How to Treat Mold Inside Walls

mold inside walls

Discovering a mold problem anywhere inside a house is never good news. Mold inside walls, however, is particularly problematic. Microscopic mold spores in wall cavities typically remain dormant unless/until moisture triggers the spores into active growth mode. Potential internal moisture sources include seepage from plumbing pipes routed through the wall, water from roof leaks dripping downward into walls, recent flooding or other significant water damage.

What Are the Signs?

A mold problem inside a wall may become extensive before it becomes obvious. Signs of possible contamination include:

  • Persistent musty odor that is strongest in a certain room.
  • Black spotting on walls where internal mold growth has penetrated through the drywall.  

What If You Suspect Mold Inside Walls?

Direct visual examination to confirm a suspected mold problem typically requires cutting access holes of significant size in drywall. Opening a mold-contaminated wall cavity, however, may release toxic spores that spread mold throughout the house.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends engaging professional mold remediation services for inspection and treatment to eliminate a mold problem inside walls.

How Is Mold Inside Walls Treated?

Simply applying disinfectants to an active mold problem is not sufficient. Some spores typically survive topical treatment and mold eventually recurs. All mold growth inside walls must be physically removed and properly disposed, followed by treatment with effective fungicides.

  • The internal wall cavity should be cleaned with a HEPA-filtered vacuum.
  • Infected drywall requires replacement if mold growth is established on the inside surface or has penetrated the material.
  • Fiberglass or cellulose insulation present inside a contaminated wall cavity cannot be effectively disinfected. Insulation should be removed and replaced with new material.
  • If wooden studs or joists exhibit mold growth, the mold must be physically removed. Sanding wooden surfaces may also be required to ensure no residual spores remain.
  • After removal of mold growth, the wall cavity should be sprayed with an EPA-approved antimicrobial disinfectant.  
  • Encapsulating sealant may be applied to surfaces inside the wall. This coating, similar to paint, contains fungicides that kill residual spores as well as inhibit any future mold problem.

Tags: , , ,

Return to the Blog Home Page