Asked on Mar 30, 2012

Need advice on how to stop mold spots on bathroom Ceiling.

Kathy Z
by Kathy Z
My sister's bathroom grows mold little black spots on the ceiling. She says when they take a shower the ceiling is wet from the moisture. There is NOT a vent in the ceiling. She is on disability and very limited budget. Is there a way to remove it and some kind of paint the prohibits mold growth? any thoughts? Thanks
  43 answers
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Mar 30, 2012
    Cleaning the space with a dilute bleach solution will help things initially. For longer term results a combined approach is needed. The first part of that is to paint with a mold and mildew resistant paint, the second part is to reduce the moisture levels. This can be done with venting and /or insulation. Insulation can reduce the "condensate effect" of the humid air condensing on the ceiling.
  • 'Raven E 'Raven E on Mar 30, 2012
    both good advice, i just had to tear down my shower because of mold, i live in a lake cabin and the previous owner had just framed one out of wood, please Please... do as much as you can, the antimacrobial paint would be good because it prevents mold. If you dont you could end up like me needing to rebuild the whole rotted bathroom
  • 'Raven E 'Raven E on Mar 30, 2012
    the paint i got was both concrete sealant, waterproof and antimacrobial which stops the mold. I would look for something similar
  • Debi E Debi E on Mar 30, 2012
    I had the same issue but keep the window open just a bit helped
  • Karen V Karen V on Mar 30, 2012
    Good ventilation is the key. If she can't put in a vent, then at least use a fan (of the plug-in variety, keeping it well away from the bath or sink) to disperse the air either out a window or into the rest of her living space. It should be on for 15 or 20 minutes after she showers. Having a cold ceiling will cause condensation, so if she can insulate from an attic space above, she'd cut down on mold too.
  • Marguerite S Marguerite S on Mar 30, 2012
    I had an issue with a moldy smell in my downstairs bathroom. I bought Damp rid and the smell went away. I guess it sucks up the moisture in the room. I really worked.
  • Debi R Debi R on Mar 30, 2012
    During a town flood here in small town USA, I found out that cleaning with bleach only begin the process. Scrub with a toothbrush with bleach, allow to dry. Mix up a borax /water paste, and scrub with that. Borax actually gets into porous materials and kills mold spores. Follow thru with mildew resistant paint. I used BIN.
  • Lynne B Lynne B on Mar 30, 2012
    We had this problem and I used a mold clearer and the paint but I still get it in the corners so I am looking into getting more powerful lights as well.
  • Angela G Angela G on Mar 30, 2012
    Great advice. I had mold in back of my toilet in the wall. I ripped it out and treated the area with bleach and replaced the damaged pieces of sheet rock with new sheet rock. No more mold. My suggestion is also to keep the area dry. After you take a shower dry off the ceiling and leave the door open and windows if you have one to get the air circulating in the room. Also a little secret Borax cleans mold and also prevents mold. I use it in my bathroom to clean the shower tile. I never have a problem with mold in the shower.
  • Julie C Julie C on Mar 30, 2012
    We just bought a forclosed farmsite. The house has significant mold in the basement. So, I am learning a lot about mold. Mold spores are in the air, so you cannot rid the house of mold. But, you can rid the house of growing mold. Mold needs heat, a food source (anything organic like common household dust, wood, the paper on dry wall) and water in order to grow. The only thing we can control really is the water. Bleach will kill mold on a NON POROUS surface. But, it will not work on the porous surface. It doesn't penetrate the surface. However, the water in the bleach can penetrate the surface and feed behind the scene, hidden growth. The solution to the problem is solving the water problem. If someone can't install a vent fan for her, I would try a small area dehumidifier.
  • Kathleen S Kathleen S on Mar 30, 2012
    We had the same problem in our old fanless bathroom. We did all of the above plus my husband cut an inch off the bottom of the bathroom door to impove venilation. We kept the door open when not in use. Removing all clutter from the tub area allowed it to dry faster and clean easier.
  • Anna M Anna M on Mar 30, 2012
    Mold is nothing to fool with it can lead to serious health problems. Check out Chris Fabry's mold story online.
  • Miriam M Miriam M on Mar 30, 2012
    Spray it with straight bleach, walk away,if you scrub it, it will spread because it is a spore. You can then purchace a paint specifically for bathrooms that has an additive in it for mold. Hope this helps. Also if she were to find a handyman in her area, she could get a vent put in for much cheaper than an electrician as long as the handyman knows what he/she is doing.
  • Shirley T Shirley T on Mar 30, 2012
    What is Damp rid? And where can I buy it? Have mold around my toilet on the tiles and tried everything. Please let me know. Thanks.
  • Susan H Susan H on Mar 31, 2012
    I keep a spray bottle of bleach and when I see the tiny mold spots I immidiately spray the bleach on it and get the heck out of the bathroom!
  • Rhonda A Rhonda A on Mar 31, 2012
    Just keep it sprayed with a diluted bleach solution... I also make herbal infusions of rosemary, lavender lemon and vinegar (w a little pine oil in it too)...great for that, germs, bugs or cleaning as well as controlling that black spot issue.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Mar 31, 2012
    Shirley T...Damp rid is a container of pellets that absorb moisture...a desiccant....these work for a time but would need to be replaced on a regular basis as they treat the symptoms not the cause. They are good at keeping rust at bay is say a closed up tool box or some small contained area...but their regular use as a whole room system is not the best way to go. An active system like AC or a dehumidifier is more effective route.
  • Bleach doesn't kill just knocks it down. Microban will kill mold spores on contact and is the industry standard. Spray the walls & ceiling down with Microban....let dry and then repaint with Zinser Mildew-proof bath paint. This will be carried by most Ace hardware stores or can be ordered through them. The big box stores don't carry it. I have a client we use this product on every 10 retards mildew for about 8 from our experience with the product. This client doesn't have a vent fan in the bath and he refuses to open a window
  • Debbie E Debbie E on Jun 04, 2012
    Thanks for that advice, really good to know.
  • Dorothy A Dorothy A on Jul 01, 2012
    Be sure the mold isn't coming from underneath the wall. This is frequently the way mold grows so just spraying and having it momentarily disappear may not solve the health issue involved. Also there are different types of mold and some are more dangerous than others. You could call local health department about that.
  • Jackie M Jackie M on Jul 01, 2012
    There is a particular ratio of water and bleach for mold.. something about enzymes ??? A mold specialist told me this before.. If I can find the recipe and instructions I'll post them..
  • Kathy R Kathy R on Jul 03, 2012
    We had this problem. Our house is 60 years old. We had old 1970's popcorn ceiling in the bathroom with gloss paint over it EWWW. No exhaust fan, central a/c. Tried in vain using bleach sprays etc. This is how we fixed it...... We threw 3 grown kids out of the house because they were the ones using that bathroom. Now it rarely gets used so no moisture. :) LOL Joking. Seriously, we scrapped the popcorn off the ceiling by wetting it down lightly with water, sanded and let it dry out, sealed it with oil based primer, installed an exhaust fan, put up sealed bead board. No mold since. She needs an exhaust fan period, they are not expensive and can be installed easily and wired to the light switch.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Jul 03, 2012
    Modern tech now allows you to put the fan on a simple timer switch...this can be from 10 to 60 min...this way once your out of the room the fan will continue to run...but then automatically shut off.
  • Janell D Janell D on Jul 08, 2012
    There is a product that is eco-friendly sold at Home Depot "Concrobium Mold Control" and I used it this season in our hot tub when the antifreeze used during the winter ended up creating mold throughout the spa tub this spring due to the warmer temps. Believe that one! Anyway, I was introduced to this product and was thoroughly impressed. The active ingredient is molds natural enemy unlike bleach which only lightens mold making you "think" it's gone. I highly suggest trying this product. It's so safe to use that you don't need to wear gloves or anything. Hope this helps.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Jul 09, 2012
    This concrobium product has been discussed here before...its basically a collection of perfumed salts....the effectiveness of its control on mold is a bit iffy in the "science dept".
    I live in an apt and have mold coming out of my ac vent the management company is sending a co in to clean the ducts he
    • B. Enne B. Enne on Dec 27, 2015
      @KMS Woodworks although this is an old post, and everybody has their preferred products, I respectfully disagree. It contains TSP and sodium carbonate. I have used this product when nothing else worked, on an awning that was so green and black after years of neglect (previous owners), that I was told to throw it out. I tried vinegar, household cleaners and even a paste of bleach and Ajax on the edge, and it dried and split, and removed nothing. The Concrobium not only removed the fungus and mold, but saved the canvas. I was skeptical, and honestly did not think it would work, so I had nothing to lose. It is even used by disaster restoration specialists, and it is endorsed by Mike Holmes, and he doesn't put his name on just anything. Here is the spec sheet: Having said that, I would never have sprayed it into duct work as someone mentioned in the post you linked. Like any other product, it has its limitations...ducts are not the same as surface mold on the ceiling. I would have sprayed it on the ceiling, and let it dry throughly. Then I would have washed the surface thoroughly, let dry again, painted with anti-microbial paint, and at the very least in the absence of a window, used a dehumidifier, until I could get a properly vented exhaust fan installed. I see that the woman was on disability. When possible using a squeegee really keeps the humidity and hard water/soap scum down.
  • Beth H Beth H on Jul 14, 2012
    i get the damp rid at the Dollar Tree, i have the same problem and it really works, i use them in my basement, at a dollar a piece i buy 15 and use 2 in the bathroom and the rest in the basement, if i don't? the basement smells musty
  • Seth Fiddle Seth Fiddle on Nov 06, 2013
    I have black mold growing on the ceiling and in the shower. My wife takes long showers and I have three young daughters who shower in our bathroom as well. There is no ventilation fan or window to open. I think it might be a little better in the summer when we use the A/C. Every time I clean it it returns and is getting really bad. I don't know if it is a health issue but It certainly looks scary if not unsightly. Aside from the solutions to remove that I've read here and the paint that is more resistant and using damprid to alleviate it, is there any other way to ventilate? Would a dehumidifier help? Help!
    • See 5 previous
    • B. Enne B. Enne on Dec 29, 2015
      @Em Hooper p.s. I'm sure it is is different in every area. Although it would be certainly ideal to have everything up to code when buying a house, it is hard to find a previously owned and older one that way, unless it has been flipped or completely gutted, due to costs and constant code upgrades and changes. Many items get ''grandfathered''. so I always tried to find one with the most important and costly upgrades done. I have always had my homes inspected, to prioritize needs and costs. Adding a ceiling fan is easier and cheaper than redoing plumbing or wiring, throughout. :) Thanks, I think Canada is a wonderful country too.
  • Eleanor Mcnealley-cain Eleanor Mcnealley-cain on Apr 04, 2015
    use spray bottle with Vinegar. after shower set fan in room to air room out, or get a de midifier, i live in an area where one is needed, run it 24-7 & have to empty water in a.m & p.m.
    • B. Enne B. Enne on Dec 27, 2015
      @Eleanor Mcnealley-cain or you can hook it up to a hose that drains right into a floor drain or your shower.
  • Darla Darla on May 11, 2015
    It will really help if after you get rid of the mold, you get a dehumidifier to use in the bathroom. We don't have a vent, due to the wonderful homeowners association who won't let us vent through the front of the house, so that's what we did.
    • See 2 previous
    • Darla Darla on Jun 10, 2015
      @Em Hooper And of course the HOA doesn't pay for the extra electricity.
  • Cr180 Cr180 on Jun 10, 2015
    We have a similar problem on the ceiling of our master bath. We do have a vent, as well as a window(that never opened once the a/c is turned on). I solved the mold problem by cleaning the ceiling with bleach to kill the mold and purchased a very small dehumidifier that runs 24/7, as well as letting the exhaust fan run for about 20 minutes or so after a shower, although one of us can't seem to remember to let it run!! I empty it every day and am amazed how much water it can pull out of the air. Here is the link to the dehumidifier I bought, and I actually liked it so well that I bought a second one for the RV. Hope this helps you, as it would be way less expensive than hiring someone to do anything.
  • Shirley Midgett Shirley Midgett on Jun 10, 2015
    Just as gee whiz info: we have an exhaust fan in our tiny damp bathroom but never use it and never have a problem, I think it is because we have a skylight in there. When we bought the house I thought it was a stupid option but we NEVER have mold, mildew, etc in that bathroom.
  • Linda Thomas Linda Thomas on Jul 27, 2015
    Roll out kilz. Available home depot. Ventilate bathroom first. Potent stuff
  • Linda Schuttenhelm Linda Schuttenhelm on Aug 01, 2015
    Spray the spots with TILEX Mold & Mildew (contains bleach). Spots magically disappear!!! without rubbing~~~Really!!! But be careful not to spray in your eyes!!!! The minute I see a spot I spray it>>>>>GONE!!! :)
  • Debi53 Debi53 on Aug 04, 2015
    Everyone has given you really good advice. Two other thoughts: If your sister is able to leave the bathroom door open when showering that will help dissipate the steam; if she has an overhead light in the bathroom (not in the shower!), replace the light with a ceiling fan with light. We have a bathroom with no vent & no window, but we open the door & the ceiling fan whips the moisture right out. We have never had any mildew or mold. Also, the fan is great for staying cool when getting ready.
  • Carol Fredette Carol Fredette on Aug 30, 2015
    GET the real info om mold here.
  • Suzanne Grimes Marsh Suzanne Grimes Marsh on Aug 30, 2015
    I put a little fan on our counter-tied up the cord so it cannot reach the sink or floor- and turn it on for a half hour or so after showers. Leave the door open while it is running.
  • F P Spillers F P Spillers on Dec 27, 2015
    Perma-White paint from Lowe's. It's for kitchen and bath, but I use it everywhere. I think it can be tinted to color. We have had mold in other areas but not where this has been used.
  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Dec 27, 2015
    I would open the bathroom window or open the door as debi53 suggested. The ceiling can be washed with dish soap and water and later painted with Perma-White paint when the ceiling is completely dry.
  • Em Hooper Em Hooper on Dec 28, 2015
    Ah, Canada, wonderful country!
  • Em Hooper Em Hooper on Dec 29, 2015
    I get you. About 20 years ago, we sold a house in asheville, north carolina, USA. They made us take out the little brass ca.1920-30 button in the doorjamb of the hall linen closet. Because it didn't meet code. Instead of a light in the ceiling that went on and off as we opened and closed the door, we had to put in a ceiling fixture with a hanging chain to turn it on and of!!!! Ridiculous! And neighbors had squeaky floors. To sell, they had to take up carpeting and stop the meet code. Every house was required to have a certificate of occupancy before the power would be turned on for new owners. No telling what they would demand today. And I regret not taking that little button and its associated parts so i could use it in my present house. This rural county had no strict codes then,but they are pushing in on us now. I love older houses, but what's the point if we are required to install modern (often cheaply made) parts by a rulebook, instead of by the sensible needs of the structure?Tent dwellers just might be on to something!! LOL
  • Tom Tom on Feb 26, 2016
    You can use a product called Concrobuim to kill the mold spores that are there now. Then you can repaint with paint that contains a mildew inhibiter (already in most current better quality paints). Or you can have a mildew inhibiter added to the paint. There are also primers available that will prevent mold/mildew from forming.
  • OLIVE HARTE OLIVE HARTE on Mar 30, 2021

    I FITTED A CEILING OF P.V.C. AND i never have to worry. i also have an air extractor fitted when you turn on light it blows on too.