Why does my tiled shower/tub smell?

My shower smells like a sewer, why?

  • There are two common reasons that you could be smelling sewer gas. Reason one that the shower or sink have not been used in a while and the water in the P trap has evaporated allowing the gases are escaping the plumbing.Second would be that there is no p trap installed at all and there for nothing is there to prevent gasses from coming back up the pipe. 

 

P trap low waterP Trap

 

What should I do?

  • If your bathroom shower or sink has not been used in a while run some water and see if the smell goes away.
  • If that does not work call a local, reputable licensed plumber to have a look at it and discuss your options. Sewer gas is full of methane and other nasty gases that can be very nauseating and dangerous.

My shower smells musty, why?

  • In most cases that is the smell of mold.

What is the typical shower mold?

  • Toxic black mold or black mold is a name commonly used for Stachybotrys chartarum. It is one of the most infamous toxic molds because it can grow in houses and is extremely dangerous to humans. Stachybotrys is known as a toxic mold because it produces toxins called mycotoxins.

    Shower Mold

 

Is it Dangerous?

  • Yes Very Much so, some of the common symptoms are: Respiratory problems, Skin inflammation, Hemorrhage, Irritation of the mucous membranes, Damage to internal organs, mental impairment, Tiredness, Nausea, Immune system suppression.

What Causes this?

  • In most cases poor construction practices were performed during the building of the shower or tub surround allowing moisture to enter the wall cavities. The warm moist wall cavities allow mold to grow very rapidly. Molds need an organic source to grow and live on. Mold cannot grow on the tile surface it has no food source, meaning if you see mold on the surface of your tile it came from behind the tile and is spreading to the tile.

What do I do about it?

  •  There are many methods to clean the mold off the surface but there will still be mold behind the walls, in the matter of time your mold will be back. You must address the problem at the root meaning stop the moisture from getting there in the first place. In most cases that means redoing what is there, using proper water proofing techniques. ( I will discuss these in a later article)
  • My advice would be to contact a local remodeling contractor who specializes in shower building to access your problems and discuss your options.

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