Finding mold anywhere in your living space can be frustrating, and if left untreated, this can lead to the air in your home becoming toxic. When your air quality becomes this poor, it can be too late to salvage and you may need to take drastic measures to remove the mold. Although there are different types of mold-combatting drywall options, such as green or purple drywall, you will want to remove the mold before it becomes a bigger problem like the example we mentioned above.
If left untreated, mold will eventually eat into your walls, and cleaning will be more cumbersome. Along with being a pain to clean, serious mold infections can lead to respiratory diseases that cause long-term health problems. When removing drywall mold, make sure you wear the proper protective equipment such as goggles, gloves, and masks or respirators.
First, we need to know how to recognize the signs of mold.
What Are The Signs of Mold Growing?
The most obvious sign of mold growing in your drywall is seeing the mold grow reveal itself in either green, brown, orange, or black spots. However, there are more subtle signs of mold growth that may sneak up on you. They are
- A damp smell
- Discoloration (indicates where the mold is growing)
- Cracked and peeling paint (Great place for moisture to get in)
- Recurring black streaks, specks, or dots.
- Bulging spots
Mold often grows in basements and exterior walls when water vapor meets a cold surface and turns the moisture into a liquid. Environments, where mold grows, are laundry rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens. Whenever a pipe leaks, you are guaranteed mold will grow if the area isn’t properly cleaned.
Methods For Removing Mold
1. Water and Bleach
In the first stage of mold growth, using a half cup of bleach mixed with a quart of water creates a mold killer. Once mixed, brush the solution onto the molded areas of the drywall until the mold is no longer there. Wipe down the wall’s surface but do not rinse the wall off. Letting the mold killer sit on the wall will kill any hidden spores on the wall.
2. Household Detergent
Household detergent is the best to use with black mold. Spray the surface with a household detergent until it is damp, and let the detergent air dry. Once dried, respray it and remove any residue left behind.
3. Water and Vinegar
Mostly used as a backup solution, mixing water and vinegar is also a viable answer to removing mold. The downside of using water and vinegar is that this solution is only useful against 82% of mold spores.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide works just as well as water and bleach do in removing mold. However, be cautious when using this chemical. Using hydrogen peroxide may cause the paint on the wall to be damaged. Use a 3% solution and let the chemical sit for 10 minutes before removing the solution.
Using ammonia for mold removal should only be considered when no other options are available. Ammonia is a toxic chemical that needs to be used in a well-ventilated room, ideally outdoors. The toxicity of the chemical is not the only reason it should be considered a final resort. Drywall does not absorb ammonia as well as other materials. Thus the bleach or ammonia is less effective in killing mold that has worked its way into the walls.
How To Prevent Mold Growth In Your Home
1. Circulate Air
Exhaust fans are used in rooms with high amounts of moisture, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms. If an exhaust fan cannot be installed, consider using a standing fan instead to circulate the air. Battery-operated fans are great for bathrooms allowing you to clip them to towel racks or shelves for ease of use.s
2. Remove Moisture Traps
Flooring such as carpet may add comfortability and warmth to the touch but eventually becomes a problem in the long run. Carpeting traps moisture which creates the breeding ground for mold. Consider replacing carpeting with traditional hardwood floors instead. If you need to, place rugs instead for keeping your feet warm. Rugs are easier to clean than carpets and can be easily disposed of for any reason.
3. Be Cautious of Real Plants
Real plants are beautiful to look at and may keep your home’s air clean. An added bonus is it also invites mold into the home as well. Damp soil is a breeding ground for mold and spores. Be cautious of bringing real plants into your home. There are plenty of other decorative options you can consider before bringing in a breeding ground of mold into your home.
4. Use a Dehumidifier and Hygrometer
Hygrometers are a useful tool for measuring the moisture levels in your home. The ideal level of moisture in your home is about 60%. If you find a room with a higher percentage of moisture, use a dehumidifier to lower the levels of moisture evident in the room. Keep the dehumidifier clean or else you will just have another source for mold to grow.
5. Keep Your Shower Moisture Free
Wiping down your shower after use will help decrease the chance of mold growing in your washroom. Optionally, you can use a homemade mixture of vinegar and water and spray down your shower or bathtub and let it air dry. This mixture prevents mold from growing. Once you are done, leave the shower door open. In cases regarding shower curtains, have both sides open to allow for air circulation. Lastly, shake the shower curtain so water does not sit on the curtain.