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Rachael_B 12-23-19 11:40 PM

Mold
 
Hi, I discovered there's mold behind wallpapers in my house. So I thought someone could help me what may be the cause? Humidity or air quality? That's spores so an air purifier should help, right?

JRMichler 12-25-19 06:22 PM

Mold spores are everywhere. They grow into a problem when there is moisture and something to eat, such as wood or the paper facing of drywall.

Vinyl wallpaper is a vapor barrier, and is on the cold side of the wall. When the inside temperature is below the outside dew point, moisture can condense under the wallpaper. The result is mold.

Eliminating the mold first requires eliminating the conditions that cause mold. The easiest and cheapest solution is to raise the inside temperature to the highest temperature at which you are comfortable. In our house, that's 78 to 80 deg F. If the house gets too humid because the air conditioner is not running enough to remove humidity, put in a dehumidifier. We use a 50 pint dehumidifier located in the far end of the house that does the job very nicely.

Another option is to remove all wallpaper, and paint the drywall with a moisture permeable paint.

If you really need the house cold inside, say less than 75 deg F, then you can add insulation along with a vapor barrier on the warm side (the outside). This will both reduce AC costs and make the house more comfortable. It may also require you to reduce the size of the AC and add a dehumidifier.

Adding 3" or 4" of closed cell foam insulation to the walls and ceiling will allow you to raise the inside temperature on hot days by several degrees for the same comfort because you will not have hot walls radiating heat at you.

If you want to study up on this subject, there is lots of good reading at: www.buildingscience.com.


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