Black mold has become a buzzword in house buying and selling, and it is undoubtedly a cause for concern if the mold in question is Stachybotrys, which has the highest toxicity. However, the fact is that all kinds of mold are everywhere, both inside and outside your house. The real problem is when mold levels are more concentrated inside than outside.
Often gray, white, green or black in appearance, mold in your house is most commonly found in damp, poorly ventilated, and warm places such as bathrooms, basements, kitchens, and laundry rooms. And whether or not it poses a high level of toxicity, you still don’t want it on your walls. In this post, we will discuss how to remove mold from walls.
When to Consult a Mold Remediation Expert
Most types of mold spores multiply within 48 to 72 hours of moisture, and black mold becomes more of a possibility the longer water damage remains, usually after 7 to 10 days. So, if you have an area that has been damp or wet for a period of more than a few days, it’s best to consult with an expert in mold remediation for professional services. You should also call mold remediation experts if the mold covers areas of 10 square feet or more, if it is in hard to reach places or reappears after your cleaning efforts.
Important Things to Know BEFORE Removing Mold from Walls
- Always start by identifying the source of the water intrusion and make sure it is stopped before attempting to remove mold; otherwise, the spores are likely to return.
- Always wear protective suits, masks, gloves, and eyewear to ensure your safety.
- Air filtration devices equipped with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters should be used to direct air outside to create a negative pressure environment and ensure that contaminants are not transferred through the air during removal. Close air vents and turn off your HVAC system, too, if possible.
- Rags, towels, gloves, and any other materials used for mold removal should be put in sealed plastic bags before being taken away from the affected area and discarded.
- Moldy drywall should be removed two feet beyond the visible mold spores.
- Cleaning the mold remediation area should be done with a disinfecting agent containing quaternary ammonium chloride and a HEPA-vacuum.
- Keep immuno-compromised people out of the containment area.
Mold remediation projects can be very complicated, requiring careful planning and painstaking work, so it’s best to call an expert like Hays + Sons.
That said, if you still feel comfortable enough, here are some things you can do yourself to remove mold on your walls, provided you have eliminated the water source.
How to Remove Mold from Painted Walls
If the mold is on the surface of painted walls, it is generally easier to clean. Follow these steps to remove mold off your painted wall:
- First move everything away from the area and off the wall so you aren’t simply moving the spores to another area. Put plastic on the floor to protect it.
- Use warm water and dish liquid containing a surfactant (such as Dawn dish soap) to moisten a huck towel or cotton rag and remove dirt and debris. This won’t kill the mold, but it will make it easier to remove the mold in the next step.
- Get a mold cleaner from your home improvement store, or use a bleach solution containing one part bleach and three parts water.
- Spray the affected area, scrub and wipe clean. Then spray again, let it sit for 10 minutes, wipe (with a different side of your rag or towel to avoid re-contamination), then rinse and dry the wall.
- If you have scrubbed any paint off, you will need to repaint. It’s recommended that you paint with mold-inhibiting paint. Just make sure you thoroughly dry your wall before painting!
How to Remove Mold from Bare Drywall
If you spot mold on your drywall, it may indicate a larger mold problem in the stud space behind the drywall. And, mold on drywall has already penetrated the surface, so you can’t simply wipe it clean. You will need to cut it out and replace it in this case. Follow these steps:
- As with the painted walls, you will want to move everything away from the area and use plastic on the floor to protect it.
- You’ll need something to attach the new piece of drywall to, so use a stud finder to locate the wooden supports behind the wall.
- Mark the area you plan to cut with a pencil and straight edge, making sure to mark a space two feet larger than the visible mold to make sure you get any mold you yet can’t see as well.
- Use a utility knife to cut out the section you marked. Do not use a power saw, as this can agitate the mold and cause the spores to get into the air.
- To limit spread of mold spores, carefully remove the drywall piece and place it mold side up on the plastic.
- Clean the cavity with mold cleaner to make sure you’ve gotten it all, and dry it thoroughly.
- You will want to make sure your new piece of drywall is the same size as the one you cut out, so measure the length and width of the missing section of drywall and cut the new section to those measurements.
- Attach the new piece of drywall with screws, apply a joint compound to patch seams, let it dry and sand.
- Wrap up soiled materials in the plastic and throw it away.
- Vacuum the room with a HEPA vacuum.
All said, not wanting to do it yourself is understandable. Mold can be frustratingly difficult to remove and cause health issues. So, if you need help with a mold problem, contact the experienced and dedicated team of certified mold remediation experts at Hays + Sons.
About Hays + Sons
For more than 38 years, Hays + Sons has been the property restoration company that families, businesses and schools trust. We’re committed to helping you be prepared when the unexpected strikes, and whether you just want tips for mold prevention and remediation or currently have mold or water damage that may turn into mold, Hays + Sons has the capacity and expertise to help you get back to normal ASAP.
The compassionate, experienced, and trusted residential restoration experts at Hays + Sons are just a phone call away, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
If you’re in need of mold remediation, get in touch with us at one of our offices across Indiana or in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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