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Painters in Concord – Controlling Mold and Mildew before You Paint

Painters in Concord – Controlling Mold and Mildew before You Paint

Painters in Concord - Controlling Mold and Mildew before You Paint

Painters in Concord understand mold and mildew flourish in dark, damp areas. Mold spores will attach to clothing and be brought inside so it is safe to say that mold is everywhere no matter what is done. However, it is important to have a home maintenance schedule to keep the home free of moisture, the key culprit in mold growth. Repair leaks around roof flashings, windows and doors, and plumbing to keep the mildew from invading within the walls. Remember to check that the home is properly ventilated through the roof and ensure exhaust fans in bathrooms are clean. That being said, mold and mildew will still occur and it is imperative that it be removed before any painting projects begin.

Mold likes porous surfaces such as drywall, flat latex paints, or wood. Simply painting over the mold will hide it for a little while. The mold is still growing in the microscopic crevices, however, and will re-grow over time right out of the paint. Ironically, it feeds on the breakdown of the paint. Regrowth means double the work is needed to clean, rid, and then repaint the area. Mold is not always a dark color, so before painting surfaces that are suspected of mildew coverage, spot-test the area with a bit of bleach. If the area lightens and can be brushed away, that is mold and must be carefully removed.

There is a growing concern that the most common method of cleaning mold (by using a bleach and water mixture) is too toxic. While it cleans the area it may not really inhibit future mold growth on a porous surface. Borax and vinegar are two common household cleaners that are effective for mold removal, both as a mold killer and a mold inhibiter. Mix one part borax and two parts vinegar in warm water. Spray or wipe the area thoroughly. For tougher or harder to reach areas, use a soft brush to gently scrub away the mildew stain. Rinsing the area is not critical because any residual left will continue to inhibit future growth. The same products are safe for pressure washers when preparing exterior house coverings for paint; afterwards, be sure to thoroughly rinse the plants around the home. Allow the areas to completely dry before attempting any painting.

In the meantime, re-check to see if the culprits causing the mold are solved: Caulk all areas around doors and windows. Re-caulk cracks around bathtub tiles and shower fixtures. Repair leaky pipes and ventilate them if condensation is occurring. Seal any holes in the drywall. Make sure all soffit vents in the roof are clear for adequate home ventilation. Vacuum and wipe off the fan blades in bathroom ceiling ventilators. Test the blocks in basement walls for condensation that lends to dampness in a home. Be sure crawlspaces under the home have proper drainage, too. Do not hesitate to hire a professional to make sure the repairs and painting are done correctly. Painters in Concord are highly trained to identify problematic areas. If possible, run a dehumidifier in the home to control future outbreaks.

Once the surface has been cleaned, repaired, and thoroughly dried it is time to paint. The first coat must be a good quality primer especially made to seal any small lingering pesky spores. Paint manufacturers have made great strides in product improvements, but still, do not be tempted to use them solely or skip the cleaning step. If any of the leftover stain bleeds through, a second or third coat will be necessary. Better to be safe than sorry at this critical stage. Allow each coat to completely dry before adding additional layers. When the area is properly primed, roll or brush on one or two coats of a high quality paint formulated for the area being painted. Professional painters in Concord do some serious label reading to ensure buying the correct product for the job.


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