Common Causes Of Mold
Mold flourishes in damp conditions, so most causes of mold growth involve unwanted water getting into the house. Some of the most common situations include:
- Leaky pipes or air-conditioning ducts
- Wet clothes
- Heavy rain or flooding
- Excess condensation on cold metallic, glass, or concrete surfaces.
Water can also pool up around sinks, bathtubs, dishwashers, or washing machines, so be wary and clean any water up right away. Some problems to look out for outdoors include a yard that slopes toward the foundation of the house, leaky shingles on the roof, and improper caulking on windows.
How To Find And Test For Mold On Or Behind Wall Paneling
- about visible & hidden mold growth on wood paneling in buildings: where it is found, how to spot it, how harmful it might be
InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.
Mold contamination hidden behind building wall or ceiling paneling:
The fact that mold is “hidden” in buildings does not mean one cannot find it.
We look by context: where do we see leak stains, or where do we see building practices most likely to have produced a hidden leak or moisture problem? Ice dam leaks in walls, hidden plumbing leaks, roof spillage by the foundation, are all common clues that often track to a wet building wall or ceiling cavity and from there to a hidden mold problem which may need to be addressed.
This document 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 more invasive, exhaustive inspection and testing.
Mold Testing Lab Near Me
Fortunately, with everyone having access to a computer, high-speed internet, and fast shipping times, you can locate a mold testing lab in your area or one online. 5 Microns Inc. offers mold testing services. They can process your samples and provide detailed results, as well as help interpret them.
Read Also: How To Remove Mold In Basement Walls
How To Remove Mold From Plaster
- Use a non-ammonia based soap, mixed with water
- Dip a stiff bristle brush or push broom into the cleaning solution and scrub the plaster, using a âWâ motion .
- Using a garden hose for large exterior walls or a sponge for smaller interior walls, thoroughly rinse the wall.
- Allow exterior walls to air dry and use a large bath towel to dry interior walls.
Common Places For Mold To Grow
If you have had water damage to your home, its important to be on the lookout for possible mold growth. For example, mold in basement walls or floors can occur after flooding or severe water damage. Also chronic or persistent leaking from appliances, sinks, and showers can also lead to mold growth.
To find hidden mold, look for evidence of water intrusion which is often a sure sign that you either have mold in the home now or will be growing it soon. While it can be difficult to detect mold in the walls, its important to look for these signs of mold growth, to identify the problem as quickly as possible. Moisture meters and particle counters can be used by a certified inspector to source the water leak and fungal growth and even help detect if there is mold in your walls.
If you suspect mold growth in your home, here are some of the most common locations to check for mold to grow in the house:
- Air Ducts
- Near Plumbing
Keep in mind that mold is a sign of excessive moisture and water intrusion and can be visible or hidden behind many different surfaces. Whether its from a leaking pipe or previous water damage, mold can lead to costly building repairs and even adverse health effects, which is why it should be handled promptly.
Read Also: How To Clean Mold Off Ceiling Above Shower
Remove Mold From Drywall/painted Walls
Mold can often grow on drywall and painted interior walls, especially in areas where moisture and humidity are a factor, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Walls can also be affected if your roof or exterior walls are infiltrated by water. If the drywall remains wet, mold can begin to grow and penetrate the drywall throughout. When this happens, the drywall must be removed and replaced, as you will not be able to get rid of all mold under these circumstances.
What To Do If You Discover Mold
If you follow the steps listed above and find mold growing in your basement or another room in your home, it’s important to act quickly before it can spread further.
Failure to address the problem could lead to expensive and potentially dangerous structural issues in your home, as well as worsened health problems.
Generally speaking, mold removal is a job best left to mold remediation professionals. Calling an expert will help you to identify the root cause of the mold growth and ensure you’re totally eliminating mold from your home.
A professional will also be able to take steps to prevent mold from growing in the future.
Also Check: How To Treat Mold On Bathroom Ceiling
What To Do If Mold Is In Your Paneling Or Wallpaper
Its best to use a non-ammonia detergent mixed with water to remove mold from painted or finished paneling, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency . Unfinished wood can be cleaned using the diluted bleach solution and finishing it off with white vinegar sprayed on the paneling.
For wallpaper, the EPA recommends using a mild detergent mixed equally with water in a spray bottle on the wall. Instead of using a hard-bristled brush to clean the area, use a sponge so you dont ruin the wallpaper.
Turn Off Your Hvac System
Mold patches hiding inside your walls can shed mold spores, which can travel throughout your home via the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning ducts. It is a good idea to turn the system off until your restoration technicians arrive to prevent the continued spread of spores. Consider using standing fans or space heaters to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home in the meantime.
Read Also: How To Clean Bathroom Ceiling Mold
What Causes Mold Growth
When you first spot mold growing in your home, or start suspecting that itâs growing, you might think something like, âHow did that get there?â or âWhat did I do to cause mold growth in my house?â
There are plenty of ways that mold can find its way into your house. For example, spores can enter through open windows, doorways, or your ventilation system. They can also attach themselves to shoes, clothing, or pets and find their way in through these different vehicles.
Itâs important to note, though, that mold will only grow and spread in areas that are favorable. This includes areas that are very moist and provide the mold spores with a steady supply of nutrients.
If you have a leaky pipe or flooding in your home, for example, that will create a prime area for mold growth. Places with excessive window condensations might be prone to mold, too. The same goes for spots that donât get a lot of air circulation.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Mold In Car Air Conditioner
How To Tell If Black Mold Is Hiding In Your Walls
Black mold – the words alone are enough to make you cringe. It’s the last thing you need in your home. Any mold can cause problems for people who are allergic, of course, but those molds referred to as “black” or “toxic” are particularly dangerous. Chances are, if the conditions inside your home are hospitable to mold, you’re going to have it. If you suspect the mold is “black” or toxic, however, consider hiring a professional to remove it for you.
Recommended Reading: Fungus On Leather
Remove Mold From Plaster Walls
Under the right conditions, plaster can absorb a large amount of water and if the water is allowed to sit, black mold may appear. Cleaning a plaster wall will help to temporarily remove the problem, but to prevent the risk of it returning and/or spreading, itâs best to improve the air circulation with a fan or install a dehumidifier.
How Quickly Can Mold Make You Sick
These spores proliferate quickly and can take hold in places with poor ventilation and high humidity in less than 24 hours. The problem starts when you inhale these spores. They produce toxic substances known as mycotoxins that can produce an immune response in some individuals and actually extremely toxic themselves.
Recommended Reading: Removing Mildew From Bathroom Ceiling
Spotting And Fur On Your Walls
There are so many varieties of mold that you can’t really identify the type based on specific shape, size or color. It can appear as a furry, dark growth, as a black stain, or as black, white, orange, green or brown specks. Rather than look for out-of-the-ordinary, multi-colored flakes in every inch of your home, identify areas that are moist and then look for possible signs of mold. The fungus thrives in cool, damp areas, and it will be much easier to find it by limiting your search to areas that are affected by excess moisture. Yes, paint and wallpaper gets stained and marked from every day living, but if you see a pattern to the stains, or they appear in the corners of a room, this is usually a good indicator that mold is present.
What Causes Mold To Grow
Black mold, like most molds, thrive in conditions that are dark, unventilated and damp. The less the spores are disturbed the more they will grow it can grow for months, even years behind a surface without being noticed. It may have started out in an area, such as behind or underneath appliance, anywhere there are pipes, especially leaking or sweaty pipes and/or around leaky windows. It can also seep in from the ground around your home. High humidity can also cause excess moisture which can develop into spores. Once it has started to grow it can spread on and into the walls.
Read Also: Bathroom Ceiling Mold Removal
How To Remove Mold On Drywall
If you notice mold on a drywall surface in your home, try not to panic. The truth is that mold can happen anywhere and in any home. All it needs to grow is a source of moisture and an organic food source, and drywall can be an all-you-can-eat buffet. Read these steps on how to safely remove mold from your drywall.
Mold spores are everywhere. They float through the air and can settle on any surface. If that surface is damp and theres a food source present, mold will grow.
The paper face on a damp sheet of drywall can be the perfect food source for a spore to dig into. Before long, the mold can multiply and spread across the entire wall and into the wall cavity, feeding on wood framing and flooring.
While its hard not to panic at the thought of a mold problem, you can handle most drywall mold scenarios on your own. According to the EPA, homeowners can remove mold on drywall under 10 square feet. Larger infestations might require a pro.
How To Tell If There Is Mold Behind Shower Tiles
The problem related to mold can take a serious toll on your daily life. Your shower stall or your bathroom is the most common place where you can find molds every now and then. The major reason behind this is the level of humidity of the place.
Molds usually thrive in places which have moisture and a shower stall is a perfect place for them. How to tell if there is mold behind the shower tiles? This is a common question asked by people owning a property. There are certain ways which will help you in finding the answer for how to tell if there is mold behind shower tiles.
How to Tell if there is Mold behind Shower Tiles: An Observation
Preventing Mold in Bathroom
Now you need to find ways of preventing mold in bathroom.
You May Like: How To Get Mold Off A Bathroom Ceiling
Never Leave Water Damage Unchecked
Did you know that mold usually starts to grow within 24 or 48 hours when water is present? Many homeowners neglect to treat existing water damage because the issue looks relatively small or insignificant. However, even the smallest leak can lead to some big problems. It is crucial to deal with water damage early to ensure that the leak doesnt spread. Water damage that is not treated right away can end up causing severe structural damage that requires extensive repair. It is also one of the most common causes of mold in the home because the moisture creates a perfect environment for mold to grow. Some types of mold, particularly black mold, can become health hazards if they are left unchecked. Some people tend to have allergic reactions to even non-toxic mold. These tend to manifest with the following symptoms:
- Runny noses
- Itchy, red, and/or watery eyes
- Excessive sneezing
- Cough and postnasal drip
Dealing with water damage early can prevent mold growth, which can in turn prevent these health problems.
How To Check For Mold Inside Your Walls
Don’t Miss: Clean Bathroom Ceiling
How Do You Get Rid Of Mold Behind Drywall
Scrub the surface mold stains from walls and wood trim with a mixture of one quart water and 1/2-cup bleach mold cleaner to kill the mold. Use a soft brush and work until signs of the mold disappear. After scrubbing the surfaces, allow the bleach solution to continue to penetrate the surfaces and dry.
What Does Mold In A House Smell Like
Its hard to describe molds smell but you will know it when its in a house. Most people describe the smell as musty. It smells like a mix of dirt and sweat and some say it reminds them of smelly socks.
The smell of mold tends to be more subtle than overwhelming. However, it remains unpleasant and noticeable.
Also Check: Kill Mold In Basement
Unusual Odors & Musty Smells Should Be Investigated
Everyones home has a specific smell and as soon as something has an odor, its usually noticed quickly. If the odor lingers or gives off a wet, mildewed, or moldy odor, you can try to sniff out the source. If the mold smell is strong near your walls, its probably growing within the wall or drywall.
Signs Of Mold Inside Walls
Mold inside walls is one of the least likely places where you will notice a sign. It is the #1 place where mold hides undetected for long periods of time.
There are a few ways your home might show you a sign that you have mold behind a wall. These are:
- Although mold can smell like anything, there is a chance you may smell an odd odor in a specific area that was not present before. Most people report a musty smell that gets stronger in one area of the home.
- There are water stains or discoloration on the wall itself or the baseboards. These are usually yellow or brown in color.
- The wall or a portion of the wall feels cooler to the touch than the areas around it.
- The wall weeps with condensation.
- The wall has a discolored substance on it that many people mistake as splatters of cooking oil or something similar. I personally think it looks like little splatters of ear wax.
- Your wall may show a physical change. Paint or wallpaper can crack, peel, or bubble because of trapped moisture and subsequent mold growth. Your walls may become warped or even bulge. A lot of people mistake a wall bulge due to moisture as a nail bulge. Your walls may even begin to rot and crumble.
Don’t Miss: Skin Rash From Mold
Does Vinegar Kill Black Mold
White vinegar is a mildly acidic product that cleans, deodorizes, and disinfects. It can also kill 82% of mold species, including black mold, on porous and non-porous surfaces. Spray the vinegar onto the moldy surface and leave for an hour. Finally, wipe the area clean with water and allow the surface to dry.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Yard Mold
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.
You May Like: Wet Molding Leather Holsters