bathroom and kitchen tile

Mold, microbials and mildew can build up in your home, causing damage to fixtures and potentially making inhabitants sick. As a homeowner, you should understand not only how to eliminate bacteria growth but also how to prevent it from developing at all. Proper cleaning and maintenance will keep bacteria growth to a minimum and mitigate any potential health effects from bacteria spores.

To prevent bacteria growth in your home, regularly clean your home, keep an eye on bacteria hotspots, or in severe cases, turn to a professional cleaning service.

WHY SHOULD YOU CLEAN YOUR BATHROOM AND KITCHEN TILE?

Besides creating an inviting aesthetic in your home, keeping bacteria at bay can eliminate side effects from coming into contact with bacteria and keep your appliances from deteriorating in value due to bacteria-induced damages.

Health Concerns from Harmful Bacteria

Health concerns are a leading reason to schedule in weekly cleaning maintenance and rid your home of harmful bacterias. Depending on the type of bacteria present in your home, which we breakdown in the following section, you may experience mild to severe side effects.

woman sneezing into tissue

Signs bacteria in your home could be causing you to get sick:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Headaches
  • Sore throats
  • Persistent sinus infections
  • Pneumonia

Damage to Appliances and Fixtures

Items and fixtures with porous surfaces are likely to latch onto mold. The effects can be devastating. In some severe cases of bacteria in homes, items may need to be replaced to prevent further spread.

When deciding what to do in severe cases, consider whether it could be more expensive to replace the item or pay to have it professionally cleaned. For the average home, this is unlikely to be a concern, but in the case of water or flood damage cleaning measures will be more drastic.

Drop in Home Value

If you plan to sell your home in the near future you could encounter a roadblock between you and your asking price. Hint: its mold damage and bacteria presence.

If your tiles, grout, or other home fixtures have mold damage you might not be able to garner the price you were hoping for. Buyers will likely either ask you to repair it or to take the cost out of their closing fees.

Another great reason to keep your bacteria in check.

WHAT COMMON BACTERIA CAN BE FOUND IN HOMES

To prevent the occurrence of sickness in the home or working environment, cleanliness is a must. There are several known bacteria that can live on floor tile and grout. The most common bacteria you should be aware of are:

SERRATIA MARCESCENS usually found building up in bathrooms especially on tile grout, shower corners, toilet water line, and within the basin. It develops as a slimy film and feeds off phosphorus-containing materials or fatty substances like bath soap and shampoo residue.
STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS can cause food poisoning, and skin and bone infections.
BURKHOLDERIA CEPACIA is a human pathogen that takes advantage of moist conditions to further its spread. This bacteria is known to cause pneumonia in individuals with impaired immune system with underlying lung disease.
PSEUDOMONAS AERUGINOSA can be found in food and soil. It can commonly be found in bathroom sinks and kitchens. It won’t kill you, but it’s side effects aren’t pleasant. Expect a mild illness along with pseudomonas aeruginosa presence.
STREPTOCOCCUS associated with strep throat most commonly. It can also result in toxic shock syndrome and flesh-eating bacteria infections known as necrotizing fasciitis, both potentially deadly diagnoses. This bacteria will live and grow in the tiles of your bathroom.
ENTEROCOCCUS FAECALIS occupies the gastrointestinal tracts of humans and other mammals once in contact with the body. Keep in mind, this hardy bacteria can survive alkaline cleaning.

WHERE DOES BACTERIA MOST COMMONLY GROW?

Bacteria will grow anywhere that is warm and moist. If you’re thinking of your bathroom, you’re on the right track.

Keep an eye on these bacteria hotspots to mitigate any rising growth:

  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Laundry Rooms
  • Basements

The tiles in kitchens and bathrooms are especially permeable because it accumulates and holds stains from mold and mildew, dust, makeup stains, and dirty water. You may have already noticed this in your bathroom or even in the tiles of your kitchen.
It becomes a breeding ground for bacteria once moisture is added to the mix. Think, hot showers creating steam in your bathroom.

moldy wall beforemoldy wall before

HOW DO I CLEAN TILES AND GROUT?

You might have already noticed discoloration, a key indicator of bacteria growth in tiles and grout. Besides being aesthetically unappealing, the discoloration is likely caused by bacteria which can cause illness. The fact is, if not properly cleaned and maintained, grout behaves like a sponge that absorbs stains and specks of dirt. If this scenario is left unattended, the stains and dirt are confined below the surface and can be difficult to remove.

SCRUB WITH BAKING SODA SOLUTION

Using three parts baking soda and one part water create a paste. Apply the paste to all grout before spritzing it with vinegar. This will create a fizzing reaction as the baking soda and vinegar work together to breakdown grime and bacteria deep within the grout.

Avoid this option if you are cleaning limestone or marble. The vinegar can be too harsh for these materials.

USE A STEAM MOP ON TILES

Steam mops can effectively kill off 99.9% of bacteria making it an effective way to eliminate bacteria buildup in your home. Because steam mops don’t use any harsh chemicals, this option is an environmentally-friendly alternative.

HIRE A PROFESSIONAL

To maintain the condition and cleanliness of tile and grout, it’s best to clean it as often as necessary. There are proper ways of cleaning tile by doing it on your own but, if you don’t have time and patience to thoroughly clean tiles and grout, it’s best to leave it to the experts and have these restoration professionals do their job to clean all your tile and grout. If you haven’t done a thorough cleaning before and stains became permanent inhabitant in your tiles or the discoloration on grout is very visible, these expert professionals are well equipped on removing the stains and filth persisting below the surface and apply required sealants to avert future staining.
You can resort to your own home cleaning remedy by using any of the previously mentioned solutions. But for hard-to-clean stains, you should seek out the help of professional experts to save you time and be stress-free

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CLEAN TO AVOID BACTERIAL GROWTH?

Maybe you just noticed mold growth in your home or you’re just being cautious. Unfortunately keep your home free of bacteria is an ongoing effort. Maintenance cleaning of bacteria hotspots, such as your kitchen and bathroom, should be carried out on a weekly basis.