Mold Expert Consultants

April 28, 2015
Hygienist Phillip Fry Explains How To Find Mold Growth and Germs
in Home and Workplace Bathrooms

“Toxic mold growth and dangerous germs are often hidden in out of the way places in the bathrooms and restrooms of homes, commercial buildings, and workplaces in the USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Asia, and worldwide,” warns Phillip Fry, Professional Industrial Hygienist, Certified Environmental Hygienist, and webmaster since 1999 of the popular mold education website

Fry recommends the following steps for finding hidden mold and germ infestation in bathrooms and restrooms:

1. During the bathroom search, the inspector- property owner, manager, employee, or tenant should wear a N-95 breathing mask (about $3 from a home improvement or hardware store), eye goggles with no holes (“chem splash” for $5 from same sources) to keep mold spores out of the inspector’s eyes, and disposable vinyl gloves.

2. Use a high powered flashlight to aid in the search.

3. Look for visible mold and germ growth in the following areas: (a) inside the toilet tank because mold and germs grow well in water, and thus enabling the resulting mold spores and germs cells to get thrown into the bathroom breathing air during each toilet flush; (b) both sides of shower curtains and window curtains; (c) inside the exhaust fan vent pipe; (d) inside sink vanity cabinets, especially if there are leaks in the water supply and drain lines; (e) inside the drain pipes of sinks, showers, and tubs;  (f) in the grout lines of ceramic tile on the walls and floors (look for discoloration, especially black, in the grout).

4. Use the Scotch tape “lift sampling” to collect surface samples in all of the above areas to send to a microbiology lab for both mold and bacterial analysis, identification, and quantification. How to do lift tape sampling is explained on the website

Bathroom mold infestation affects both expensive homes and average-priced homes.  Industrial hygienists Phillip and Divine Fry found in lab results an astonishingly high mold spore count of over 32,000  mold spores per square centimeter of the dangerous toxic mold species Cladosporium inside the toilet tank in the master bathroom of an expensive home in Rochester Hills, in well-to-do Oakland County, Michigan, in April, 2015.

5. In addition to lift tape sampling of the above-specified areas, also do lift tape sampling with lab analysis for out of the way places such as the top of window and door trim and light fixtures.

6. Use a good quality moisture meter (about $50 from a hardware or home improvement store) to scan walls and floors for the possibility of elevated levels of moisture, an indication of a water leak or high humidity.

7. Use a hygrometer (about $50 online) to check the humidity of the bathroom. Mold starts growing if indoor humidity exceeds 70%.

To get answers for mold problems in homes, commercial buildings, public buildings, and workplaces, email mold expert Phillip Fry, or phone toll-free 1-866-300-1616, or visit

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