How do you seel if there's black mold in a wall - Mothering Forums
The Mindful Home > How do you seel if there's black mold in a wall
StephandOwen's Avatar StephandOwen 04:42 PM 05-30-2011
Without tearing up the wall? We had a leak about a year ago and contacted the people who built the house (still under warranty). They sent someone out to fix it. We asked at that time about mold and were assured they completely dried everything and mold would not be an issue. The water issue was in our office (soon to be baby's room) and ds's room (with the wall inbetween them).

Ds has been having mega allergy issues, as have I, lately. So I completely cleared out his room of all furniture and everything and pulled up a corner of his carpet. I did not see any mold so cleaned out his bedroom, put everything back in and bought an air filter for that room.

Yesterday dh and I completely cleared out the babys room (was storage for a lot of stuff). I felt absolutely horrible afterwards, coughing, stuffy nose, ect. Today my mil came over and tore up the section of carpet in the babys room that had the water damage and there was a ton of black mold. So we went back into ds's room and tore up even more than I did a month ago. Sure enough, black mold in there too. The babys room has a ton more than ds's room, but both have some.

So, short of cutting up the wall, how do we know if there's black mold in the wall that is between the 2 rooms? The moldy sections in each room are on the adjacent sides of the wall.

Obviously our first step will be to call the home builder and make them come out because they were supposed to have fixed this already. We will be getting new flooring in both the bedrooms (funny enough, we were already planning on doing that this summer) but want to make sure theres nothing growing under the baseboards or in the wall.

HollyBearsMom's Avatar HollyBearsMom 05:14 PM 05-30-2011
We are going thru this now. Both our contractor and the insurance adjuster said that the only way to know with any certainty is to remove, in our case, part of the ceiling. However they did say they could remove a small piece that could be easily patched if no mold was found.

This has been a nightmare! We know we need a new roof but know we are looking at a new ceiling and all the surrounding walls patched/ painted. Ugh!

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ChristyMarie's Avatar ChristyMarie 05:34 AM 05-31-2011

GRRR!  I just had a perfectly informative and thoughtful post written with perfect grammar and spelling and the computer ate it!


Let's try again...


1st:  sorry you are dealing with this.  :(


2nd:  normally in a moisture situation they would test the drywall to see if it has any moisture in it.  They have a little meter thingy.  If there's any moisture, they (at a minimum) take the baseboards off and put hammer size holes in the drywall so that air can reach the insulation and dry everything out.  Drywall and insulation are basically sponges and willl suck up moisture from the floor.


3rd:  yeah, so chances are if it is under the carpet that bad, it is probably in the wall.  I'm so sorry, I know that isn't what you wanted to hear.


4th:  yep, gotta remove at least a nice chunk to see what's going on but that's easy to fix.  Should be near the floor because if the water was on the floor the lower portions would have wicked up more water than the upper.  Make sense?


5th:  (((HUGS)))  Water damage SUCKS.  You have my sympathies.  I'm currently waiting for the professional water clean up guys to show up and test my drywall and see if the hole thing worked or if it has to be removed. 

StephandOwen's Avatar StephandOwen 08:11 AM 05-31-2011

Thanks! I don't remember them using any sort of moisture thingy when they were "fixing" it the first time. They fixed where the leak happened (which was able to be fixed from the garage- which is right under that part of the 2 bedrooms). Apparently it was a design flaw with this house and that it wasn't an uncommon problem (great). Then they put a fan in each of the rooms for a little while (I don't remember how long- several days I believe). Then they just removed the fans, put the carpet and padding back down and said everything was fine. I specifically asked them about mold in the walls (because all of us living here have bad allergies so it is a big concern) and they said everything was fine, none of the water would have gotten into the walls. Which, IMO, is bull. If the water is in both the rooms then how the heck can they say it's not in the wall between the two rooms (or under the baseboards)?!?


At this point, I don't care what they have to do- as long as they do it RIGHT and make sure there's no more mold. I do not want to just fix the floor, clean up that mold, put new floor down and then find out there's still mold in the walls. It needs to be completely done, the right way, so I don't have to worry about it anymore. I'm just hoping I can get them to take the chunk out of the baby's nursery wall because I still have paint leftover from that room so I can paint the section they fix. I don't have anymore paint from ds's room so I'd have to repaint the whole room with a new color (which ds would probably love if I did that! LOL!).


DH called the home builders and they've started the process. They're supposed to call us back and let us know what's next (I assume someone will be coming out to take a look). We're hoping we can get them to a) clean up the mold, b) take a section out of the wall to check for mold and take care of that if there is any, c) take up a section of the floorboards to check for mold there and d) reimburse us at least a little for flooring allowance since we need to replace the pad and carpet now.


I know there's a long shot of them actually agreeing to that, but one can hope winky.gif

New_Natural_Mom's Avatar New_Natural_Mom 09:03 AM 05-31-2011

We recently flooded and called insurance in.  They had a recovery company out with industrial fans.  They used meters with prongs that stuck in the wall to check for water.  They also sprayed Concrobium which kills black mold.  I don't mess around with mold, and if they just check a patch who is to say that it can't be in another area of the wall.  I would make multiple test holes.