Mold in Hard Places: How to Detect Mold Behind Drywall

Mold in Hard Places: How to Detect Mold Behind Drywall

In this comprehensive post, we'll go over;

The most common questions associated with drywall mold.

You'll learn;

  • What causes mold growth
  • Why mold growth is an issue
  • How to check for mold behind drywall
  • What to do if you discover mold

So if you've ever asked yourself any of these questions, you'll love this post!

mold in corner on drywall

Did You Know...

...that approximately 45 million buildings in the United States have unhealthy mold levels? Do you currently have toxic mold behind the walls or black mold in the ceilings of your home? Do you suspect that this might be an issue for you?

Keep reading if you're concerned about mold in walls or other house areas. Explained below is everything you need to know about how to detect mold behind drywall.

What Causes Mold Growth?

When you first spot mold growing in your home or start suspecting it's growing, you might think, "How did that get there?" or "What did I do to cause mold growth in my house?" 

There are plenty of ways that mold can find its way into your house. For example, spores can enter through open windows, doorways, or your air conditioning system. They can also attach themselves to shoes, clothing, or pets and find their way through these different vehicles.

It's important to note that mold will only grow and spread in favorable areas. This includes very moist sites and provides the mold spores with a steady supply of nutrients. 

If you have a leaky pipe or flooding in your home, that will create a prime area for mold growth. Places with excessive window condensations might be prone to mold, too. The same goes for spots that don't get a lot of air circulation. 

Another common issue known to us is a roof leak. Damage to your roof can go unnoticed until you see the signs there is already a mold problem.

Why Is Mold Growth an Issue?

You know that mold growth is unsightly. Do you genuinely know how potentially dangerous it is to you and your family members' health?

The following are some of the most significant health risks that come with long-term mold exposure: 

  • Allergy symptoms (stuffy nose, runny nose, throat irritation, eye irritation, etc.)
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion and brain fog

Breathing in the air full of mold spores can also increase your risk of developing certain chronic illnesses. This includes chronic sinus and respiratory issues. Depending on the type of mold, you may find that existing health issues are worsened by exposure to mold.

How to Detect Mold Behind Drywall

Okay, you're convinced that you need to take mold seriously. How do you know if mold is an issue in your home, though?

The good news is that you can take lots of steps to detect mold behind drywall or in other areas of your house. This includes the following:

Check for Stains

Looking carefully at your walls can tell you a lot about what might happen behind them. Do you notice any yellow or brown stains? If you have water stains on your walls, there's a good chance that you likely have mold growing behind those stains. 

Likely, water damage has occurred at some point, and it may have gone unnoticed. You’ll need to find the source of moisture to ensure mold doesn’t come back.

Remember that mold will look different depending on what's on your walls, too. For example, if you have vinyl wallpaper, the mold might look pink, purple, or orange in color. If you notice this kind of discoloration, that's another sign that you have a mold growth problem.

Look for Surface Changes

When there's mold growing behind the walls, the appearance changes quite a bit. You will notice color changes, but you might also find that the walls themselves start to deteriorate.

For example, the paint might start to crack or peel, or the wallpaper might bubble due to excessive moisture and mold spread. Your walls might begin to warp, too, or even bulge or bow when the damage gets very bad.

Sniff It Out

When mold is growing in your home, your nose will let you know. Mold has an earthy, musty smell. Many people compare it to the scent of a damp forest (this is nice when you're out camping, but not so much when you're hanging out at home).

The smell of mold is often powerful in the area around your electrical outlets since they provide access to the space behind the walls. Get down and sniff around here to see what you can smell. If that typical musty odor is present, there is likely a presence of mold.

Try the Screwdriver Test

The screwdriver test helps you to pick up on potential surface changes in your walls. Take a screwdriver and probe the wall where you suspect mold might be growing.

If the wall feels soft or starts to crumble when poked with the screwdriver, that's a sign that you likely have moldy drywall and, additionally, are experiencing rot from excessive mold growth and spread.

Use a Mold Test Kit

You can also test for mold using an at-home test kit to determine whether or not you have mold growing in your house. These kits are available at most hardware stores, or you can purchase them online.

Keep in mind, though, that they're not always accurate. Using a kit could be an excellent first step, and you can then follow it up with some of the other tactics mentioned above. 

What to Do if You Discover Mold

If you follow the steps listed above and find mold growing in your basement or another room in your home, it's essential to act quickly before it can spread further. Failure to address the problem could lead to expensive and potentially dangerous structural issues in your home and worsened health problems. 

Generally speaking, mold removal is a job best left to a professional mold remediation company like Rock Environmental. Calling an expert will help you identify the root cause of the mold growth and ensure you remove mold from your home. A professional will also be able to take steps to prevent mold from growing in the future.

Can You Spot Signs of Mold in Your Home?

Now that you know more about how to detect mold behind drywall and which warning signs you ought to watch for, it's time to use the strategies discussed above and give your home a thorough inspection.

If you do pick up on mold growth anywhere in your home, reach out to mold removal services in your area as on as possible. Give yourself peace of mind knowing your home has been rid of mold by a professional!

Are you located in the Rochester area? If you are and are dealing with mold, call our Rock Environmental professionals at 585-340-6799. Or click the button below to send us a message about your mold remediation options.

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