Mold in your home can be smelly and potentially dangerous, and it is often unsightly. However, sometimes it can also be unseen, such as when you have mold inside walls.
According to the Centers for Disease Control:
“Mold will grow where there is moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been a flood. Mold grows on paper, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.”
This means that it is possible for mold to be growing, sight unseen, inside your walls. This can be a serious problem, because the mold could spread vigorously before you are even aware of its existence.
While mold spores are everywhere, for some people mold can cause negative health effects like sneezing, stuffy nose, burning eyes, skin rash, sore throat, or coughing and wheezing. For this reason, it is important that homeowners work on removing mold from walls and wood wall trim – both outside and inside the wall.
Because mold needs just water or dampness to thrive, it can be lurking anywhere in your home, including behind walls. Here are a few signs that you may have a mold problem:
What Are the Signs of Mold in Walls?
Here are a few signs that you could have mold growing in the walls of your home:
- The smell of mold or mildew inside the home, even though there may not be visible signs
- Mold on the interior surface of a wall could be a sign that there is mold growing on the other side as well
- Health issues like red and itchy eyes, coughing, itchy nose, and sneezing among members of the household, including pets
- Any appearance of wetness or dampness on walls
- Staining on baseboard wall trim or wall to ceiling trim
Any of these are a good reason to get a professional mold inspection done for the health and safety of your family as well as for the value of your property.
How Would Mold Even Get Inside My Walls?
There are many things that could cause mold to start growing in your walls. Basically, anything that causes or allows water to get inside your walls can lead to mold.
- Broken or leaking pipes or flooding can be a source for water, which can foster the growth of mold
- Water can also come from the outside – from roof leaks, damaged exterior walls, crawl space issues, or even irrigation systems
- Window leaks, especially with Florida’s frequent hard rain storms
- Leaking sewer drain line
- Broken air conditioner condensing line
Mold Inside Closet Walls – A Special Case
Mold can sometimes form in closets, though not necessarily inside the walls of the closet. This is usually caused by a lack of airflow in the closet, combined with the fact that fabrics and other items in the closet can hold dampness and moisture.
If you have mold inside your closet, you can attempt to clean the mold yourself if you are sure that you are not allergic to mold and that it is not mold that is particularly hazardous. The most important thing to do would be to improve the air flow in the closet which can be done by adding a vent, louvered closet doors, or even leaving the door open at times.
How Do I Prevent Mold from Growing Inside My Walls?
The best way to prevent mold from growing inside your walls is to ensure that there is no source of dampness or water. Since plumbing is generally behind walls, this can be challenging, so you may need a qualified plumber to do an inspection. Roof inspections can help ensure the integrity of your roof.
Some common sense measures that a homeowner can take include:
- Keep the area under the kitchen and bathroom sinks dry. If you notice water, clean it up immediately and locate the source. If there is a leak, it needs to be repaired as soon as possible.
- Install fans in bathrooms to help remove some of the humidity. Note that fans need to be installed properly, because venting them into another location merely relocates, but doesn’t remove, the damp air.
- Use paint that is designed to protect from mold.
Cleaning Mold off Walls
Often, the first sign a homeowner has that mold is growing inside wall cavities is when it becomes visible on the inside of the home. This is why it is best to have a professional who is trained to identify and remove mold do an inspection. As a homeowner, you may be able to remove mold from drywall yourself, but you won’t know if that is just the tip of the iceberg of the mold that is still growing behind the drywall.
A mold remediation specialist would likely view black mold on drywall as a reason to investigate further, perhaps even removing a section of the drywall to see what is going on behind the wall. Cleaning the visible mold will have no effect on the mold you cannot see. Because mold grows so vigorously, the only way to keep it at bay is to eliminate it completely. If you clean mold off the inside of a wall but it remains intact behind the wall, it will be back.
Mold Removal and Remediation
At Urgent Restoration, we understand how stressful having mold in your home can be. We always strive to help homeowners get their home – and their lives – back in order as quickly as possible.
For added peace of mind, if mold or other damage is covered by homeowners insurance, Urgent Restoration can assist with filing the documentation needed directly with the company, eliminating one of the headaches you might face.
Our technicians have experience in all areas of water damage restoration and fire damage restoration, in addition to mold removal and remediation. We have 24/7 emergency service to ensure that your issues get taken care of quickly and efficiently.
If you need restoration services in and near Lakeland, contact Urgent Restoration today.
Aaron Iannuzzi is the owner of Urgent Restoration with over a decade of experience in the restoration industry. Aaron started Urgent Restoration in 2018 and has locations in Florida and Georgia. The company specializes in water damage restoration, mold remediation, fire remediation and more. Aaron and his team of experienced technicians are proud to serve their communities to restore their homes and businesses back to normal.