If you’re dealing with black mold on some drywall, your home more than likely has some form of a moisture problem somewhere. This can be something like possible leaks, condensation, or water intrusion from an interior or exterior source. If that’s the case, the source of the moisture has to be identified and taken care of.
If the problem isn’t addressed, you might not be repairing only drywall. Depending on where the black mold is discovered, you could be dealing with a simple fix or something major like plumbing repairs.
But let’s not ring the big alarm bells just yet.
First, let’s take a look at what black mold is. Then we’ll take a look at common causes of black mold in drywall. And then we’ll run through how to remove black mold from drywall safely and effectively.
Is it Black Mold?
Many believe black mold is a bacteria. This is incorrect. Black mold is actually fungi. It’s also often toxic and may be recognized by its black or dark green color.
Note that we mentioned it’s often toxic. That means not all black mold is toxic. And it also means not all toxic mold is black. In addition, mold can change colors, especially if it’s begun to dry out.
So, determining if your mold is toxic black mold or non-toxic black mold just by looking at it isn’t recommended. Instead, the best way to confirm what type of mold you may be dealing with is to have a professional test a sample. The inspector can also tell you the severity of the mold in terms of how far it’s spread and how much mold remediation needs to be done.
Where Black Mold Can Develop
Because drywall is a porous material, it’s easy for mold to develop in it when moisture is present. Factors contributing to the development of black mold in drywall include:
- Water Leaks – Plumbing leaks are common causes, especially in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. For black mold to develop from these types of leaks, the leak is usually a slow drip or minor pinhole leak that’s gone unnoticed. Mold can also develop in the drywall in areas where you have a leaking roof or walls.
- High Humidity – If you’ve got moist, humid rooms or a whole house that feels damp all the time, you’ve got the potential for black mold development.
- Poor Ventilation – Like high humidity, if you’ve got poor ventilation, you’ve got the potential for moisture to become trapped. Mold is a possible result.
- Flooding – Flooding can become an issue if the water isn’t properly cleaned up, replaced, and dried out after the flooding occurs.
- HVAC Condensation – If your HVAC isn’t working properly or if it hasn’t been serviced in a while, it can lead to condensation forming in and around ducts, which can lead to mold growth in surrounding drywall.
If you’re dealing with any of the above or some other moisture problem, the problem must be corrected. If it isn’t, your mold problem will come back or get worse until it is.
Black Mold Remediation
The basic steps for removing black mold from drywall include:
- Identify the immediate and surrounding affected areas.
- Mix a solution that includes one cup of bleach for every gallon of water. Mix into a spray bottle.
- Wear personal protective equipment in the form of gloves, eye protection, and a mask. These will protect you from chemical irritation, fumes, and mold spores.
- Apply the mixture to the affected areas of the drywall.
- Allow the applied solution to sit for at least 15 minutes.
- Use a scrub brush to remove the mold. In some cases, sandpaper may be appropriate.
After the mold has been removed, you should clean and disinfect the area to remove any lingering mold spores. Let the area dry. Don’t use a fan. This is in case there are still spores present. If drywall is severely damaged or contaminated, it should be replaced.
Your Next Steps
If you believe you have an issue with black mold, it’s important to address the problem right away. You may be able to clean and remove small amounts of mold on your own. However, if you’ve got a major moisture problem and your mold problem is extensive, you should contact a mold remediation company for help.