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Mold isn’t a plant or an animal; it’s a microscopic organism that lives in colonies. Since it doesn’t create food through photosynthesis like a plant, it doesn’t need light to survive. What it does like is moisture. That’s why you may find it in places that are consistently damp and dark like a poorly patched roof leak in the attic, a shower corner where water collects or a closet with poor ventilation. It can get behind tile and even grow in the space between tile and a wall or subfloor.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has linked exposure to mold with maladies both mild and more severe: stuffy nose, coughing, wheezing, red or itchy eyes or skin, asthma, fever, shortness of breath and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
What to Do If You Suspect Mold
You’ll probably — though not definitely — know if you have mold. Usually, you can smell or see it if it’s on a surface. The black or green color that you see in a moldy grout line is not the mold itself — that’s actually the waste that mold produces. If you see or suspect mold, treat it immediately. The longer you wait, the more it can multiply, and what starts as a mild infestation can turn into something much worse that requires professional remediation.
Fighting with recurring mold in the shower is something many people are familiar with. You scrub and scrub, but the mold just keeps coming back. That’s because you’re only treating the surface where the waste is. Grout is particularly susceptible because of its porosity. If it wasn’t properly sealed, or if you’ve inadvertently removed the seal by dousing it with cleaners and chemicals that may have degraded it or removed it entirely — mold can work its way into the grout, making it even harder to get at. MARBLELIFE® Mold & Mildew Stain Remover cuts through the mess you can see and penetrates the grout to get to the root of the problem as well for a better clean.
Many mold cleaners say on the label that they’re not for use on porous surfaces, which may be why the mold keeps coming back. MARBLELIFE® Mold & Mildew Stain Remover is specially formulated to be safe even on more sensitive surfaces such as marble and travertine. For 30 years, MARBLELIFE® professionals have had to get past the mold to restore the surface underneath. Those experiences enabled us to do something other cleaners can’t — test, observe and adjust — not in the lab but in the real world. Our reviews speak for themselves. If you catch the mold early and have a light infestation, a spray, soak and rinse can resolve it. For heavier infestations, you may also need to scrub after spraying and soaking.
Regular maintenance will help prevent mold buildup. However, mold exists because the conditions it favors exist. To fix mold for good, one needs to alter the conditions in which it is found. Generally, this means increasing light and reducing moisture or increasing airflow so that the area can fully dry between use. Mold reproduces from spores that can enter your home through the air or on shoes, clothes or skin. Once inside, if the spores settle on a damp, dark organic surface — like wool carpet in a mudroom or wallboard in an unventilated closet — they can reproduce.
Inspect your home. Look for areas around windows and doors where water can get in and seal them. In regions with high humidity, any poorly ventilated space — closets, cabinets, cupboards, small rooms and even drawers — can become a breeding ground. That’s one reason louvered doors are often preferred for pantries and closets across the South.
Avoid letting humidity get too high. An air conditioner or dehumidifier can help, especially during humid months. Areas that are moist — like kitchens, showers, baths and laundries — benefit from exhaust fans that vent outside your home. The king of mold surfaces is the shower. The key to winning the battle for the shower is ensuring it can fully dry between uses. Sometimes that’s as easy as adjusting family schedules for who uses a shower when. Propping the door may also help.
Mold can be sneaky. A leaking pipe behind a shower wall can start there and then telescope through a porous stone such as marble to appear on the interior surface. A MARBLELIFE® technician can often employ a moisture meter to track the source of the water leak through the stone or tile to the source. In each case, cutting off the water is the key to winning the battle. Whether in the battle, managing a temporary flare up, or doing the clean-up after installing a remedy, MARBLELIFE® Mold & Mildew Cleaner is formulated to make short work on the mess the mold left behind.
Finally, if you have a problem that’s more than the occasional outcrop in the shower, you may need to call in a mold specialist to evaluate your situation and recommend a solution.