Painters in Concord understand that 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 you do.
However, having a home maintenance schedule is vital to keep your home free of moisture, which is the key culprit in mold growth. Dealing with mold and mildew before painting can be challenging. Removing it is the key to having a safe home environment. This is crucial, especially if a family member has health sensitivities.
A surface stained with mold and mildew is a common problem among homeowners. Mold thrives in spaces with high humidity and little to no light exposure. Unfortunately, mold can affect all other home areas, including the exterior.
The way to combat mold and mildew is to keep them from growing in the first place. You can repair leaks around roof flashings, windows and doors, and plumbing to keep mildew from invading the walls. Remember to ensure the home is correctly ventilated through the roof and clean bathroom exhaust fans. That being said, mold and mildew will still occur and must be removed before painting projects begin.
How to handle mold and mildew that are already visible?
There are mold-resistant paints already available in the market. But how can you deal with mold and mildew already on the surface?
Mold loves porous surfaces like drywall, wood, or flat latex paints. Simply painting over the mold will hide it for a little while. However, the mold is still growing in the microscopic crevices and will re-grow right out of the paint over time. Ironically, mold likes to feed on the breakdown of the paint. Regrowth means double the work is needed to remove the mold, clean, and then repaint the area.
Discoloration on the surface indicates the presence of mold spores in wood or painted surfaces that can grow back. Mold is not always of dark color, so before painting surfaces suspected of mildew infestation, 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.
The truth about bleach
There is a growing concern that the most common method of cleaning mold (using a bleach and water mixture) is too toxic. While it cleans the area, it may not inhibit future mold growth on a porous surface.
Instead, use a solution of borax and vinegar – everyday household items that, when combined, are proven more effective as mold killers and mold inhibiter.
Mix one part borax and two parts vinegar in warm water. Wipe or spray the area thoroughly. For more challenging or harder-to-reach areas, use a soft brush to scrub away the mildew stain gently. Rinsing the site is not critical because any residual moisture left will continue to inhibit future mold growth. The same products are safe for pressure washers when preparing exterior house coverings for paint.
Afterward, be sure to rinse the plants around the home thoroughly. Allow the areas to completely dry before attempting any painting.
Caulking is essential for preventing mold.
One cause of mold and mildew growth is the gaps, cracks, and openings in your home’s structure. Water and moisture can enter through these gaps and cracks and settle inside the building, causing mold or, worse, wood rot.
As you allow the surfaces to dry, in the meantime, check again to see if the culprits causing the mold are solved.
Caulk all areas around doors and windows. Re-caulk cracks and fissures around bathtub tiles and shower fixtures. Repair leaky pipes and ventilate them if condensation is occurring. Open the doors, windows, and exhaust fan to ensure proper air circulation.
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 house have proper drainage, too.
If you need help, 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.
Prime the areas
Once the surface has been cleaned, repaired, and thoroughly dried, use a primer before painting.
Before priming, you must ensure the surfaces are completely dried. Any moisture mixed in a coat of paint will keep the mold spores alive. But please note that even if the right formulation is applied, it still does not guarantee the complete elimination of mold spores.
Choose an acrylic primer with mildewcide. Apply two coats of that primer to the prepared surface. For painting interior walls, use a latex stain-blocking primer with a non-porous coating to prevent mold and mildew from feeding on air-borne moisture. It’s better to apply liberal coats of primer – the thicker the coats, the better the protection. It will also help seal any tiny lingering pesky spores.
Mold-resistant paint – can it really prevent mold?
As the name indicates, mold-resistant paint contains mold-inhibiting ingredients, particularly mildewcide, that prevent mold spores. It is best for areas in your home with high humidity and condensation, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and even closets.
However, please note that using mold-resistant paint doesn’t mean the spores will never reappear on your wall. While mold-resistant paint will not solve the problem permanently, it can prevent mold and mildew from growing.
While paint manufacturers have made great strides in product improvements, do not be tempted to use them solely or skip the cleaning step. Mold-resistant paint is not something you would usually apply just for the sake of using it. It is best to use it when you have already noticed some evidence of mildew.
Another, you don’t have to necessarily paint the entire room (such as a bathroom) with mold-resistant paint. Again, if you have already seen some evidence of mildew in specific areas, that’s where you will use the paint once these areas have been adequately cleaned and treated.
However, if the space is minimal or you suspect that more mildew will appear, you can use mold-resistant paint on the entire area in question.
When the area is properly prepped and primed, brush or roll one or two coats of mold-resistant paint.
After applying the first coat of mold-resistant paint, there may be leftover stains bleeding through it. In that case, you must use a second or third coat. It’s better to be safe than sorry at this critical stage. After application, allow the paint to dry completely before adding more layers if necessary. Professional painters in Concord do some serious label reading to ensure they buy the correct product for the job.