Mold on exterior facing bedroom walls

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Old 12-17-16, 08:31 AM
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Mold on exterior facing bedroom walls

We have a back bedroom where mold keeps accumulating on the walls. It accumulates more in areas where there is furniture near the wall, and only on the walls that are exterior facing.

I am 99% sure there is no insulation built into these walls. They are drywall on the inside and wood siding on the exterior, and also likely with no real moisture barrier behind the exterior siding. The problem is worse in the winter months. low temps average in 30-40's during winter and it's a foggy/coastal region.

We are planning to open the interior walls soon for some renovation- is it worth considering adding some insulation at that time? Or is the fact that we have no moisture barrier a bigger problem?

Thanks for any advice!

(behind dresser which sits ~6" from wall)
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Old 12-17-16, 08:47 AM
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Your problem is due to many factors. Insulation is the biggest one and would surely help. Your interior paint is the only vapor retarder that you need. No one ever moves furniture to wash walls, but that could have helped prevent this too. Cold air from your 2 windows doesn't help either. If they are single pane, you could consider replacing them with windows that have insulating glass.

I see there is no baseboard... so it's highly possible that a lot of cold air is coming under your wall, between the floor and the framing... along the edge of the carpeting.
 
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Old 12-17-16, 09:31 AM
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Isn't that baseboard I see in the top pic

Insulating and sealing in air leaks should take care of the problem. If you get rid of the moisture, you get rid of the mold. The mold is less likely to grow in the uncovered areas because of better air circulation which helps get rid of the moisture.
 
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Old 12-18-16, 05:41 PM
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Thanks for the advice! The windows are new fiberglass with double pane and they do not sweat like the old ones did. I think we will plan to put ininsukation when we open the walls. We are also planning to do a ceiling fan/light fixture which may help on the air circulation side of things.
 
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Old 12-19-16, 05:17 AM
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When you have furniture up against an exterior wall it blocks the heat from the room and makes the wall cold enough to condense moisture out of the inside air. This isn't moisture coming through the wall as much as inside humidity causing your problem. A fan directed behind that dresser will help to warm that area and reduce the condensation potential.

You should access and clean all of the active mold as those spores can spread throughout your house.

All of the comments about insulation are good and would help to keep those exterior walls warm. Hard for me to envision why anyone would build a house with zero insulation, but I live in cold country and not used to CA weather.

Bud
 
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Old 12-19-16, 08:47 AM
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It wasn't uncommon for florida houses built in the 60's not to have insulation in the walls, some didn't even have it in the attic A lot of these houses didn't even have a HVAC system. They were built cheap so they could be sold cheap. Most of them got updated as the years went on.
 
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Old 01-11-17, 07:50 PM
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I'd make sure there is proper drainage away from your house around those walls. Also, I would rip out the molded drywall and replace it mold resistant drywall.
 
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Old 01-11-17, 08:17 PM
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Thanks- we are already planing to gut the room as part of a remodel so I will make a note regarding mold resistant dry wall for the new stuff..
 
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