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My family is renovating an apartment and someone thought there was mold inside some drywall that showed water stains from when there was a leak in upstairs apartment.

This person prepared a Borax water solution using 20 Mule Team Borax (supersaturated as there was still powder at the bottom after vigorous mixing), gouged some holes in the wall and sprayed the solution into the wall. Their plan was to kill the mold inside the wall and plaster over the gouges so as to save money by not hiring a mold-removal specialist and avoid replacing the drywall.

I am skeptical of this plan and turn to this community to ask:

  1. Does this plan have any merit?

  2. How can I tell if there really is mold in the wall?

  3. How can I tell if the mold is all dead after the Borax solution was sprayed into the wall?

  4. Will paint and plaster be enough to cover up any surviving mold and keep it contained in the dry wall?

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  • Just because drywall got wet at some point someone decided to gouge holes and waste $ on a process that would never work. Get a mold test kit, test it, almost every piece of demintional lumber in the home has mold spores in it, some are not hazardous, even ones that look black but there are some that can kill.+ warloki.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 11, 2018 at 16:18

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  1. NO this plan has no merit, spraying the borax water solution in a hole would only get some, if any of the mold and you would be guesting anyway. If your house was on fire would you drill holes in the walls and spray water at the holes and hope?
  2. The only way to check for mold is to open up the wall and testing spots that look suspicious.(If you really think that there is mold, you will need to have on a mask, googles, gloves,and full suit when opening up the wall, just to be on the safe side.) If the test show black mold you need have a specialist get rid of it.

  3. See number 2.

  4. Your question leads me to believe that you think that the borax is not going to work, but to answer your question NO. If there is mold and you do not get it all out, it can come back. Mold needs to be removed and drywall replaced. Black mold need to be remove by a specialist, and then you can drywall.

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    +1 - In most US municipalities, #2 is law, and professional remediation is required by code.
    – tahwos
    Aug 17, 2015 at 21:51

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