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How to Know if Mold Is in Your Walls

how to find mold in walls

Mold often grows out of sight in wall cavities due to water problems like flooding or leaks. Before you know it, it creates a toxic environment in your home, compromising the indoor air.

The good news is that even hidden mold leaves behind clues. You can find out if mold is growing in your walls in several ways. Here is how to spot mold that grows inside your walls.

Moisture

If your home has suffered severe water damage, mold will grow in your walls if the water wasn’t removed within 24-48 hours. If water reached drywall, the best practice is to cut it one foot above the water line.

Other water problems like leaking pipes may also trap moisture inside your walls. Even in these cases where leaks are visible, moisture can get inside walls, providing mold a place to grow. Be aware of signs that drywalls are moist such as:

  • water stains
  • dark rings
  • discoloration
  • deterioration like peeling, bubbling or cracking of the paint or wallpaper

Moreover, if the walls are bowed, bulging or warped, they most likely contain moisture. Another clue is if the surface of walls feels wet or damp.

Visible Signs of Mold

First of all, if the wall is rotting, it likely has mold underneath it. In less severe cases, mold might not be that noticeable. Inspect the walls and check for mold on walls behind furniture and along baseboards too.

Mold can have different colors and textures, so be sure to recognize them. Mold can be black, green, gray, white, or brown. Mold can even appear orange, pink or purple when it grows behind vinyl wallpaper.

Another sign of visible mold is discoloration of walls, even if it has been painted over. If the water damage inside the walls persists, mold will show signs on the surface.

Musty Smell

If you don’t see signs of mold but you can smell it, it may be hidden in your walls. A musty smell is a good indicator that mold is growing in your home. The smell of mold feels earthy, like rotting leaves or decaying wood in a dense, damp forest.

If you think there’s mold in your walls, get on your hands and knees and smell the electrical outlets. This might sound silly, but it may help you sense mold if it’s growing within walls. Outlets have better access to the area behind walls. Thus, smelling them can help identify the mold problem.

To best determine if or how much mold is in your walls, consult a mold removal company like PuroClean. We use professional inspection techniques and tools to determine the existence and extent of mold. For mold removal and water damage repair services, contact your local PuroClean office.

PuroClean is a leading commercial and residential restoration franchising company.  Founded in 2001, the company offers fire and water cleanup and restoration services, mold mitigation and remediation, and biohazard cleanup and removal throughout the United States and Canada through its franchise network of 240 offices. Learn more. 
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