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How To Know If There Is Mold In Your Walls

How To Tell When Mold Is Behind Your Walls

How to search for hidden mold in your home

Mold may be a part of nature, but its one natural thing that you never want to see in your home. Even the most minor examples of mold can be visually unappealing and potentially cause health issues, especially for people who are allergic. Learn about what causes mold in the home, what to look for, and how to prevent and treat it to keep every room in the house clean and safe.

Five Most Common Causes Of Growth

  • Air conditioning condensation line breaks inside the wall
  • Sewer Drain line with slow occurring leak
  • Had a water pipe leak in a wall but you never dried down the area properly
  • Window leaks, then water slowly drips into wall.
  • Water intrusion from outside coming into your wall from rain or irrigation due to stucco, siding, etc thats compromised.
  • How To Tell If Black Mold Is Hiding In Your Walls

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    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.

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    Dangers Of Black Mold

    There are many health dangers associated with black mold exposure for humans and pets. The effects of mold can range from neurological problems to respiratory problems. If you begin to notice any of the following symptoms, you we recommend that you give the number on our website a call right away so we can check if mold is growing in your property.

    • Neurological Conditions can include: confusion, shortened attention span, tiredness, and difficulty concentrating
    • Respiratory symptoms can include: difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, sore throat, runny/clogged nose, and nose bleeds
    • Circulatory symptoms can include: irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, and blood clotting issues
    • Vision issues can include: red or bloodshot eyes, eye inflammation, and blurry vision
    • Skin symptoms can include: skin irritations, rashes, blisters, and itchiness
    • Immune system and reproductive systems can include: infertility, miscarriage, and recurrent infections

    Besides the health risks associated with mold, there are also risks to your property. For example, black mold eats away at and deteriorates your walls.

    Tips For Mold Prevention

    How to Tell If You Have Mold Hidden in Your Walls

    Wondering how you can prevent mold from affecting your home? Here are a few tips that may help you prevent mold from forming altogether.

  • Keep things clean Dirty surfaces can provide mold with the organic food materials they need to take hold, and start growing throughout your home. Be particularly careful in areas which may be damp, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and attics.
  • Address dampness Dampness may be an issue if you live in an area which receives a lot of rain, or your basement floods. Make sure to ventilate your home as much as possible in humid climates, and soak up any visible moisture as soon as possible.
  • Keep the air dry Air conditioners and dehumidifiers can help reduce the moisture content of the air. Keep your air at 40-50% relative humidity for the best comfort, and to prevent the growth of mold.
  • Heat damp areas to dry them out You may consider using space heaters or even a hair dryer to heat damp areas of your home where mold may form. This is a short-term fix, though. Its best to address the source of the dampness, not the dampness itself.
  • Keep the air circulating Proper ventilation from attics, bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements and any other place where moisture is common is essential. Make sure that your home is properly insulated and ventilated, so that air can circulate properly
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    Worth The Cost Of Testing

    Mold can be a tricky problem to deal with. The first step in tackling your potential mold problem is to have a certified inspector visit your home to assess the mold damage or to bring a sample of your mold growth to an accredited lab for testing. At JSE, we specialize in laboratory and in-home testing to provide you with an accurate analysis of your mold growth.

    Our mold lab offers quick turn-around times and has hygienists on staff to answer your questions. In-house lab services include mold spore analysis by direct exam for both bulk and air samples. Mold can be a pesky problem in any household. If you suspect you have mold growth in your home, contact JSE online or at to get your sample tested.

    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

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    What Mold Smells Like

    Mold has a damp, musty scentsimilar to what youd smell after opening an old book. In general, smell is not a good way to determine if there is a mold problem, says Laureen Burton, a staff chemist and toxicologist for the Environmental Protection Agency . The smell of indoor molds can differ depending on the type of mold, the surface on which its growing, and its source of moisture. Plus, she says, some people dont notice a smell at all.

    The mold smell is caused by microbial volatile organic compounds , which are substances that are naturally produced by molds as they grow. The health effects of inhaling mVOCs are largely unknown, says Burton, although exposure to some mVOCs has been linked to symptoms such as headaches, nasal irritation, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea.

    How Do I Detect Black Mold Inside My Walls In The First Place

    How Can Consumers Detect Mold Inside Their Walls

    Peeling wallpaper can also be a symptom of mold. While some scruffiness and discoloration tend to eventually strike your wallpaper, unusual surface or peeling abnormalities such as crackling or bubbling can be a sign of wall moisture. And remember, a reliable precursor to mold is always going to be moisture. Make sure to pay attention to any warped areas that feel damp.

    To keep mold from growing in your cooling or heating systems, you can have a specialist check them regularly. Another indication of mold in the house is dark grout between bathroom tiles. Even if this type is most likely the harmless type, there could be flooding in the adjacent room or a leak in bathroom plumbing that could produce a more toxic fungus type that only professionals can remove. A sample sent for testing will let you know whether or not your shower is harmless.

    Mold could also be the culprit when you have pre-existent problems with breathing that after long periods at home seem to flare up. Many household species of mold wont affect persons that do not have issues with breathing. However, in individuals suffering from asthma, it could aggravate it. Consider a mold inspection and a doctors appointment if the problems with your breathing seem to get worse with no clear cause.

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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.

    Can You Smell Mold

    Mold tends to leave behind a distinctive smell. While the particular odor can vary with the type of mold you are dealing with, you probably already know what the general smell is and would be able to identify it rather easily. Here are a few different ways that people have described the smell of mold.

    • Have you ever walked through a dense forest? There is a damp and earthy smell that you may recognize when you pass by decaying wood from a tree that has fallen over or a pile of decaying leaves. The smell probably isnt strong if you keep your distance because you are outdoors. When you smell something similar indoors, the odor will be a lot stronger because there isnt as much circulation of fresher air.
    • Have you ever forgotten to empty your gym bag after a sweaty cardio session? The smell of dirty or sweaty, wet socks is similar to the smell of mold. So, if you havent been to the gym lately this smell may signal mold in your walls.
    • Have you ever been in a really old building such as a library? There is a certain odor that smells aged and old or damp. If you notice this smell in your home, you may have mold in your walls.
    • Some types of mold may smell even worse. They have been described as having a cat urine smell.

    If you smell something similar to the above or notice a new smell in your home, you may want to investigate a little further into the potential of mold in your walls. Dont let your nose become accustomed to the new smell. Be sure to look into it right away.

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    I Heard About Toxic Molds And Black Molds That Grow In Homes And Other Buildings Should I Be Concerned About A Serious Health Risk To Me And My Family

    There is always a little mold everywhere in the air and on many surfaces.

    Certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins . Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house. Not all fungi produce mycotoxins and even those that do will not do so under all surface or environmental conditions.

    Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. Color is not an indication of how dangerous a mold may be. Any mold should be removed and the moisture source that helped it grow should be removed.

    There are very few reports that toxigenic molds found inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. These case reports are rare, and a causal link between the presence of the toxigenic mold and these conditions has not been proven.

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    I Have Mold Inside My Closet Walls And There Is No Leak Maria Westlake

    How to Know if Mold Is in Your Walls

    Mold inside closet walls means there is no air flow and most likely you have a lot of content inside that is creating dew point/ sweating.

    The best thing you can do is clean and place some charcoal/dehu bags at each corner.

    These will not only assist in the extraction of moisture but get rid of odors that are related to mold.

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    Signs Your Home Has Mold

    ByJessica Stone, Andy Hartuppublished 14 July 20

    Worried your house or apartment has mold? Here are the telltale signs you may have a damp or fungus problem.

    Does your home have mold? If you own your house or apartment, mold can be an expensive issue to fix, and a persistent problem. And it isn’t just the cost either – many forms of mold are extremely bad for your health, if ingested over a period of time, so you need to get it sorted. If you’re in any doubt about whether you have mold, what type you have, or where it is concentrated, you should pick from any of the best mold test kits and check it out for yourself. They’re all inexpensive, and can help you start to fix the problem.

    However, you need to know the early-warning signs in order to start your investigation. Mold can often grow in places you rarely inspect, and can even spread behind stud walls, chimneys, or large items of furniture like wardrobes. One of the most common places for mold to grow is in your HVAC unit, which will then spread it through your home. Many test kits will sample from your air con unit, but some won’t. In some instances you may even need to change the heating and cooling system in your home, if mold gets bad, so if this is the case you should consult our guide to the best central air conditioning units.

    Hopefully, though, you’ll spot one of the signs your home has mold early, and get it fixed before it spreads.

    Is It Safe To Sleep In A House With Mold

    Because of the risks that come with mold exposure, it can be unsafe to sleep in a house with mold, particularly in the affected areas because you put yourself at risk of mold allergies. This becomes especially concerning if you are sensitive to the mold. When mold grows indoors, it can often be found in the bathroom.

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    Using A Mold Exposure Test

    A mold exposure test is often the best way for you to check for mold on your own. You can pick one up at any home improvement or home supply store.

    Simply follow the instructions on the box. Usually, youll just brush the surface where you think mold may be present, and send the test strip or brush in for a laboratory analysis. If mold is present, youll be notified.

    How Do You Remove Mold Inside Walls

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    Before attempting to remove mold in walls remember that these procedures are to be performed inside a contained area while wearing personal protective equipment and operating negative air filtration equipment.

    If mold is growing on the back of drywall, the drywall must be removed and replaced. Any insulation in the wall should be removed and replaced. Moldy materials should be double bagged in heavy plastic trash bags before you carry them through the house for disposal, to prevent the inadvertent spread of mold throughout the home in the process.

    After sheetrock walls and/or ceilings are removed, the exposed studs and joists and the surfaces between the studs and joists need to be HEPA vacuumed to remove all of the settled dust deposits from these surfaces, as these deposits are likely to contain elevated levels of mold and bacteria. The same holds true for floor joists when wood floors are removed during a mold remediation project.

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    Is Mold Behind A Wall Dangerous

    Yes. Absolutely yes. In fact, it can be MORE dangerous than visible mold because it can go undetected for a long time, continue to grow and compromise multiple areas of your home, and it can release mass amounts of mycotoxins as the active mold growth begins to compete for space. In addition, the mold spores and mycotoxins can quietly move through your duct work and invade all areas of your living space. Mold is known to cause a wide range of health problems and mold behind a wall is no different than visible mold elsewhere in your home.

    Mold Reactions: Who’s At Risk

    For people sensitive to mold, inhaling or touching mold spores can cause allergic reactions, including sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. People with serious mold allergies may have more severe reactions, including shortness of breath. In people with asthma who are allergic to mold, breathing in spores can also cause asthma attacks.

    In addition to people with allergies and asthma, others who may be more sensitive to the effects of mold include:

    • Infants and children
    • People whose immune systems are compromised due to HIV infection, cancer, liver disease, or chemotherapy
    • People with chronic lung disease

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    Issues That Cause Mold And Mildew

    Moisture is the chief cause behind the growth of mold and mildew. Mold spores entering your home are inevitable this is difficult to stop. But you can stop the factors that help mold and mildew to grow. Besides moisture, lack of sunlight, poor ventilation, and dirt and debris can cause mold and mildew to grow. Because of this, mold and mildew tend to develop in the home:

    • Under carpeting

    Can I Just Get Into The Wall And Use Bleach To Clean It

    Here Are Five Signs That There Is Mold In Your Home

    It may be tempting to get into the wall and spray everything with bleach by yourself. However, if you have never done this before, it is better to call someone licensed to deal with mold. This is especially true if you have never gone into the wall and dont know how to detect how extensive the mold damage is. Leaving the eradication of mold to professionals will save not only your health but also your sanity. A professional team will have all the protective gear, detection tools and methods necessary to get rid of all the mold in your home.

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