Mold is one of the most dreaded home invaders, with the ability to destroy the interior of the home while potentially causing serious health issues. While mold can be removed easily from some surfaces, others such as drywall may even be permanently destroyed by a mold infestation. Luckily, if the problem is caught early it may be a small enough project for the homeowner to tackle, requiring no more than standard cleaning tools and some protective gear.
Causes of Mold Growth on Drywall
No matter where it springs up, mould is caused by one thing: moisture. The moisture may come from a flood, leaking water or even high humidity in a home. Unfortunately, mould on drywall is usually due to a more serious problem, as opposed to a simply leaky faucet. Because of this the problem may be larger than you can handle and it’s very possible that professionals will need to be consulted. Some of the most common reasons for mold on drywall include a leaking window, a flood in the basement, or leaking from an upstairs bathroom. Always start the assessment by determining the exact cause of the mold on your drywall.
How to Get Rid of Mold on Drywall
Black mildew is the most dreaded type of mould and you should exercise caution if you suspect you have black mold. Determining if you have black mold on drywall can be as easy as checking the pattern it’s growing in, as it always grows in a circular pattern. The process to remove black mold from drywall is the same as with any other fungi.
Another step is to check the damage to the drywall itself. Unfortunately, removing mold from drywall isn’t always possible. If the damage is too extensive the piece will need to be removed and replaced. Check that the drywall isn’t soaking wet, bowed or crumbling before continuing. You must also determine if the mould is on the surface of the drywall, such as on top of paint, or inside of the drywall, which usually occurs with a leaky pipe. As long as the damage isn’t too severe even mold inside drywall can be removed in small chunks.
Black Mold on the Top of the Drywall Paint
If the mold is on top of the paint, removal is simple.
Step 1: While wearing gloves and a respirator to protect you from spores, use plastic to cover the floor.
Step 2: Make a cleaning solution with half a cup of bleach to one gallon of water.
Step 3: Apply this solution to the mildew and let it sit for at least fifteen minutes.
Step 4: Next, wash the area with a small amount of dishwashing liquid and clean water, then rinse with water and dry completely. All signs of the mold should be gone.
Black Mold Inside of the Drywall
Mold inside of the drywall will require a larger cleanup effort and removal of small parts of the drywall itself. Begin by wearing protective gear like a respirator, goggles and latex gloves and seal off the area using plastic. This will prevent the spores from spreading.
Step 1: Place an air scrubber near the affected area to filter the air while you work.
Step 2: Next, use a hepa vacuum on the surface of the drywall to contain spores, mycelium and mycotoxins.
Step 3: After this, use the glove box removal method, which requires you to cut a box of plastic that’s four inches longer and wider than the affected area.
Step 4: Use spray adhesive to apply the plastic box over the moldy drywall. This keeps the mold from entering the air when you begin to cut the drywall.
Step 5: After this, use a razor to cut the sealed moldy drywall away from the wall, carefully placing it into a garbage bag that’s then sealed.
How to Clean and Disinfect
Cleaning and disinfecting the area after you remove the mold is important to make sure all spores are removed. If the area only affected the outside of the drywall, allowing a bleach mixture to sit on the surface for fifteen minutes and wiping down with water is sufficient.
If you needed to remove drywall to get rid of the mold, extra steps should be taken. First, wipe benefact antimicrobial on all of the unaffected drywall near the area. Use a HEPA vacuum on the unaffected areas as well to remove any spores that may be clinging. You’ll also need to hepa vacuum the entire area you contained, including floors, to make sure no spores get into other areas of the home.
Preventing mold requires vigilance. Always check for water damage inside and around your home, as well as leaky pipes and faucets that can cause mold to thrive. Bathrooms, kitchens and basements are the most common places to find mold, so pay careful attention to these rooms. Make sure the humidity level in your home is also appropriate. A humidity level below 60% will usually keep mold at bay, although lower is better. If you find you have a humidity problem in only a single room, buy a dehumidifier. Another great tip to prevent the fungi is to use moisture resistant drywall instead of normal one.
Tools and Protective Gear
Cleaning up mold requires basic tools like a spray bottle, old rags, bleach, detergent, plastic and garbage bags. You should also use protective gear including high-quality latex gloves, a personal respirator, and safety goggles. This prevents you from breathing in mould spores that can trigger allergies or cause serious health problems.
Always use caution around mold, especially if you don’t know what kind it is. Because all molds have the potential to make you sick or trigger allergies, use gloves and a respirator around large amounts of mold. It’s important to ventilate the area you work as well to prevent cleaning fumes from overwhelming you.