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How to Detect Mold in Walls

Updated July 20, 2017

Mold in the home can become a serious problem if not handled quickly. Not only can mould growth damage the surfaces it lives on, but it can also affect a person's health, upsetting respiratory and neurological systems. While there are kits on the market that will detect mould, your own senses of sight and smell will effectively clue you in to a possible mould problem.

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  1. Examine the entire wall for cracked or peeling paint, bulging, discolouration or strange spots. If there is any part of the wall with these problems, make a note, as they may need to be sectioned out later.

  2. Attempt to find any moisture by running a hand along the wall. Mold needs moisture to grow, so if moisture is accumulating in the wall but no discolouration is evident, it may mean the mould is only forming inside the wall. After a period of time, however, mould on the inside of a wall will try to make its way to the outside.

  3. Monitor allergic reactions. Allergic symptoms are very good indicators that mould is present. The individual exhibiting symptoms should leave the home for several hours. If merely leaving the home helps improve the symptoms, it is likely there is mould somewhere in the home.

  4. Observe the odour of the room suspected of having mould. If it smells musty or mildewy, this is a definite indicator of mould growth. The stronger the smell, the greater the extent of the growth. This can sometimes be the only indicator of mould. If the smell is only present when the air-conditioning or furnace is on, mould may be in the ducts or in the units themselves.

  5. Warning

    If mould is detected in the walls, it must be taken care of immediately to avoid health complications.

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About the Author

Antonin Korenek

Antonin Korenek has been writing professionally since 2008. On eHow and Answerbag he specializes in everything geeky and DIY home repair and maintenance. In college he was awarded the Loughead-Eldredge Scholarship in Creative Writing two years in a row. Korenek graduated from Wayne State University with a bachelor's degree in English.

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