How to Remove Mold From Drywall

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how to remove mold from drywall

Did you know mold on drywall can lead to serious respiratory disorders? It is important to remove mold as soon as you notice it has started to grow.

Methods for killing mold differ depending on if the walls are painted or not. In case the drywall is coated, it can be easy to clean by merely using water and an appropriate cleaning agent. However, the task is a lot more difficult when the wall is not painted.

There may even some occasions even where you need to simply remove the drywall and start again. But before we get you into a panic, let’s take a look at how to remove the mold using good old elbow grease.

Our recommended way of removing mold on drywall is to use a mold fogger, however if you want to try other methods first then keep reading.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. All opinions are our own we pride ourselves on keeping our articles fair and balanced. For more info see our disclosure statement.

black mold on drywall

How to Remove Mold From Painted Drywall

Step 1: Select a mold killing cleaning agent

The market has a number of options when it comes to cleaning agents.

Ranging from mild to potent, the options are available in both chemical and natural alternatives. Depending on the severity of black mold problems, you may go for a stronger chemical if needed. The main options are:

  • Baking Soda: Create a cleaning solution with one part of baking soda added to five parts of water. It will be the mildest yet safest cleanser to use.
  • Vinegar: Mixing vinegar with equal parts of water can be a slightly stronger cleaning solution. It is completely natural and safe when you have pets or children around.
  • Detergents: Use detergents as per the directions on the bottle. These are completely safe to use with children or pets around.
  • Bleach: Not everyone recommends using bleach as its fumes can be harmful to breathe in. However, it can be a strong effective cleaner that is safe for removing mold on drywall. Mixing one part of bleach with three parts of water can offer you a strong solution.
  • Concrobium Mold Control: This is by far our most preferred way to clean mold. It not only kills the mold, but creates a protective barrier so no mold can grow back. Can be bought in a handy spray bottle and no mixing is required.
Best Choice
concrobium spray

Our Preferred Mold Control

Concrobium Mold Control Spray

  • Use to eliminate mold, mildew, musty odors and prevent regrowth
  • EPA-registered formula crushes mold spores as it dries and leaves an invisible, barrier
  • Odorless solution cleans between 80-110 sq. ft. per 32 oz. bottle
  • Unique mold spray contains no bleach or harsh chemicals, safe for use on a wide range of surfaces

Step 2: Pour the cleaning solution into a spray bottle

Take your mixed cleaning solution and pour it into a spray bottle. Ensure that the solution is mixed thoroughly by shaking the bottle.

Step 3: Properly ventilate room

In the case that you are using a stronger chemical (bleach or mold control) you will want to make the room is well ventilated. Bleach especially contains harmful elements and should not be inhaled. So before you begin the cleaning process, make sure all the doors and windows are open.

During this step, you may also want to use an air purifier with a HEPA filter to stop the mold spores from spreading to another area.

Step 4: Protect surrounding areas

how to get rid of mold

Accidental spills of the chemicals or cleaners in use is possible and might end up damaging items. Hence, move furniture and other belongings outside the room you are cleaning. Make sure you cover the floor using a plastic drop cloth.

Step 5: Spray the cleaning solution on the mold

Now you are ready to attack the mold, take out the spray and spray a little bit on the mold.

Make sure you shake it well before using. You do not want to drench the area as additional moisture could result in an increase to the mold problem or damage to your walls.

The best thing to do here would be spraying the solution on the mold twice and covering it entirely with the solution, but making sure the solution is not running down the wall.

Step 6: Use a Brush

Use a soft bristle cleaning brush or an old toothbrush to scrub the area. If you do not have either of these, you may use the abrasive side of a dish sponge, just be careful not to damage your wall. You should scrub till you no longer see any visible mold around the area.

Step 7: Dry the Area

Areas left wet or damp are a breeding ground for mold, so dry the areas thoroughly by pointing an electric fan at the wall.

Step 8: Stain-blocking paint

Sometimes when you clean away mold on drywall it will leave a stain that is impossible to remove by scrubbing. To cover this up you will need to use a stain blocking primer and paint color of your choice to hide the stain.

Best Choice
KILZ Max latex sealer

Stain-Blocking Paint

KILZ Restoration Maximum Stain and Odor Blocking Interior Latex Primer/Sealer

  • KILZ MAX is a water-base primer, sealer, stain and odor blocker developed with new technology that’s formulated to perform like oil-and shellac-based products.
  • KILZ MAX tackles tough stains from water damage, rust, smoke, nicotine, grease, tannin, ink, pencil, felt marker, pet stains and more while also sealing pet and smoke odors.

How to Remove Mold on Drywall – Unpainted

Removing black mold from unpainted drywall is much tougher due to the fact that the mold can penetrate much deeper due to their being no protective barrier, but all is not lost and it definitely possible if you follow the steps discussed below:

Step 1: Protect surrounding areas

The first and foremost thing to do is to cover the flooring and other surrounding areas by using a plastic drop cloth. Make sure you tape the sheet into place to ensure your surfaces are properly protected.

Step 2: Mark the mold

Follow this up by marking the mold on the walls by using a pencil. Mark a square/rectangle around the mold making sure to leave some space between the visible mold and the pencil marks. This marked area also needs extend over two wooden wall beams that are behind the drywall. You will have to remove more wall than needed as this will ensure that you are removing the mold spores that are not visible to the naked eye. It will also enable you to replace that particular section of the drywall.

Step 3: Use a knife to cut the area

Use a jab saw for cutting the area by sawing piercing through the wall and sawing around the lines marked using the pencil.

It is important that before using the jab saw, you make sure there are no electrical wires, water pipes or other items that you may damage in the wall.

If you are unsure, make a very small hold with a screw driver first and slowly knock enough out of the drywall till you can make sure it is safe. After the marked area of the drywall becomes free, carefully remove the moldy piece and set it down on the plastic below.

Step 4: Clean the room with a HEPA vacuum

HEPA Vacuum to remove mold spores

Use a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) vacuum to clean the entire room.

This needs to be done as mold spores may have been disturbed and moved about during the cleaning process. If you can’t get a hold of a HEPA vacuum then a regular one will do.

Step 5: Carefully evaluate Doors & Windows

In the case that the mold was near any doors or windows, ask someone to spray water on the door or window from the outside using a hose.

Check if any moisture makes its way into the room. If you do notice that moisture is evident, then seal the leak from both the sides to prevent the leak from appearing again.

Step 6: Fit the new drywall

Cut a new piece of drywall to fit the hole you cut to remove the moldy area. Ensure it is as tight a fit as possible.

Step 7: Secure the drywall

Using drywall screws attach the drywall to the wooden beams on the wall behind it.

Step 8: Apply Joint Compound

black mold removal

The purpose of joint compound (also known as drywall compound) is to cover up the gaps between the new and old drywall and create a seamless finish. Apply the joint compound  over the perimeter of the new section of drywall. For a detailed guide on this, see this guide.

Step 9: Let the joint compound dry

Let the drywall compound dry for at least 24 hours. Follow this by using sandpaper to smooth the compound so it is flush with the wall after the compound has completely dried.
Step 11: Use a HEPA Vacuum cleaner

Lastly, clean the area with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) vacuum to remove any mold spores that might have landed in the surrounding areas. The idea here is to clean everything thoroughly and remove any chance of the mold reappearing.

Using a Mold Fogger

There are some occasions when there is just too much mold to remove by hand. When this happens you can either rip all the drywall out and start again or you can try using a mold fogger.

Foggers produce a fine mist of Concrobium mold control that evenly covers all surfaces in the room. It not only kills mold, but also creates a protective barrier to prevent mold from re-growing.

We have a great guide here on how to use a mold fogger.

Best Choice
concrobium Fogger

Our Favorite Mold Control Fogger

Concrobium Fogger

  • Made in the USA
  • Light and even dispersal of formula
  • 400 sq ft of coverage
  • Contains no ammonia, bleach, or volatile organic compounds
  • Actually kills the mold – eliminating it for good

Learn More

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Aaron Green
Aaron is the founder of and Essential Home and Garden. He likes to spend his spare time with his family, and doing DIY projects in the home and garden.

5 thoughts on “How to Remove Mold From Drywall”

  1. Avatar photo

    Water came in through the roof and mold was growing up the wall. A mitigation team came in, fogged, and treated the house. All the mold is still visible on the wall. The guy said it was dead and to just wipe it off before we paint. Does this drywall need to be replaced or just wiped off?

    • Aaron Green

      Depending on how deep the mold has grown into the drywall, you may be able to just wipe it off – or it may require some sanding.

  2. Avatar photo

    Anyway to treat unpainted drywall without removing the sheetrock or sections of the sheetrock?

    • Aaron Green

      Not reliably… because the wall has no painty protecting it – it is highly likely that the mold has sunk its roots deep into the drywall. The most reliable method is to remove the affected parts of the wall.

      • Avatar photo

        If the drywall feels spongy,you have no choice but to replace it,otherwise leave to dry get rid of the mould one way or the other and prime it again ,let it dry and then use ceiling paint

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