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Mold Remediation of Drywall

By: Matthew Yurina, Sr. Mold Remediation Specialist

 

 

CONTAIN- the mold from spreading into uncontaminated areas;

KILL- the mold;

REMOVE- the dead mold and materials used for remediation; and

PROTECT- the cleaned out area against future mold infestations.

 

 

Drywall mold that has high mold contamination are a major source of allergens and possibly mycotoxins in the home. Drywall mold or black spots are generally due to water damage, high humidity, or a leak behind drywall. Allowed to go undetected or ignored can cause severe health problems and damage to a home or office.

 

Physical mold growth on drywall needs to be removed carefully, bagged and disposed of. Standard practice is to cut the moldy material away up to three feet from where the visible growth is. Thereís no safe and truly effective way to both kill and clean up mold on surfaces like drywall.

The first step in any mold remediation effort is to acquire the proper protective equipment: P100 respirator (to filter mold spores so you donít breathe them in), gloves, goggles and disposable clothes that cover all of the body. If disposable clothes are not available, then youíll want to ware clothes that you can wash immediately after the project in the Oxy Mold Cleaner product. In any enclosed area where youíll be spraying or fogging, youíll need a
P100 respirator that will also protect against the chemical fumes of the fungicide youíll be applying.

The second step would be to pinpoint the source of the mold growth and contain it as close to that source as possible. In may be necessary to erect walls of plastic sheeting to keep mold spores from spreading to uncontaminated areas.

The third step will be to use any method available to you to reduce humidity in the moldy area and dry out all infected surfaces. OXY-MOLD MX-500, along with all fungicides, will penetrate far deeper into dry surfaces than wet ones. You may need to purchase a dehumidifier to get the humidity below 50%. Air moving devices or fans may be appropriate if you take into account that you could be spreading mold spores around. In a heavy mold infestation the idea is to limit the amount of spores that get spread around, thus lowering the chances of contaminating new areas.

Effectively killing mold in drywall is virtually impossible.
The difficulty isnít necessarily that the surface mold canít be killed, but that drywall is too porous to effectively kill the mold that has grown into and through the drywall substrate, thereby presenting a hazard. The safest measure will always be to remove the infected drywall, sometimes even up to three feet in all directions from the actual visible growth.

The quickest, easiest and inevitably the cheapest way to fix the problem will be to remove the drywall (carefully with a drywall cutter or similar blade that will keep the spread of spores to a minimum), and bag it up securely in plastic bags, or 6 mil polyethylene if thereís a great quantity. Once removed from the house the bags can be taken to a landfill.

In most cases there is more mold growth on the inner side of the drywall that cannot be seen, and it could even have contaminated insulation ceiling tiles and studs. It depends upon the source of leak or moisture problem that caused the mold, but usually thereís need for performing Mold Tests in order to help understand the full extent of the mold contamination in a home or office. While condensation due to humidity or improper ventilation may not have caused too extensive of mold growth all the way behind the walls, actual water or sewage leaks could significantly lessen the time it takes for the mold to spread right through the drywall and into other surfaces.

Unless the moisture intrusion and the mold problem have been ongoing and building up for a long period of time, the wood itself should be salvable. Even on the studs youíll want to remove as much of the mold growth as you can. It may also be necessary to apply the Impact once before physical removal of the mold in order to lessen the spread of spores. If you have to cut more than a fifth of and inch into the studs to remove the growth, the studs themselves will not be salvable, as this will threaten the houseís structure. These studs would have to be removed and replaced.

Once all removable mold growth is safely away from the area, itís time to apply the
MX-500 product twice to the entire infected area, letting the area dry for twenty-four hours in between applications. In areas of small or limited mold infestation it should be satisfactory to apply the Impact with a spray bottle or garden pump sprayer, but in any heavy infestation (heavy = you can smell the mold), then Fogger will be the only appropriate method.

A cold fogger will atomize the biocide, turning it into droplets of micron size so that it can penetrate to the deepest roots of the mold and kill surface and airborne mold and mold spores.

When airborne mold spores are involved another step will most likely be needed to actually clean the dead mold spores from the air. Youíll want to look into buying or renting a HEPA grade air mover that can filter the old, contaminated air and remove it from the area while bringing in pure, uncontaminated air. This will be necessary because even dead mold spores can be a health risk.

Once the project is completed it is in your interest to perform post testing (clearance testing). This is the only way to be sure itís safe to reinstall drywall, insulation, etc. The worst thing you can do is rebuild over an unresolved mold problem. Youíll also want to make sure that the original moisture problem is fixed. Once these tests prove clear, you can re-insulate, rebuild, and repaint. The final application of a fungicidal sealant like Anti-Growth can prevent mold growth for up to five years.


These instructions are general in nature, and there are always situations that can make certain parts of the remediation more difficult. Feel free to contact us by phone Monday through Friday, 9:00 to 5:00 Eastern Time if you have any questions that our web site doesnít answer. Our biggest concern is that youíre performing the mold remediation properly.

 

After the mold remediation is completed, mold test (clearance testing) all of the remediated surfaces plus the air of each room in the basement, and the outward air flow from each heating/cooling duct register to find out if those areas are now mold safe prior to rebuilding the cleaned out areas with new building materials.

 

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This is an informational website about mold, it's health effects, and how to treat it. Although Trask Research, Inc. believes it to be accurate, Trask Research, Inc. make no representation, warranty or guaranty, and disclaims any liability, with regard to the accuracy or completeness of the information, or the results of any action taken by anyone who relies on the information. If you have any question regarding your particular application, we ask that you seek professional advice and assistance in your area. Trask Research, Inc. is not responsible for any damage or loss due to the use of this information. Use this and any information obtained at this web site at your own risk.