Often times, inspectors and contractors receive calls from homeowners describing a mold problem that recently developed on the walls and ceilings of their homes. Usually they describe the mold patterns as black spots or stains on the walls and ceilings that seem to follow the frame of the house.
The good news for these homeowners is that the stains do not usually get moldy and are unlikely to a Health hazard for the residents or a structural hazard for the building. The problem they describe is known as “ghosting” or “thermal bridges”. While this problem is not harmful, it can be bothersome.
If you’ve noticed this unusual speckle pattern in your home, it will be helpful to understand why ghosting occurs on walls and ceilings, and what can be done to correct it.
Understand the problem of ghosting on walls
To visualize the thermal bridges, let’s think of a house in winter – let’s say you own one House in Denver, CO. You are in your cozy, warm room and cook, clean, breathe and shower – all of this creates moisture in the house. You could also burn candles, incense, or wood for a fire. In winter, when your home is doing its job, insulation will help keep the cold outside and the heat inside. The insulation is installed in the tunnel shafts within the walls and on the floor of the attic. The limiting factor for most insulation materials is that they don’t cover the wooden frame of the building, just the empty spaces between the frames.
Ghosting occurs when slightly damp, warm, and possibly sooty indoor air condenses on the colder sections of walls and ceilings because part of the wooden frame is not insulated. This results in black soot stains on your walls and ceilings that follow the patterns of the framing of your home. Sometimes stains can even reveal nails in a wall as the metal becomes more of a condensing surface. Usually, the amount of condensation isn’t enough to cause mold or texture problems, but it does create irritating lines on your walls and ceilings. How can you fix that?
Steps to Repair Ghosting and Black Spots
The first step you need to take to stop ghosting on walls is to get rid of it Indoor air particles. Stop burning candles, firewood, or incense. The next step is to monitor the relative humidity in the house. Buy an inexpensive humidity and temperature meter and try to keep indoor humidity below 55 percent during the cold winter months. You can usually do this by turning on bathroom fans, which have a drying effect on your home when you let out moist warm air and replace it with dry cold air. Finally, you’ll need to use stain-resistant paint to seal the stains and repaint the walls and ceilings.
When you see the stains developing in larger patterns on the wall or ceiling in places between This means that the wall or ceiling is likely not properly insulated. Unfortunately, the only solution is to open up the wall or ceiling and properly insulate it.
What if the black spots are actually mold?
If you call a professional and find that the black spots are actually mold, you have a few options depending on the severity of the mold. Regardless of what you do, it is important that you consult an expert to assess the situation and identify the health risks. Once you’ve done this, you can call in a cleaning company to scrub the infected area with specialized cleaning and cleaning products. If the mold is less strong, you can create a mix of detergents and scrub the mold yourself. To do this, follow the steps below:
- Create a solution that is 1/4 bleach and 3/4 water.
- Soak the affected areas of the wall thoroughly until saturated with the solution.
- Leave the solution on the affected areas for 5-10 minutes.
- Scrub the affected area with a brush until the mold stains are removed.
- Repeat until the stains have been cleaned.
How can I prevent mold from forming?
Keep the following tips in mind to avoid mold growth:
- Keep your bathroom fan running during and after you bathe to prevent moisture from building up. If possible, shower with the door open to encourage blood circulation and proper ventilation.
- Quickly wipe off important spills from water or other liquids.
- Use mold-resistant paint in bathrooms and other rooms where there is significant moisture.
- Clean your bathroom regularly.
So next time you notice black spots in your own house or in houses on the street Real estate market If you are considering buying, don’t panic. Contact a local inspector or contractor who specializes in mold removal. This can help you determine the severity and extent of the problem, whether it’s ghosting on the walls or mold.