Monday, July 4, 2022

Is There Mold In My Walls

Stop The Source Of Moisture

How Can Consumers Detect Mold Inside Their Walls

Before you start removing the mold from your drywall, you have to stop the source of moisture. Whether its a leaky window or pipe, a roofing issue, or water vapor weeping through a concrete floor, you have to fix the problem. Otherwise, mold will start growing almost immediately after you finish removing it.

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.

Stale And Musty Odors

Mold, whether it is visible or not, emits an unusual and unpleasant odor. If an area in your home persistently smells musty, there is a good possibility there is mold in the room. You can follow the odor to where it is strongest, find the mold and remove it. However, if the mold is in an unreachable place, like inside walls, you need to call in a professional to help you remove the growth

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Use Fans To Send Moisture Outside

If your home has kitchen, bathroom or window fans that vent the moist air outside, use them when you cook or take a shower. If you do not have fans, open a window when you cook or shower, cover pots when cooking, and try to take cool, short showers. Dry clothing on a clothesline outside or use a clothes dryer that vents air outdoors.

Getting Rid Of The Mold Growing On Walls

Why Is There Mold Growing on Walls in My House?

In all honesty, we could give you a couple of ideas for killing surface mold. But, that wouldnt really help you to get rid of the problem. As we mentioned earlier, its important to do more than simply erase the visible signs of mold growth. Mold can make people very sick and lead to overall damage in your home or office. So, killing the surface mold will not really help to solve the problem. Although it will definitely make your walls look better, the effects of the mold spores will still be present. And, more than likely, the mold growth will reappear on the surface after a while. Then, youll be right back where you started!

If you have mold growing on walls, floors, the ceiling, or anywhere else, it is definitely best to call in the professionals. By doing so, you can ensure that the mold is really being removed.

At A Plus Mold Remediation Inc., we work thoroughly to make sure your mold problems are taken care of. We want to make sure that you and those around you are safe from the effects of mold growth. So, if youre looking for a safe mold remediation service, we can help! Dont deal with those moldy spots on your walls any longer. Contact A Plus Mold Remediation Inc. today!

**Originally posted on June 6, 2018. Updated on March 22, 2019.

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Water In The Foundation

Look out for a build-up of water around your homes base. This can lead to foundational problems for your home if there is a lot of water. At your homes foundation, gathering rainwater can be prevented by sloping your yard outwards from your foundation. In the same line of thought, damp basements are another culprit. Usually, there is no good ventilation in basements. This is an indication that basements could contain higher humidity or moisture amounts compared to other rooms in the home. Also, basements are often colder which means more condensation occurs which leads to humidity and basement.

Issues That Cause Mold And Mildew

Moisture is the chief cause behind the growth of mold and mildew. Mold spores entering your home is 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

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So What Can You Do To Decide Whether Or Not To Hire A Mold Inspector

First, you can use a moisture meter like this one to check for moisture inside your wall. . If you have ANY moisture, there is a strong likelihood that there is mold growing. Having said that, humidity levels in your home could play a role in moisture readings. So again, read my article on moisture meters.

You can also purchase a thermo imaging device to detect temperature changes behind your wall. Again, this will tell you if there is moisture but does not show mold. My post on thermo imaging cameras tells you everything you need to know about which ones to purchase and how to use them correctly.

You can use these test plates to conduct a preliminary check for mold spores on the wall. Often times if there is mold in the wall, there will be mold spores on the wall in your home. Since they arent actively growing, you wont actually be able to see them. You want to very gently place the test plate against the wall in several places. Put the lid on and label it so you know where the sample came from. Wrap it in aluminum foil and put it in a room temperature spot for 5 days. After 5 days carefully remove the foil and see if any mold growth has occurred. This isnt 100% conclusive but if you have mold growth it is likely there is mold inside your walls. No mold growth doesnt necessarily mean you are in the clear.

How Do Molds Get In The Indoor Environment And How Do They Grow

Mold in Walls, Part 1

Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, and pets can and be carried indoors. When mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, such as where leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow. Many building materials provide suitable nutrients that encourage mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of some molds. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.

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How To Detect Mold In Walls

Cleaning mold on visible surfaces may not be easy but it is very much possible even without the of mold remediation experts. Of course, it is more advisable to seek professional when treating mold on walls but if theres a minor build-up on your walls, floors, or ceilings, you can get rid of it using common tools and cleaning supplies that you may already have at home.

But what if the infestation is inside your walls? How do you even know its happening?

Before you learn how to remove mold inside walls, you must learn how to detect it. Take note that mold spores are super tiny and not visible to the human eyes so they can spread throughout your house discreetly. And until you know the signs of mold build-up, the black mold could already be damaging your property and you are still clueless.

Alright. So how can you tell if the black mold is hiding inside your walls?

If youre like most homeowners whose walls are made of gypsum walls, also called drywall, you might be curious to know whether theres mold build-up inside. Experts recommend several ways:

Cut a large hole on your wall. This is perhaps the most definitive way of determining whether theres mold inside your walls. If there is, you will be tearing them down anywhere. However, there are drawbacks to this approach. First is that using a drywall saw can damage any electrical or plumbing systems if you unknowingly drill them. Be sure to have some plastic sheathing ready to cover that hole afterward.

How To Remove Mold From Walls

Mold on your interior walls doesnt just look unpleasant it can be a health hazard for your family. Depending on the amount and location, its presence also suggests a larger problem in your housewater infiltration.

For this project, we will focus on solving the mold problem. The remedy is two-fold: 1. Control moisture and 2. Kill the mold. While the former may take a more involved approach, depending on the situation, the latter often can be done with some bleach, water and a bit of elbow grease.

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Just Found White Mold On My Basement Sofa And Wall To Wall Carpeting Only 1 Year Old Brick Exterior Home

The first step is to identify the moisture source. There are 3 possibilities. 1.) Vapor emissions from the concrete slab. This occurs when water vapor travels upward through the slab. Its most common in older homes with missing vapor barriers. This can cause excess both moisture in the carpet and increased humidity in the air. The increased humidity can lead to mold growth on contents such as a sofa. 2.) Liquid water intrusions can have the same affect, but these are typically obvious .

3.) The second possible cause is excess humidity due to poor ventilation and insufficient heat. Basements without adequate air flow and heat are prone to high humidity. Over time, this high humidity creates an environment conducive to mold growth.

Action steps: Purchase a relative humidity gauge and monitor the RH. Pull back the carpet in a corner and look for signs of water intrusion on the concrete and the carpet pad.

Don’t Finish Your Basement Unless It’s Very Dry

How Can I Sell My House With Mold Problems?

Don’t finish the walls of your basement with insulation and wallboard unless your basement is very dry. Also avoid putting wall-to-wall carpet on your basement floor. If your basement floor is concrete, you can paint it and use area rugs instead. Then you can take the rugs outside to clean and dry them the rugs aren’t as likely to get moldy.

Wanda Olson McGregor Pearce and Dick Stone

Reviewed in 2018

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Is It Mold Or Mildew

Mold and mildew are both types of fungi that thrive in humid conditions with poor ventilation. The most common causes of mold and mildew on walls are condensation, humidity and water leaks.

Mildew is gray or white in appearance with a powdery texture. It can be found lying on flat surfaces in moist areas. As mildew is a surface mold, it wont damage your propertys structure .

Mold is a fungus that spreads from airborne spores. It is usually black, yellow, or green and has a fuzzy or slimy texture. Mold can cause structural issues in your home, as well as health issues.

How Do You Know If Its Mold

The bad news: Mold loves to hide. How do you find this evil house guest before its too late? Your nose knows.

Your sense of smell is the first line of defense against mold. You can often smell mold before you can see it. If you notice a musty smell in your home, theres a good chance you have mold. If you think you have a mold problem, get on your hands and knees and smell the electrical outlets. As silly as it sounds, this is not a practical joke. Outlets have better access to the area behind walls, and smelling them can help pinpoint the mold problem. If mold is there, youll be able to smell it.

You should also investigate the areas in your home where mold loves to hide. Basements and bathrooms are likely places, but check out our infographic revealing the six secret places mold loves to hide: chimney, roof, windows, washing machines and under wallpaper.

If youre still not sure, its time to . Professionals can test the air for mold spores and determine if and exactly what type of mold is present.

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I Recently Renovated A Bathroom There Is New Sheetrock Plaster And Paint In This One Area The Wall Started Bubbling When We Chipped Away At The Loose Paint There Was White Stuff That Grows Back When Removed This Wall Is Next To The Tub/shower Is This Mold What Should I Do

This doesnt look like mold growth. It appears to be deformation of the mud/plaster due to excess water. I recommend investigating further with a moisture meter. Your goal is to identify whether the water is 1.) Entering the wall from the backside 2.) Occurring due to splashing water during shower usage, or 3.) Excessively wet mud/plaster was used during the install and is deteriorating as it dries out.

If its the latter option, the moisture meter should show lower moisture content levels with each passing day.

Dealing With Mold In Walls

DIY mold detector

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.

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Green Mold In The Home

Youve probably heard of mold sickness caused by black mold, but other types of mold can cause illness, too, including green mold.

There are more than one hundred types of mold commonly found in homes in the U.S, many of which can appear green in color. Some of the more common types of green colored mold include:

Aspergillus this mold can appear green, yellow, brown, grey, or even white, and is often found growing on and inside walls.

Cladosporium sometimes green, other times brown or gray, this mold can grow in cool climates as well as warm places and is often found growing on walls, cabinets, and carpets that have gotten wet.

Penicillium often a bluish-green color, this mold is frequently found growing on wet carpets, in wet insulation, and on wet mattresses.

It can be difficult or impossible to identify mold just by its appearance, since the color of mold can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of material on which it is growing.

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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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