Your bathroom shower takes an absolute hammering due to the harsh environment it produces. Multiple times a day it is subjected to moisture, heat, humidity, soap, body wash, shampoo, hair dye, body oil, dirt, and grime. It is no wonder then that these small spaces can deteriorate very quickly after initial installation.
A shower is likely to be made from either one or two piece acrylic mouldings (a shower cubicle), or be constructed using ceramic, porcelain or natural stone tiles. Homeowners often think that these areas are relatively maintenance free however both types have components that are prone to mould growth over time.
Mould requires three things in order to thrive. Moisture, heat, and organic matter. All of these things are readily available in a shower area. The only way to minimise mould growth is to minimise these three things. Here are 5 ways you can do that:
- Ensure adequate ventilation during and after shower use. A professionally installed extractor fan with a timer that turns off 10 minutes after you have left the bathroom will pull most of the warm moisture from the area.
- Have the grout in your tiled shower sealed to make it less porous. Unsealed grout absorbs moisture along with the oils and soap residues contained in it. This becomes a breeding ground for mould. Re-sealing may be required every couple of years.
- Consider having the grout in the shower base replaced with epoxy grout. This is a waterproof grout which will not absorb moisture.
- Dry down the shower after each use. While this sounds like a pain, it is the only way to avoid having moisture remain in the shower enclosure all day long. This will also eliminate mineral etching of the tile and glass surfaces.
- Clean down your shower with a PH Neutral cleaner weekly to remove any dirt, soap and oil residues. Many supermarket cleaning products are either strongly acidic or alkaline which can damage surfaces and remove sealer coatings over time. Citrus cleaners containing citrus oil rather than citric acid are ideal.
Note that while bathroom silicone sealants contain mildicides, they too will eventually succumb to mould growth and will need to be replaced periodically.