Mold growth is one of the most common occurrences in homes in the United States, especially after your home has suffered water damage. Usually, mold on the walls does not show until it has spread significantly. It grows slowly in the wall cavity until it becomes visible. It thrives on excess moisture that gets trapped behind the walls.
When you have mold inside your walls, it affects the quality of the indoor air in your home and makes the environment toxic. Fortunately, you can detect hidden mold with the correct strategies.
What Causes Mold to Grow Inside Walls?
So, what causes mold to grow? Mold thrives in conditions with a lot of moisture, so any conditions that add unwanted moisture to the house can contribute to mold growth. Here are the five most common causes of mold in a home:
- Air conditioning ducts or leaky pipes.
- Wet clothes or fabric.
- Drains that have backed up.
- Flooding or heavy rain.
- There is a lot of condensation on concrete, glass, or metallic surfaces.
Signs Of Mold Growth Inside Walls
Many homeowners do not like the sight of mold in their house and would prefer to get rid of it as soon as possible. Here are some signs to look for when finding mold behind your walls.
- Discoloration and Water Stains
One of the main ways to detect mold in the house is to check the places with water stains or a water line. They can come from leaking pipes or any other source of moisture intrusion. Most water stains are brown or yellow, which makes them easy to find. If the spots are damp, it is not only a sign of a mold problem but also a moisture problem. Sometimes you may notice a yellowish fungus growing on the wood in the house.
Discoloration is another indicator of mold inside walls. If there is mold growing, especially black mold, the discoloration will happen even if you have just repainted the walls. It can happen, especially if there is internal damage due to mold inside. Wall discoloration is one of the primary ways to detect black mold inside walls.
- Deterioration and Changes in the Wall Surface
Mold on walls can cause significant changes in the appearance of the walls. When walls mold, they will not only discolor but also deteriorate. The wallpaper or paint can start peeling or cracking due to the impact caused by water damage and mold infestation. Your walls may even bulge or bow out of shape because of this.
Another useful way to find mold, especially with no visible mold, is by odors. Mold gives off a musty smell similar to that earthy smell you get from a forest. Sometimes the odor is so strong it makes the house smell, and sometimes it is mild. You can try to sniff out if there is mold inside a wall by smelling the electrical outlets. If there is no moisture inside to promote mold growth, there will not be any odor. However, if both are present, the smell will be obvious.
How Can You Tell If Mold Is Growing Behind Your Walls?
- Find the center of the wall where you suspect there is mold.
- At the service panel, turn the power off to the identified area.
- Use a pencil and ruler to draw a six-by-six-inch square lightly.
- Use a drywall jab to cut along the outline.
- Remove the cut-out of the wall and check if it has mold.
- If the wall has no insulation, look at the back wall. You can use a mirror and a flashlight to check the back of the wall.
How to Remove Mold Behind Walls
- Water Damage
The first thing to consider when planning mold remediation is water damage restoration. It will help stop further damage to the house and prevent mold growth in the future. You need to ensure there is no humidity source in the walls, so you have to fix any burst pipes.
If you do not own the house, you should notify the property owner, who will probably call a professional like A+ Restoration Services. They will probably use moisture meters to detect where the humidity in the walls is coming from and any other sources of moisture. They will assess the extent of the mold damage to determine the cost.
- Mold Remediation
When removing mold, you will have to budget for new building materials because to remediate the house properly, you need to remove the affected wall and build a new one. It will ensure that the walls are properly dried, no mold spores are left, and the house is in tip-top condition. Therefore, the cost of mold removal will depend on its growth.
- Post-remediation Verification
After the remediation is complete, the experts will do mold testing to ensure they eliminated all of it. The experts will issue a certificate of completion when the mold problem & water damage are solved.
Is Mold Inside Walls Dangerous
Mold inside walls is a potential danger to older adults & children in particular. It can cause some health problems because it affects air quality. Often, the health issues do not appear until the person has been exposed to the mold-infected air for long periods of time. If your child starts having recurring respiratory issues, it may be a sign you need to kill mold in the house. You will need to act quickly because mold spores spread quickly through the HVAC system to the rest of the house.
Do You Want to Prevent Mold Inside Walls? Welcome to A+ Restoration Services
The best way to prevent mold growth in your home is to ensure that no moisture is seeping into the walls. You can have an expert like A+ Restoration Services come in every once in a while to do a mold test. They can also use moisture meters to check if there is any hidden source of moisture in your walls.
Are you in the Indianapolis area? Do you want to eliminate mold in your house? A+ Restoration offers complete mold testing & remediation services backed by an industry-leading 2-year guarantee. Contact us at (317) 659-6286or email us for a free estimate at Jhemmer@aplusrs.com.