Molds thrive in dark, warm, and moist areas of the house including floorboards, bathrooms, kitchen sinks, laundry areas, closets, bedrooms, or even wood furniture that has been exposed to moisture. Although molds seem harmless, they are considered health risk in great amounts and can cause or trigger allergies or respiratory problems. One of the most harmful molds is the black mold, also known as drywall mold as they most commonly appear in water-damaged dry walls or building materials.
Prevalence of drywall mold
Most houses in North America use dry wall or gypsum board to make ceilings and interior walls. Although newer dry wall sheets are reinforced with fiberglass to prevent mold growth, these are more expensive compared to paper-lined gypsum plaster. To protect it from high humidity, it can be waterproofed through covalent waterproofing. However, if the waterproofed layer is perforated or punctured, it can cause the layer to swell and disintegrate. These are where black molds thrive and reproduce.
Assessing the situation
Just like its name suggest, black molds appear as small black dots on dry walls, carpets, furniture, etc. Molds also give-off a musty smell and the materials they inhabit are moist or damp. If your house has been flood-damaged and you have dry walls as interior walls, the best thing to do is to clean or dry the area before the molds materialize. If the molds have already populated your walls, drywall mold elimination is the next option.
Getting rid of molds in dry walls
Before actually removing black mold, put on protective gloves, breathing mask, and goggles to prevent breathing or contacting molds. Once you have put on your protective gears, examine the wall and determine the extent of mold infection. If the wall is covered with extensive and heavy mold and the dry wall is actually crumbling, the only option is to completely remove the dry wall and replace it. You can call a home-building professional worker to take the wall apart and install a new one.
However, if the molds have only infected the exterior of the wall, the gypsum board inside can still be saved. Use a sanding paper to sand the wood surface and remove all the visible molds. Detergent solutions and baking soda can be used to disinfect small patches of moldy surfaces. After disinfecting, dry the surface quickly. Air the wall dry naturally or, for smaller areas, use a blow-dryer for quicker drying. Cleaning should be thorough but quick. Make sure that you do not wet the dry wall too much or the water can seep through the inner wood and become harder to dry. Furthermore, it can also create another ideal habitat for black molds.
Preventing dry wall mold
Keeping the home clean, dry and well-ventilated is the best way to prevent black molds. Ensure that there are no roof or pipe leaks that run through the walls. Fix water leaks immediately and always check the walls for possible drywall mold growths. You can also use a hygrometer to check the humidity of your home. If you live in a region with high humidity, use a dehumidifier to decrease the relative humidity. If possible, use dry wall made of fiberglass to prevent mold from forming on your walls. Although it can cost you more, it is more durable and safer than the common paper-lined dry walls.