Tips for Cleaning Mold From Walls
For most homeowners, just the word mold is enough to make you cringe. There is a lot about mold that the average person doesn’t know, but everyone knows that it is better off avoided.
Mold can find its way into your home through a variety of means, and once it’s there it can be difficult to remove. Mold is common in basements and bathrooms and attics, and even on your walls.
Mold is a living organism and can be both helpful and harmful, depending on where it is growing. Here is some basic info. about mold:
• Mold requires moisture to grow • Mold won’t grow on dry surfaces • Mold inside your home has health risks • Mold includes things like fungi and mushrooms • The drug penicillin is derived from mold • Over 270 species of mold have been found in Canadian homes
How Does Mold Spread?
One of the issues with household mold is when it starts spreading from its original spot to other areas. Mold requires nutrients and moisture to spread and grow, but not all molds require the same conditions.
Some types of mold thrive on materials that are actually wet, while others do best on materials that are just damp on the inside.
The high moisture levels that mold needs may come from outside the home or from the occupants on the inside.
What Are the Dangers of Mold?
Some of the dangers of mold include:
• • • • • • •
Respiratory illness Headaches Weakened immune system Allergic reactions Rotted wood Stains and discoloration Structural damage
How Do I Know If It’s Mold?
Since mold releases spores that can cause health issues, it’s best not to go poking around too much. Here are some ways to help you identify mold in your home:
• Discoloration of walls, carpets, wood, fabrics • Musty or earthy kind of smell in damp areas • Wetness or damp spots
Mold on the Walls
Even though walls aren’t a place that most homeowners expect to find mold, it still happens and it still carries the same kind of health concerns.
Whether you have drywall, concrete walls or wooden walls, mold can become a problem that needs attention. Keep reading for some tips on how to clean mold off different wall surfaces.
Mold on Drywall
If you notice spots of mold on your drywall:
• Add a small amount of baking soda or detergent to a damp rag • Wipe the mold off the drywall, but don’t let the wall get too wet in the process • Watch the section of wall over the next several days to see if the mold comes back. Returning mold indicates the original source of moisture is still present.
Mold on Concrete
If you detect mold on a concrete wall:
• Vacuum the area with a HEPA vacuum cleaner • Clean off the moldy spots with detergent and water • Use one cup of trisodium phosphate dissolved in two gallons of water if the water and detergent doesn’t work. Soak the moldy surface for at least 15 minutes. • Dry the concrete as quickly as possible when the mold is gone
For wooden walls:
old on Wood
• Vacuum any loose mold away with a HEPA vacuum cleaner • Try using a damp rag and detergent to wipe the mold away, then rinse and dry the area quickly • Sand the wood and vacuum away the results if the detergent is unsuccessful • Replace any wood that is rotted from the mold
When to Call the Pros
In some cases, you may be able to eliminate the mold problem yourself, but you should call in the professionals if:
• Your home has a high moisture level or is humid • You have a high volume of mold to deal with • The mold returns after you’ve cleaned the area several times • You have elderly people or small kids living in the home, or you or a family member have a respiratory illness