Wall paper isn't as common as it used to be. Somewhere along the line the fact that it was difficult to deal with, difficult to put up, and difficult to change made it lose its appeal, at least for the most part. However, there are still places clinging to their wall paper. When it comes to cleaning up mold messes, wall paper makes it more difficult.
Consider Getting Help.
Removing large amounts of mold from your home is often dangerous. It is important that you do a great job and you want to make sure that it is done right because mold can cause many problems. Professional help will cost more, but you have fewer worries. It is best that you consider this for large projects (and getting rid of mold behind the wallpaper is a large project!)
Wear The Right Clothes.
This is going to be a big job. You want to make sure that you are protecting yourself from the mold. You will need long rubber gloves, goggles, and a respirator in order to safely remove the wallpaper and clean the mold behind it. For more on what you should wear check out the article What To Wear When Removing Mold From Your Home.
Set Up a Barrier.
You want to have a great barrier in place so that you don't spread mold throughout your home. Get painters drop clothes to cover the floor and other areas. You should also hang a drop cloth over the door. Use duct tape to hold it to the ceiling. Using two over lapping drop clothes will give you the best option. You should then turn on the exhaust fan and open the window. Put a fan in the window to expel air and floating mold spores outside. For more on setting up a barrier check out the article Mold Removal: The Containment Area.
Prepare to Safely Dispose of Your Wallpaper.
With mold growing behind your wallpaper you have a whole bunch of mold that is now sticking to your wallpaper. You will need to dispose of the wallpaper in a safe manner. You will want large black trash bags and duct tape. You will place the moldy wallpaper into the bag, then tape it shut and make sure it is well sealed. Finish by placing it in a second bag and taping that shut as well. For more information see the article Mold Removal: Disposing of Moldy Items Safely.
The process for removing your wallpaper and getting rid of your mold isn't really an easy one. However, it can be done if you take it one step at a time.
Remove the wallpaper. If you have ever tried to remove wallpaper (with or without mold growing behind it) you will know that it isn't that easy. Here are a few tips to get things moving along.
- Your best bet is to buy a tool that will pierce the wallpaper. While you can use a utility knife, this is often a bad idea because you can pierce the drywall and you really don't want to do that with mold growing on its surface.
- Then using a wallpaper remover spray down or cover the paper with the remover. Follow the directions. If you don't have the money for wallpaper remover you can use vinegar water. However, you will have to wait longer for it to loosen the wall paper. Wet it well and leave it for 30 minutes.
- Use a putty knife to pull up the wallpaper and to scrape off the wall. Make sure that you place all the wallpaper in the garbage bag. As it fills up seal the bag up with duct tape. Double bag it before throwing it out. You want to keep the mold spores in the bag and you don't want to let them out through your house as you are throwing things away.
Clean the wall. Now that the wallpaper is gone and has been disposed of it is important to make sure that you do a great job cleaning the wall. To do this you should spray it down with vinegar, scrub as needed, and wipe it off with clean water. Keep working until no more mold comes off the wall. You will also want to make sure that you wash areas that don't seem to have any mold because they are likely to have spores clinging to them and you want to kill those spores.
Dry everything out. Mold grew because of the moisture issue. So, you want to make sure that the wall dries thoroughly before you do anything else. You can use heaters, air conditioners, dehumidifier, and fans to speed up the drying process.
Try to prevent future problems. Once you have killed the mold with vinegar and cleaned it off through washing you should work on keeping it away. To do this you will need to buy a mold preventing primer. Let it dry thoroughly before doing anything else. This not only makes a great surface to put fresh wallpaper on or to paint over, it will also add some protection against mold in the future.
Finish the room. You should finish the room by adding a paint or wallpaper. You will want to choose one that is good at blocking mold since this is an area that molds easily.
Remove the plastic. You should make sure that you pull down the plastic and roll it up. Try not to move it around too much because it is now covered in spores. Place it in a plastic bag, seal that bag with duct tape, and place it in a second bag.
Clean. While the plastic has helped to take care of the mold issues, there are likely mold spores everywhere in the room. You should wipe down the floors and all surfaces using vinegar and water (1 part vinegar to 1 part water). This will clean up the mold spores.
If you get the chance to remodel or update this room in your home you should consider replacing your drywall with a version that is waterproof and will help keep mold at bay. This moisture repellent drywall (or cement board or sheet rock) is as easy to use as the regular version, but it makes a huge difference in the quality of the wall in areas where there are high amounts of moisture such as in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.
It's a big job to get rid of mold behind your wallpaper, but it is something that you can do with a bit of determination and a bit of hard work. Take your time and make sure that you do it right while wearing protective gear and taking the time to bag everything up well.