You may also have suffered a leak or flood in the bathroom, perhaps somewhere like behind a bath panel or in pipework. This leads to damp areas where the yellow mold can thrive.
Different Yellow Molds & Funguses Found in Bathrooms
There could be many species of yellow mold growing in a bathroom.
Most bathroom mold is black or green (usually Stachybotrys Chartarum or Alternaria) which most homeowners can successfully treat by regular cleaning.
However yellow, or slime mold, is more serious and difficult to treat and can also do more damage if left untreated.
Below are listed some common yellow mold species that may be found in bathrooms:
- Yellow Aspergillus , a very common strain of mold that can be yellow or green in colour and which can be very harmful to health. Often grows around water damaged areas, also on bread.
- Serpula Lacrymans , a yellow-coloured species that can spread quickly on wood, leading to dry rot. Also known as ‘house-eating mold’ for damage it does to homes.
- Meruliporia Incrassate , a type of yellow mold that is often toxic.
- Epicoccum Nigrum ,can be yellow, orange or brown in colour and may grow on household surfaces including wood, carpet, furniture and even inside mattresses.
- Cladosporium , is a ‘genus’ type of mold that can be yellow during a certain phase, although it is usually white. When yellow it is often easier to clean off.
- Geomyces Pannrium , is commonly founder in colder areas. It is found on various household surfaces including wood, walls, flooring and paper.
You may not be able to identify the species of yellow mold just by looking at it.
However, all types of mold species are potentially harmful to you and your household and so all will need to be removed.
Yellow Slime Mold in Bathroom
Fuligo Septica is the most common species of yellow mold to infect bathrooms and is known as slime mold due to its slimy appearance. Slime mold may also have a sticky texture.
Slime mold is a single-celled organism that is not technically fungi. It is a fast-growing mold that turns yellow as it matures before eventually turning grey
It is particularly dangerous to humans as it can infect the internal organs such as sinuses, lungs or brain.
Slime molds usually feeds off decomposing plant matter which is commonly found outdoors in soil.
Inside the home they survive in bathrooms and other damp environments.
Yellow Mold in Bathroom?
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How to Clean and Get Rid of Yellow Mold from Bathroom
Yelllow Mold can be very hazardous to health so you may wish to consider taking professional advice before attempting to remove mold from your home.
There is also a risk you could spread the spores to other areas so you will need to take some safety precautions before you start.
Furthermore, the roots system of the yellow mold may be hidden from your view, for example within the walls or structure of your home. Unless this is also treated, the problem will just come back. A professional can give you a full analysis of the problem.
You may however be able to treat small, isolated areas of mold by yourself if you catch it early enough.
If you do decide to proceed, here are some tips to do the job safely and effectively.
What You Will Need
You should be able to remove mold yourself using these common household items,
- Buckets, mop, sponges, dry cloth and brushes (old toothbrushes will work great for crevices)
- Vacuum cleaner with hose attachment
- Bleach, detergent or white vinegar, spray bottle
Keeping yourself safe
Mold can be harmful and the spores can easily travel to other areas of the house and also get into your lungs, eyes or airways.
Use PPE while you complete the task to keep you safe;
- Safety goggles to protect your eyes
- Strong latex or rubber gloves
- Apron and dust sheets
1.Work Out Where the Yellow Mold is Coming From in your Bathroom
Your first task is to identify where the mold is growing from. This may be tricky as it may be in hard to reach areas such as on the ceiling, underneath flooring, behind or inside cabinets, under sinks or even inside walls or ventilation or heating systems.
Check everywhere including all dark spaces, corners and crevices. Once you have found the yellow mold source in your bathroom, you can try to remove it.
2.Spray the Area of Yellow Mold
In a spray bottle, mix 1-part white vinegar or detergent and 3 parts water (you can also replace vinegar with hydrogen peroxide or baking soda).
Spray entire the area well with the solution.
3.Soak & Scrub
Let it soak for 10 minutes before firstly blotting then scrubbing the surface well to remove the mold.
For stubborn areas like tile grout, add baking soda to make a firmer paste and leave this to soak in for two hours before cleaning off with an old toothbrush.
Use the dry cloth to dry the surfaces completely. Allow the entire space to dry.
4.Clean the Area
Clean the whole area, vacuum floors, remove all debris carefully and wash all fabrics and rugs after soaking in bleach, hanging outside to dry if possible.
TIP; If the mold covers more than 10 square meters of an area or does not clean off after you follow the steps above, you will need to call a professional.
Dangers of Yellow Mold in Bathroom
Let’s examine the possible effects of yellow mold & Yellow slime mold on our homes and health and see what might happen if we do not take prompt action to remove it.
Potential Effects of Yellow Mold on Health
Yellow mold may cause an array of health conditions ranging from acute to chronic depending on the species and the individual person affected.
Whilst brief exposure to yellow mold is not super dangerous for healthy people with a good immune system. However, those who are more vulnerable such as the very young or elderly, pregnant women or those with weaker immune systems, respiratory conditions or allergies may be at risk of serious health complications following any exposure to yellow mold.
Pretty much everyone is at risk following prolonged exposure to yellow mold so you will always need to do something to remedy it. Call a professional if you are worried about someone’s health.
Risk to Health
Potential health risks include:
- Coughing, sneezing, nasal congestion, sore throat and breathing difficulties
- Itchy, swollen, watery, bloodshot or irritated eyes
- Headache, dizziness, nausea or fatigue
- Rashes or hives on body
Constant exposure to yellow mold can adversely affect quality of life for a vulnerable person.
See your doctor if you have symptoms, you think might be related to mold exposure and let your doctor know if you have discovered yellow mold in your home as it may affect the prescribed treatment.
If you do have mold-related illness, your doctor will probably tell you that you need to have all of the mold removed from your home as soon as possible in order to recover.
Risk to Homes
Left untreated, mold will damage your home in the following ways:
- Musty smell you cannot get rid of
- Unsightly patches in bathroom where yellow mold is growing
- Permanent damage to surfaces like wood, furniture or floorboards
Preventing Yellow Mold in your Bathroom in Future
Regular cleaning will help prevent mold from returning. You should also;
- Fix any leaks in your bathroom, including leaky taps, faucets, pipes, windows, ceilings or sink areas. You want the area to be as dry as possible.
- Ensure adequate ventilation in your bathroom to let moisture out – open windows, install a ventilator, fan or de-humidifier.
- Spread out towels, curtains and bathmats to dry after bathing and showering and wipe down all shower areas daily.
- Remove clutter and reduce items that prevent air flow. Keep items stored in clean, dry, well-ventilated areas that can be easily cleaned and wiped down.
- Conduct regular inspections of all areas and carry out regular cleaning of all surfaces, taking extra care to remove all signs of yellow mold.
When to Call a Professional
If the yellow mold is difficult to remove, covers a large area or keeps returning, it is time to get professional help to eradicate it.
You can hire a professional to come and survey your home and provide advice and help to remove the problem for good.
They can advise you which species you are dealing with, the correct treatment to use and how to prevent it coming back.
They also have the right equipment and tools to safely remove all traces of the problem for you.
Remember, with yellow mold, the longer you leave it, the worse it will get.
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