The formation of mold on the walls is particularly unpleasant. If they are unsightly, they are especially dangerous for health. It is therefore necessary to act quickly to eliminate them, but not just anyhow!
To get rid of mold permanently and effectively, our experts present the causes of their formation, the treatments and the solutions available to you through this complete file.
What is mold and how does it affect our health?
There are several types of mold in homes, black mold being the most common. Toxic, it can have serious consequences on your health if you are regularly exposed to it. Indeed, its unhealthy spores sometimes cause severe allergies. Among the impacts it causes, we can cite irritation of the respiratory tract, asthma, various allergies, eye inflammation, nausea and great fatigue. It is therefore advisable to act as soon as possible to get rid of it permanently.
If we take a closer look, the mold that covers our interior walls is made up of tiny fungi, the mycotoxins. Their shape varies according to their species and they line the walls with mosses, white traces called efflorescences, brown halos or black spots. Moreover, their strong odor is unpleasant and permeates the ambient air of the house, clothing and upholstery. Their impact is negative on humans, animals and everything in the house (coatings, woodwork, fabrics, objects, frames, wallpaper, furniture, etc.). So mold isn’t just unsightly; it is necessary to act quickly to eliminate it definitively.
What causes mold to form on walls?
Understanding the causes of mold growth on walls is the best way to act effectively. Indeed, it is not enough to wipe the mushrooms with a sponge or cover them with wallpaper to make them disappear. If the origin is not identified and treated, there is no point in putting a dressing on the wound; the infection will come back again and will continue to spread.
Molds always appear in a context of excessive humidity, that is to say above 55%. However, this context can be of variable origin, because there are a multitude of causes of the formation of humidity, of which here are the most frequent.
- An accident such as water damage or flooding.
- Insufficient, defective or non-existent ventilation which does not allow sufficient air renewal and natural evacuation of humidity. The remaining humidity, called residual humidity, stagnates within the space and condenses on the walls, which forms mould.
- Water infiltration in the walls from the ground.
- Infiltrations through the facade, water seeping into cracks or through a coating that has become porous. Indeed, a damaged surface allows rainwater to penetrate into the heart of the walls, which reappears inside the house, forming mould. The same phenomenon occurs when the roof is poorly fixed and lets water enter the house through the ceiling.
- Capillary rise, the water rising through the foundations along the walls.
Molds can appear anywhere in the house. Nevertheless, they are mainly found in rooms such as the bathroom, the kitchen or the cellar, which tend to be regularly subjected to humidity and thus to store it.
How to get rid of mold on the walls? Solutions and treatments to act quickly and effectively!
The big cleaning: removing mold from the walls
The first action you can take is to remove the mold that forms on your walls. This solution is not definitive, but it is of great immediate help, because you must not remain exposed to fungi. Perform it if you have not yet identified the cause of their formation or if you are awaiting treatment.
- Equip yourself: protect yourself by putting on gloves and a protective mask to avoid contact with fungi and cleaning products. Wear goggles if the mold is heavy or if your eyes are sensitive.
- Use a suitable product that you dilute in a little water: bleach (be careful, not on plaster walls!), soda or white vinegar.
- Using a suitable sponge or a brush, rub the mold on the support until it disappears.
- Rinse the wall with clear water to eliminate traces.
- Repeat the operation if necessary to eliminate everything.
Never act dry without product, because you would only disseminate mold spores in the ambient air. In addition, the room you are treating must be well ventilated for your safety. Open the windows during the operation and drying.
The right diagnosis by a competent professional
To get rid of mold, you need to identify the source. To identify the source, it is best to contact a qualified professional. This one will be able to carry out a complete humidity diagnosis thanks to its quality equipment.
- Neutrography: this neutron probe is used to find the path operated by the water infiltrated within your home in order to identify the source and to evaluate the humidity level.
- Infrared thermography: it detects hidden leaks and infiltrations within the walls. This non-invasive technique consists of measuring surface temperatures using a specific so-called thermographic camera.
- The acoustic correlation: the professional uses an aquaphone, a sound amplifier tool that detects the source of humidity by noise.
- Video inspection: after having dug a small hole of a few millimeters in your wall, the professional slides a tiny endoscopic camera into the heart of the partitions. It identifies leaks, leaks and cracks.
This diagnosis allows you to know the origin of the formation of mold and the extent of the damage in your home. The professional can advise you on the work to be done; he can make them for you or guide you with valuable advice to enable you to do them by yourself if you feel capable. A diagnosis does not commit you to anything, it only informs you. It is therefore an essential step to overcome the problem effectively.
Long-term treatments and solutions
As we said, removing mold from walls is not enough; it will reform itself in a few days. Call on a professional to identify the origin of their formation; he will carry out an accurate diagnosis in order to find a solution to resolve the cause, but also to treat your home properly.
Depending on the cause of the appearance of mold, several solutions are available to you.
- In the event of a ventilation fault, you should have your installation checked. Ideally, equip yourself with a good VMC, sufficiently sized to cover your entire home and regularly cleaned to promote its proper functioning. To help you in case of excessive humidity, you can also equip yourself with electric or chemical dehumidifiers.
- In the event of water infiltration or capillary rise, you also have several solutions available: drying of the walls, drainage, installation of a waterproof membrane, casing, surface treatment, etc. The professional will be able to advise you on the most suitable solution for your situation.
- In the event of an accident, repair the source of the leak and dry out the affected walls if they are waterlogged.
In any case, do not undertake renovation or embellishment work before the complete elimination of humidity and mold. Proceeding too quickly does not allow total eradication and the humidity will reappear on your new supports. Take the time to act in the right order, be patient and avoid wasting money unnecessarily!
In addition, avoid applying a water-repellent coating on an uncured wall; you would only lock the humidity inside; in this case, it will extend into the walls of your home until it finds another place to splash out. In this case, the treatment will be even more difficult and even more expensive!
Prevent the formation of new mold on the walls
To prevent mold from returning, have your walls properly insulated. A cold, poorly insulated wall that suffers from thermal bridges facilitates the formation of mold. By insulating your walls, you reduce these risks and save money on your energy consumption.
Also, properly ventilate your rooms. Equip your home with good ventilation in order to stir the air continuously and evacuate excess humidity naturally before it stagnates. Every day, open your windows for 5 to 10 minutes to renew the indoor air; even if it’s cold, tell yourself that you are also helping to eliminate bacteria, dust mites and other micro-organisms from your home at the same time. In winter, a short but intense daily airing is ideal and sufficient.