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Serving South East Idaho city's such as Rexburg, Idaho Falls, Blackfoot, Pocatello & Jackson Hole Wyoming as your premier mold removal specialist, indoor air quality (IAQ) expert and home mold remediation services provider

What has to be done to get rid of the mold on my ceiling you ask...First, we must identify whether or not the ceiling in question contains insulation.   If the ceiling in question happens to be on the top floor of the home, it is likely insulated.  Exception:  top floor ceilings may lack insulation if the attic insulation is located on the roof sheathing, but keep in mind this is an unusual arrangement.  Inner ceilings are typically uninsulated. Exceptions to this rule of thumb are occasionally found when a second floor was installed at a later date.  Also, some homes have insulation on interior ceilings for sound reduction purposes.

Uninsulated, inner-building ceilings are both less likely to support mold growth and easier to remediate if mold growth does occur. If you’ve spent any time on our site you have picked up that for mold to grow it requires both a food source and moisture.  Sheetrock, especially the kind with paper on the backside, is an especially delicious food source for mold.  Thus, we’re left with moisture as the controllable factor.  This is where uninsulated ceilings show their advantage.  Because they lack insulation, air is free to move on both sides of the sheetrock, allowing dry out to occur much faster.  Additionally, if mechanical dry out techniques are necessary, such as dehumidifiers and/or air movers, the free flowing air allows for exponentially faster moisture removal. Remember though, we’re not talking about uninsulated top floor ceilings.

Replace or Repair?
The first choice encountered in a ceiling remediation project is simple. Is the ceiling material salvageable or does it require replacement?  In general, if the mold growth is due to liquid water intrusion (i.e. roof leak), replacement is recommended.  If the mold damage is due to condensation, the ceiling can often be repaired without replacement.

If replacement is warranted, contact a professional mold remediation company.  Removing a ceiling can introduce a tremendous quantity of mold spores into the indoor air, and thus, containment is necessary.  If cleanup is appropriate, small jobs under a couple square feet may be undertaken by a homeowner.

Remediating Mold in Ceilings

Condensation Based:

If the mold growth is due to elevated airborne moisture, the extent of the mold growth will be readily discernible from the interior of the home. Just stand in the middle of the room and look up.  If you don’t see mold, there won’t be mold on the other side of the ceiling.

 What to look for:

  • Discoloration is brown/yellow
  • Mold/staining follows as circular pattern
  • Mold growth is confined to a single region
There are several reasons that moisture and mold growth can happen on ceilings. However, in this section, we will focus on the two most common reasons. The first is airborne moisture, and the second is liquid moisture.

 What to look for:

  • Mold growth is worse at the perimeter of the room
  • The room is on the top floor
  • The attic is poorly insulated
  • Discoloration is light gray (ghosting)

Liquid/Roof Leak

Ceiling Mold Growth

Identifying the Cause

Liquid Moisturehappens when water, in its liquid form, is directly exposed to materials. This happens in cases of plumbing leaks, roof leaks, etc.

Jeffrey Parsons

2300 North Yellowstone Highway, Idaho Falls, ID, United States

Office: (208) 535-3289

Cell: (208) 360-7892 


Airborne Moisture occurs with warm, moist air interacts with a cool ceiling. This action causes condensation which leads to mold growth

Identifying the Extent

There are some...Positives, when it comes to ceiling mold problems. They have several "positive" attributes to them. The first, and an obvious reason, ceiling problems are often identified quickly. This can prevent a minor roof leak from turning into a major mold issue.  Second, since ceilings are unobstructed from the underside, meaning they will dry out much more quickly than in other locations.  However, the "positives" end here because there are many caveats to both of these scenarios.  But first, let’s look at ceiling construction.

Common in older homes, excessive humidity and poorly insulated ceilings can lead to mold growth on ceilings. Mold growth due to humidity (as opposed to liquid moisture) is often identifiable by the growth pattern.  A trained professional can usually diagnose the cause of ceiling mold with just a quick glance.


Liquid Based:

The opposite is true for roof leaks, pipe leaks, etc.  Far more mold growth may be present on the backside of the sheetrock than the side facing the room. A visual inspection of the backside of the ceiling is the only way to properly identify the extent of the mold growth.