Painting Over Mold or Mildew

Picture this; you wake up one morning and instead of the inviting smell of coffee, all you notice is a musty aroma in your home that wasn’t there last night. It smells like wet dirt, mildew, and death all in one. Your heart starts racing a little as reality sets in, causing your stomach to turn as well. What could it be? Lots of things come to mind, but none of them could be quite so disgusting or frightening. You start to see specks of black floating through the air and landing on your carpet, furniture, and walls. You pinch yourself to make sure you are awake because this must just be a nightmare although it seems pretty real….

Do you have mold or mildew in your home? Before you run off to call the pros, read this first. A professional mold inspection can help figure out if it is mold or mildew and what part of the building it is coming from. Note that the keyword is “Mold” and not mildew. They are very different things. Most people out there with a wet basement or dark hallway in their home don’t have any type of mold spores on their ceilings. Instead, they have a high humidity problem that has caused the formation of mildew – a common organic growth found nearly everywhere. I will discuss both in this article and teach you how to paint over either one of them without causing any health problems for yourself or others living in your home.


What is mold?

Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. Mold spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dry conditions, that do not support normal mold growth.

Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold.



What is mildew?

Mildew is a kind of mold that grows on surfaces when the temperature and humidity are just right. It often has a fluffy, powdery texture and usually appears white, gray, or yellow. Mildew can be found on wood, paper, carpet, food, and other materials. The mildew that forms in homes is generally white or grayish – black mildew is commonly found in areas where humidity is high, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Mildew has a musty odor, and can also be used to describe the smell itself. While it is not particularly harmful to healthy people, it can trigger allergies and cause breathing problems for those with compromised respiratory systems. Older people are most at risk for these problems since their immune systems are weaker than those of younger adults.

Mildew can grow on plants, food, and other organic materials. It can also grow on the surfaces of materials such as wallpaper, drywall, carpeting, and fabrics when they become damp. In addition to its unsightly appearance, mildew can make fabrics rot and deteriorate over time. Many people find the smell associated with mildew to be unpleasant as well.


The Difference between Mold and Mildew

This is a common problem in many parts of the country. Mold and mildew are both types of fungi that thrive in damp, dark environments, but they are not the same thing. Mildew is usually found on the surface of a damp area and is relatively easy to remove with household cleaners. On the other hand, mold can penetrate deep into porous materials and may require professional removal.

Mold typically has a fuzzy or slimy appearance, while mildew is more powdery. Mildew is most commonly found in the bathroom since it grows on tile and shower curtains. When you take a bath or shower and don’t wipe down surfaces properly, you create an environment for mildew to grow. Wiping down tile and curtains, especially after a steamy shower, will help keep mildew from growing in your bathroom.

Mold tends to grow in areas that are not well-ventilated or well-lit such as basements, attics, and crawl spaces. If your home has been flooded or has high humidity levels, it also may be at risk for mold growth. You can try to prevent mold growth by dehumidifying these rooms and keeping them well ventilated with fans when possible. If you do find mold in your home make sure to have it



Signs that you have mold or mildew.

1. Discoloration: the walls look black or grayish brown, not white like the plaster behind them.

2. Odor: moldy smells come from chemicals called mycotoxins, which have an ammonia odor.

3. Taste: some molds produce something like catsup or soy sauce in their cells when they break down so that you taste something sweet before the taste of mold itself emerges.

4. Swelling: if your walls have no place to expand except into the plaster, they may swell up before they split open and let the water out.



Possible Causes of Mold and Mildew

When it comes to mold and mildew, there are a lot of possible causes, but the most common are high humidity levels and moisture. These conditions allow mold and mildew to grow.



Mold and mildew are an issue for many people and it is often caused by a combination of moisture and air circulation in the home.



High humidity levels are the primary cause of mold and mildew. It is also the most common cause of mold and mildew in basements, attics, and crawl spaces.



Mold and mildew can also be a result of water. The water can come from a leak in the roof, a broken pipe, a water heater that is not working properly, or a burst pipe.



Mold and mildew can also be caused by dampness. Moisture can come from things like water that leaks into the home, water that is on the floor or wall, or dampness in the air.


Air circulation or ventilation

Mold can grow in these places because they are not well-ventilated, and there is usually high humidity. These conditions allow mold to grow and it can thrive in these areas. If your home has been flooded or has high humidity levels, it also may be at risk for mold growth.

Mold can grow in areas that are not well-ventilated or well-lit such as basements, attics, and crawl spaces.


How to Get Rid of Mold?

The first thing you should do is get the mold tested. If it has been there for a while, you will probably have to remove it, but if it is new, you can probably get away with treating it and having it gone. If you are going to do any work on the wall, make sure you are doing it on a day when it is not too humid. This is important because mold thrives in humid environments.

If you find mold in your home, it is important to get it out as soon as possible. You don’t want to wait until it is too late, because mold can be dangerous to your health.

Mold can be removed by using a household cleaner, but you should not use bleach, since it can be toxic. You should also use a cleaner that has a neutral pH. It is also important to remove the mold from the walls, and not just the area where you see mold. You can use a sponge to wipe down the wall, but be careful not to rub the mold into the wall.

You should also be careful not to touch the mold, because it may have a toxic substance on it.

You can also try to remove the mold by using a damp cloth. However, it’s not guaranteed that mold will not return with this method. The best solution is either you get a professional painter to do the job or you hire someone to fix the moisture problem in your home, it’s long term.



How to Prevent Mold in Your Home During a Paint Job?

Paint is the most common reason for mold growth in homes. When you are painting, the humidity can increase, and the paint can be in contact with the wall. It is important to keep the humidity down in the room, and the paint can be thinned to prevent mold from growing.

The paint should be applied to the wall at least one day before you move into the room, and it should be allowed to dry for a day or two.



What Happens If You Paint Over Mildew?

Think it’s simple to paint over mildew? Not so much. A quick Google search will tell you that the pros are hesitant to touch mildew without some serious cleaning first. But wait, it gets worse.

The people who know the most about how to deal with mildew are the people who have dealt with it the most. And that’s why the experts say: “Don’t bother painting until you’ve scrubbed and deodorized, and then don’t paint over them.”

Mildew stains can be difficult to remove. Most of the time, painting over mildew is a temporary solution that prevents mold from spreading further, but it won’t remove the stain. Sometimes, a mildew stain can be so severe that it’s necessary to remove mildew completely.

Don’t paint over mildew in areas that are visible, such as ceilings and walls. If you can’t get rid of the mildew in these areas, you’ll have to live with it for a while until it dries out and oxidizes.


Paint And Primer Won’t Kill Mold or Mildew

Unsightly defects in a home’s exterior such as peeling paint, damaged brick, or mildew and mold can turn an otherwise attractive property into a real eyesore. The sooner they’re fixed, the better.

While it may be tempting to try to cover up these imperfections, doing so can result in serious problems down the road. If you attempt to paint over unsightly mold or mildew, the humidity in your home will help keep it alive and active. You may also find that other water-soluble stains or discolored areas become more pronounced. In some cases, pain can even trap moisture in the wall and leave behind a wet spot that worsens over time.

Painting over mold without removing it first is a mistake because:

  • The paint will prevent you from seeing future mold growth in the same area;
  • Paint can peel, allowing moisture to penetrate and feed the mold growth;
  • Mold can continue growing underneath the paint.


Mold Is Not Just on the Surface

If you notice some surface mold, there is no guarantee that it doesn’t lurk beneath the surface. If your wall has a dampness problem, for example, there’s a good chance that the mold is going deeper into the drywall. If you cover up surface mold and don’t address any underlying issues with dampness or humidity in your home, the moisture will simply return and cause more problems with mold growth. With this in mind, removing any traces of mold from your home will help prevent it from growing back.


Why Painting Over Mold is not a Good Choice?

A full mold remediation effort is a big job. It requires the right equipment, knowledge, and training. If you consider all of the steps to a complete mold remediation project, it can be confusing and overwhelming. Many homeowners might want to skip some steps or cut corners to save time or money. The truth is, these seemingly small oversights can lead to bigger problems down the line.

Painting over mold is one of those shortsighted moves that can make your mold problem worse. Sure, it may look like a quick fix in the short term, but it’s not going to do anything about the root cause of your mold problem. Painting over your mold might even make it easier for new colonies to form and spread throughout your home or office.

Mold thrives in damp conditions where there is little airflow. The most common types of household molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, and Aspergillus. These are all airborne spores that thrive on subsistence from moist organic materials such as wood and drywall. Once these colonies get started, they can spread rapidly through HVAC systems and air ducts throughout an entire home or office building.


So how to paint over mold?

Painting over mold is a quick fix, but it won’t do anything about the root cause of your mold problem. The first thing you should do is to remove any moldy or wet areas and then use a mold- and mildew-killing primer.

After cleaning, prime the surface with an oil-based primer (or a shellac primer if there’s heavy staining from water or chemicals).

After priming, finish with two topcoats of latex paint.

The easiest way to do this is to use a spray paint gun. Spray the moldy area and then wait for the paint to dry. This will prevent mold from growing back and will also help prevent future mold growth.

It’s important to remember that paint will not cure as quickly when it’s wet, so you might want to wait a day or two before painting.

This will not work if you are using a roller or brush.

Make sure you clean the area well before applying paint.

This will prevent any mold spores from growing back and will also help prevent future mold growth.



What are the best paint and primer to paint over a moldy surface?

Mold-resistant paints are one of the best defenses against mold. These paints are designed to inhibit mold growth by killing all the mold spores present on the surface where the paint is applied. Mold resistant paints are also known as antimicrobial paints and they usually come with a guarantee to control and prevent mold growth for 5 years from the date of application. They can be used on both interior and exterior areas to stop any future mold growth.

However, these paints should not be used to remove existing molds because it will only stop them from spreading further, so make sure you treat any existing mold before applying this paint.

Best Mold Killing Primer – Zinsser Mold Killing Primer

Moldy and wet areas can be difficult to cover with paint. Zinsser’s Mold-Resistant Primer will kill mold and stop it from growing and spreading. It’s designed to penetrate and coat all the surfaces of moldy or wet areas, so you don’t have to worry about mold growing back. It also provides a perfect surface for the paint to stick to, so you can paint over any existing mold without having to remove it.

Mold-Resistant Primer is ideal for use on interior and exterior areas. Zinsser recommends that you apply it to any wet or moldy areas within 72 hours of cleaning and drying. This will prevent mold from growing back and will also help prevent future mold growth.

The Zinsser Mold-Resistant Primer is available in a variety of colors and finishes, including matte, satin, gloss, and semi-gloss. It’s also available in cans and spray bottles.


Best Mold Resistant Paint – Rust-Oleum Zinsser Perma-White

Zinsser Perma-White is a good choice for paint over mold because it’s designed to inhibit mold growth and prevent it from spreading. It also provides a perfect surface for the paint to stick to, so you don’t have to worry about mold growing back.

This is a fast-drying paint and it’s ideal for use on interior and exterior areas. It’s available in a variety of colors and finishes, including matte, satin, gloss, and semi-gloss. It’s also available in cans and spray bottles.



Now that you know how to prevent and remove mold, you should be ready to start painting your home. You can use any of the paint and primer options mentioned above to paint over mold.

We hope that you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us. We are happy to answer your questions and help you with any painting issues you might have. If you need any Interior Painting or Exterior Painting service in Edmonton, contact Painters Edmonton for a free quote.

By: Royal Painting Edmonton. (Painters Edmonton)