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How to detect mold in walls and elsewhere

If you’ve had a problem with mold in your home, can smell the musty mold odor, or are suffering from any of the health symptoms caused by toxic mold, you should inspect your home for mold. If you let mold fester, the spores will multiply very quickly and the problem will become almost impossible to resolve. One of mold’s favorite places to lurk is behind drywall. It can be warm and damp there, especially if you have had a leak recently.

How to detect mold in walls

Assuming you don’t want to rip your drywall down when you’re checking for mold behind it, you’ll need to use some specialist equipment and wear protective clothing. Let’s look at the equipment first.

  • Moisture meters

A moisture meter is used by professionals to detect hidden mold. It works by either pressing a probe against your drywall or inserting it into the drywall. The meter tells you which areas are damp, and you can then figure out where the mold is most likely to be.

  • Borescope

A borescope is like having an eye behind your drywall. You drill a hole in the drywall (easy to plug after inspecting for mold) and insert a fiber optic tube through it. Damage to the wall is kept to a minimum, while you get a good visual on what’s going on behind.

  • Hygrometer

Mold is more likely to grow in places where humidity is high, so you should locate these first. A hygrometer is a tool used to measure humidity, thus telling you where to look first.

These tools are expensive to buy and hire, so it’s usually far cheaper to hire a professional to hunt out the mold for you.

  • Protective clothing

If you are searching out mold, you should wear protective clothing. If you don’t, you could become ill – one of the five mistakes people make when cleaning mold from drywall. Wear a mask, goggles and gloves, and never touch mold with an ungloved hand.

The DIY way to find mold behind drywall

Without specialist equipment, it’s very difficult to find mold behind drywall. However, there are a few telltale signs that you should watch for. These include:

  • Leaks
  • High humidity
  • Condensation
  • Flooding

Moisture on a wall could alert you to mold lurking behind, while mold could be the warning that you have a leak above or behind the drywall.

Inspect every room in your home for mold, smelling the air for mold odor, and looking for the signs noted above. People with allergic symptoms – conditions that worsen because of mold, such as asthma – might have an advantage here. If the symptoms are worse in one room than another, it’s likely to be a big clue as to where the mold is hiding behind drywall.

Look for signs of water damage, too. These include stains, cracked and peeling paint, and discoloration. Small specks of mold could be a sign that a large colony is expanding. If you do find mold, follow our three ways to get rid of mold on your walls naturally.

Get your mold tested!

If you do discover mold behind drywall or elsewhere, we recommend that you get it tested before attempting to remove it. Some mold spores are toxic, and getting rid of it is dangerous. If your mold is one of these varieties, you should leave the removal to professionals.

For more tips on finding and removing mold from your home, or if you have a persistent mold problem, get in touch with Porter’s Cleaning today. We’ll be happy to quote you to eradicate and prevent mold wherever it lurks.

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