One of a homeowner’s worst surprises can be walking into a room and finding mold on their drywall. When this happens, you know that the damage isn’t just on the surface. When you see mold on the outside, it’s guaranteed to go much deeper than that.
Mold permeates easily into porous drywall and is nearly impossible to remove with conventional means. This is a big job that takes a lot more than just wiping the mold off the wall. Let’s take a look at why and how mold should be handled.
Why Can’t I Clean Moldy Drywall?
Typically, any porous material, drywall included, cannot be cleaned properly to remove mold—the reason why is prettily clear. Porous materials, even when they appear solid like drywall, actually contain minuscule holes. Microscopic mold spores can grow and spread throughout these holes, so no amount of wiping and cleaning can remove them thoroughly enough to keep them from returning.
This can be difficult for even professional-grade cleaning agents to kill, and it can be even harder for homeowners to detect where it may have already spread to. Even when it has not spread out to the surface, mold will have already penetrated deep into the interior of any porous surface. Generally affected areas of drywall must be removed and replaced.
How to Deal With Mold Affected Drywall
Mold-affected drywall generally must be removed and replaced. However, this does pose its own risks, as removing mold-affected drywall without appropriate precautions will make spores become airborne and spread to other portions of your home.
The EPA recommends that anytime mold covers greater than 10 square feet of surface area, it should be removed by a professional mold remediation company. For smaller jobs, it can potentially be done at home by homeowners confident they can handle it. Also, if you are suffering from respiratory issues or other potential health concerns, make sure to ask a doctor if it is safe for you to do the job yourself.
Treating Affected Drywall
Before beginning, the area must be prepared to prevent mold spores from spreading, and you will need appropriate personal protective gear, including an N95 mask, safety gloves, and hair and shoe covers. Large items such as furniture should be removed from the area to prevent them from being contaminated with spores. If this is not possible, cover them with plastic tarps to protect them.
Tape sheets of plastic over any ventilation openings in order to protect your ducts and heating/cooling system. For smaller rooms, it can sometimes be enough to cover the doorway with one plastic sheet to prevent spread. Additionally, in a larger space but with a small work area, you can cordon it off using 2×4 wood studs to support plastic sheeting attached by duct tape.
No matter which situation it is, cover the floor of the entire work area with plastic sheeting as well immediately before working to remove any drywall. Then, spray the section down with water. This will weigh down any mold spores to prevent most from becoming airborne as well.
Now you can safely remove the affected drywall. As you take it down, place all of the pieces of drywall into plastic garbage bags to keep it secure as you take it out of your home to dispose of it.
Look carefully behind the removed drywall to ensure there are no signs that mold spread behind the drywall. Once you are confident, you can begin replacing the drywall.
Mold remediation can be a difficult process, particularly when attempting to diagnose how far the issue has spread. If you are not certain that the mold has affected smaller than ten square feet, it is a good idea to play it safe and have a professional mold remediation company inspect the area and determine how far it has spread. These professionals have the tools and experience to treat the mold at its source and ensure it does not return.
If you have a drywall mold problem that needs to be solved, contact RestorePro. Restore Pro has decades of experience helping homes and businesses with quick and effective mold remediation. Call us at 1-800-847-0114 and connect with us on Facebook.