Sunday, April 21, 2024

How To Check For Black Mold In Walls

What Does Mold Look Like

How To Test For Black Mold In 5 Minutes

When identifying mold based on sight, it is not just about what the mold itself looks like directly, but what the surroundings look like as well because mold does damage to your building and its structure.

The mold itself looks dark green. Sometimes, when it becomes awful, it will turn into a blackish color. Mold reportings have had various colors, from purple to blue, from orange to pink. However, the most common colors for mold are dark green and black mold.

Now, because anything can be dark green or black, it is important to look at the mold infestation surroundings, such as walls and flooring. It is very common with mold present to see wallpaper peeling off and your drywall becoming not so dry. The ceiling can also become weakened from the mold, leaving parts of it at risk of falling. The reason for this is because mold eats away the material your house is used to be built. It rots away wood hence the smell leaving important pieces to the structure compromised and at risk of collapsing altogether. Wires and pipes can also be left exposed, creating additional hazards.

Another thing to keep in mind is if you can see the mold growth, the problem might be far more severe than it appears. Mold is not just present on the outside of your walls, but also on the inside, where you may have no clue what is going on. This is why it has been stated earlier that detecting and identifying mold can be more complicated than one may think.

Where Did The Mold Come From

All types of fungus love the wet, warm, and the dark. Humid areas, properties that have recently been flooded or had problems with leaks can attract and foster growth. You can find this substance growing on a wide variety of materials depending on the species you have.

  • Carpeting, Mattresses & Home Textiles
  • Potted Plant Soil & Pet Droppings
  • Wet Building Materials, Fiberglass Insulation, Drywall
  • On Windowsills, Walls & Wallpaper
  • In The Shower & On Caulking
  • Any Areas With Unresolved Water Damage
  • In HVAC Systems & Dusty Areas
  • On Wood, Books, Newspapers & Other Porous Materials

Mold Growing On Unpainted Drywall:

Usually, a swab dipped in a diluted bleach solution is used to kill molds populating on different materials. However, always be mindful of the fact that bleach has shown to be effective only in the case of non-porous materials such as tiles, painted walls, bathtubs, etc. It has no penetration power for porous materials such as drywall.

Thus, one can say that bleach is ineffective in killing molds that grow beneath the surface of materials. Using bleach for porous objects will work to override superficial molds but the roots will remain there which will ensure quick return of molds.

So, if molds are feeding on organic cellulose component of drywall, youll have to remove the wall altogether.

Its better to hire a professional to do this job because its not as easy to remove molds growing on walls as it seems.

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Identify Areas Known To Harbor Mold

When you believe you smell mold, go on the hunt to find it. Look near water supply pipes, around water drainage lines and sewage pipes, anywhere near dryer vents and in laundry rooms, under sinks, in the ceiling above a finished basement, near bathroom exhaust vents, around sump pumps, and inside wall cavities.

Is Mold Inside Walls Dangerous

How to Detect Black Mold within Walls?

In as little as 24 hours, mold can begin to grow in damp and dark areas. The dreaded Stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold, feeds off cellulose, which both wood and drywall are made of. Oxygen, water, food, and darkness are all thats needed to make this take root. It is both easier and faster for mold to grow than you may think.

Black mold can cause hay fever symptoms in healthy people and lead to severe respiratory problems in people with preexisting conditions. Studies have shown black mold can cause sleep apnea, hives, rashes, and other common allergy symptoms.

Along with the sickness this fungus can bring, the structural integrity of your walls is threatened by mildew. Since mold eats cellulose, it slowly takes apart the building blocks of your home and puts it at risk of collapse.

Mold inside walls is very dangerous because it is so hidden. The spores hidden in crevices can be carried away by the air current of an HVAC system to infect all areas of your home.

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In The Walls And On The Floor

From top to bottom, mold growth is likely in a bathroom. In addition to the places mentioned above, pay attention to any water leaks coming from the walls or floors these leaks can cause mold to grow quickly. Bathroom rugs are also known to harbor mold, and are usually not washed as often as they should be.

Some tips to keep your bathroom free of mold

  • Use a ventilation fan during your bath or shower, and keep it on for at least 30 minutes after
  • Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to keep humidity levels down throughout your home
  • Keep all surfaces, including counters and floors, clean and dry
  • Check for leaky faucets and pipes

How To Detect Mold

You may be wondering how to detect mold in your home and how to test for mold if you cant see it. There has been so much information in the news lately about the health risks of mold growth in the home that people want to know how to make sure their home is mold-free and safe. Many dont know how to check for mold, though, if its not clearly visible. Well tell you how to test for mold in your home.

To make sure the job is done right, we recommend you hire a professional to conduct the testing. Its very easy to get incorrect results if you dont do the testing properly.

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Making Wall Test Cut Openings To Spot Hidden Mold

This article on mold inspection and testing discusses the use of test cuts in building surfaces to explore building cavities for hidden mold. Since even small cosmetic damageto buildings is something to avoid when possible, we also discuss how to decide when a test cut is justified, and now to explore buildingcavities with the minimum damage.

This document is part of a longer article which describes how to find mold and test for mold in buildings, including how and where to collect mold samples using adhesive tape – an easy,inexpensive, low-tech but very effective mold testing method.


This procedure helps identify the presence of or locate the probable sources of mold reservoirs in buildings, and helps decide which of these need moreinvasive, exhaustive inspection and testing.

Unless a building area is already visibly damaged or moldy, we proceed with as little damage or “invasiveness” as possible. Often no invasive cuts are needed to see into a building cavity.

Text and photo illustrations in this section are roughly in order of degree of invasiveness.

Often an experienced inspector who knows where to look, can reach very reliable conclusionsabout hidden mold with no damage to a property at all. Or we can perform non-damaging invasive inspection such as the careful removal of trim for further inspection.

Remove Mold From Concrete And Cement Walls

How Can Consumers Detect Mold Inside Their Walls

Removing black mold from concrete or cement walls is fairly simple. However, in some situations, it may be difficult to completely remove all traces of it, especially if it has gotten deep into the concrete. In this situation, it may be necessary to apply an encapsulation to help seal in any remaining traces of spores, which will prevent it from growing and spreading.

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How To Know If There Is Mold Growing Inside The Walls

Mind it, if the water damage is serious, within quite a less time, molds will begin to grow after the water has absorbed and reached the drywall. If you have leaks in the pipes, moisture can be easily trapped in the walls which will consequently favor mold growth.

Therefore, water damages largely serve to form moisture platforms for molds to boom.

It is noteworthy that the longer these molds stay in your home undetected, the better chances they will have to over-populate and the harder it will be for you to remove them altogether. Thats why its best to get your home inspected for molds at the first sign of their existence. If not, instead of you controlling them they will control you.

Is Mold Growing Behind Your Walls

Is mold growing behind your walls? When your home has suffered water damage, its very likely that your home will also experience mold growth. If the water damage is serious, then within 24 hours, mold can begin to grow on your property. Since mold often grows in wall cavities following pipe leaks and flooding, it can be difficult to spot. And its for this reason that it can grow and create a toxic environment in your home. The good news is that even hidden mold leaves behind clues and if detected early, mold can be safely removed before it becomes a catastrophe. You can find out if mold is growing in your walls in several ways.

Noticeable Signs of Mold

Discoloration and Stains Because mold growth is often a result of water damage, water stains can be an indicator of the presence of mold. As such, if you spot water stains on your walls, then it is likely that theres mold growing behind them. Water stains can be yellow or brown in color, so look out for such colors on your wall. If the spots are damp, then thats an obvious sign of moisture problems as well.

Another indicator of mold growth is discoloration, which can occur even if you have repainted your homes walls. Discoloration can also happen in the event that damage has been done from within. This is because the mold will still be visible on the walls surface.

Is Mold Behind Walls Costly?

Should You Call a Professional?

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To Test Or Not To Test

Stachybotrys is usually greenish-black and somewhat slimy or wet, but may also appear grayish with a sooty, powdery texture. Additionally, other molds may look similar. That’s why it is impossible to tell if any given mold is black mold by looks, smell or even location. The only way to determine a mold species is examination under a microscope. Testing is costly, advises the CDC, and isn’t really necessary. Any mold can cause health problems, as they point out. Therefore, you should arrange to have any mold in your home removed, no matter what type it is.


Other Places In The Kitchen

The Toxic Health Threat

Wooden cutting boards, trash cans, behind the stove and windows and window sills in the kitchen are like heaven for mold spores. They feed off of these places, so keeping them clean and dry is critical for keeping mold at bay.

To keep your kitchen mold free, be sure to:

  • Ventilate when cooking and doing dishes by opening a window, using a fan, or both
  • Wash the dishes every day, so they dont pile up in the sink
  • Clean and dry the stove top, microwave, counters, cabinets, and window sills regularly
  • Clean out the inside of your fridge and your fridge drip tray often
  • Take the trash out every day

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Dealing With Mold In Walls

Before beginning the job of removing mold from the inside of walls, you need to cover doorways, air vents, and other openings to other parts of the home with plastic. If youre working in a large room, you can use large sheets of plastic to block off a smaller area in which you will be working. This prevents the spread of mold spores to other areas of the home. Mold remediation experts often recommend setting up negative pressure in the work area, as well.

Remove moldy drywall and insulation. Use a spray bottle of water to dampen moldy materials before removing them this helps prevent mold spores from becoming airborne during the process. When sawing through moldy drywall, you can have an assistant hold a vacuum hose with a HEPA filter nearby to further decrease the spread of mold spores. Enclose moldy materials in heavy plastic garbage bags before carrying it out of the home so no mold spores are spread to other areas of the home in the process. Its imperative that you do everything possible to prevent spreading mold spores throughout the house so that you dont end up with mold in other rooms.

Problems Caused By Mold

Mold can be as dangerous as it is destructive. Make sure to have it removed as soon as you find it.

Mold growth is particularly concerning because the mold will continue to eat away at affected building materials and increase the damage as it spreads. Mold will also compromise the air quality of your home and pose as a health hazard to any and all occupants. Among some of the health concerns that mold presents are eye irritation, coughing, nasal issues, and throat irritation.

Knowing the amount of damage mold can cause, it is important for you to know how to detect mold in your home. However, it can sometimes be difficult to spot mold because it can be hidden. One case of this is mold growth behind your homes walls.

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How Fast Does Black Mold Spread

Mold begins to grow as soon as its spores land on a damp, fibre-rich material and it can spread around the house within 24 to 48 hours. It colonizes in one to twelve days and grows at one square inch per day. In less than a week, it can cover surface areas of several square feet.

Unfortunately in most cases, mold is widespread and already a big problem before a problem is even suspected by the homeowners.

Perform A Visual Inspection

How to Check For Mold

If you suspect you have mold, the first step is to perform a thorough visual inspection of your home. You will recognize mold as spots that can appear in many different colors. Mold thrives on moisture, so pay particular attention to roofs, windows, pipes, basements, laundry areas, bathrooms, previously flooded spaces, and so on. Mold commonly appears on fibrous surfaces like drywall, upholstery, wallpaper, fabrics, and cardboard. If you see any signs of mold, call a professional.

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Trust The Experts Trust Proclean

Our highly-trained, certifiedmold removalprofessionals follow a proven, step-by-step process to make your home or business safe again.

First, we visually inspect the area to find any potential mold, tracing it to the source if possible. Then, our team contains the affected area and removes moldy, non-salvageable, porous material and implements negative air pressure technology to keep harmful mold spores from traveling from the air to your lungs.

Next, we utilize advanced HEPA filtered vacuums to help eliminate mold on non-porous surfaces, then set up air scrubbers with HEPA filters.

Finally, we ULV fog with a powerful antimicrobial solution to ensure that we treat the deepest, darkest corners of your home then, we clean and sanitize the remaining salvageable contents as necessary.

The moment you notice mold, you must act. Even a small amount of mold in the home can multiply quickly, and its entirely possible that there is more existing mold than what meets the eye.

today to ensure the safety of your home and health of your loved ones within it.

Previous Water Damage Event

Have you previously had the misfortune of discovering a water damage event like flooding or burst pipes in your home? If the water was extracted efficiently and properly, there is likely resulting mold growth.

Because fungus feeds on moisture, water damage often leads to mold problems which can be costly and can potentially harm the structural integrity of your home. To learn about how to manage a water damage event, clickhere.

Fungus and mold need water to thrive. If you have previously had the misfortune of experiencing a water damage event in your home, it is important to ensure that there is no resulting mold problem. At the first sign of mold, call the experts at ProClean at 484-8500.

ProClean Pensacola

According to the EPA, there is no simple way to eliminate all mold within a home, so it is important to stay diligent in detecting any possible problems.

If you notice any of the above warning signs, it is important to thoroughly and comprehensively remove mold colonies before they multiply even further.

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How To Clean Mold From Walls

Hiring a professional is recommended. Many people are tempted to use bleach to clean black mold from their walls, but this can cause a variety of problems. Bleach often removes the color of mold, making it almost invisible. While the walls may look clean, they are still moldy and can cause health issues.

In On And Under The Kitchen Sink

Is this black mold/wall damage fixable without ...

A lot happens in your kitchen sink. Dirty dishes pile up , food goes through the garbage disposal, wet sponges sit in the sink or in caddies and collect bacteria, and faucets run. All of these things contribute to the potential for mold growth, so check in these areas often if you want to prevent mold. Oh, and dont forget to check underneath the sink leaky pipes are a big problem for mold.

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How To Test For Mold In Your Apartment

Apartment living is an affordable way to have your own space without the headache of a house payment and the maintenance demands of your own property. However, though you may not be concerned about the upkeep or the repairs for your building, you do need to know when a mold problem creeps into your apartment. Unlike a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm, you wont be getting a warning when mold growth starts to appear. It may take a long time before you realize that harmful mold spores are growing all around you and invading your space.

In this article, well walk you through how to test for mold in your apartment and how to take care of the problem before it gets worse.

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