Does Painting Over Mold Stop Its Growth?

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Homeowners have long revered the KILZ brand of paint for the ability to cover up walls that have massive problems. Landlords use it to help cover up smoke-stained walls and water damage. Homeowners love its coverage and ability to cover bright reds and dark browns.

Mold, however, is a different beast. Many people think they can paint over fungal growths. Maybe if they buy the mold-resistant version of KILZ it will kill the mold and let them decorate their walls.

These folks are always perplexed when the mold comes right back.

Mold isn’t like other dirt spots or stains. It is a living microorganism that plays a vital role in digesting dead wood into dirt. It has detected the dampness in your wall and believed that it needs to digest your house. The worst part is that mold isn’t deterred by paint.

Mold can also cause health problems. Black mold is especially dangerous due to the spores it produces. It can create stomach pain, breathing problems, headache, and fatigue.

In addition to black mold, there are other mold types. Some folks want to try natural remedies such as vinegar or borax acid. However, the health risk that mold poses are worse than properly handled chemicals. This guide will provide the best solution for killing black mold without risking yourself more than necessary.

What is the best way to cover mold? Is there a paint that kills mold? Here is the easy step-by-step solution you are looking for.


Step #1 Solve The Water Problem

Mold thrives where there is a damp surface. The first order of business is to solve that dampness.  If the mold is a result of a leaky roof or broken pipe, then solving the dampness problem is fairly straightforward: stop the water flow and use blowers to dry out the wet area.

Most people find it more cost-efficient to rent dehumidifiers and blowers for drying out wet wood. However, if you want to buy the equipment, ToolTally has some of the best deals on commercial blowers and humidifiers.

If you are dealing with mold on a porch or exterior wood, it pays to “look up.” Often this water is coming from above. There may be a gutter that is overflowing and causing the wood to rot from the constant dampness.  Or trees might be dropping water on the wood for days following every rain storm.

Another common problem is damp crawlspaces. Damp crawlspaces are a haven for mold and will coat the entire underside of a house with mold growth if given a chance.

If you are dealing with a damp crawlspace,  It could be that your house needs some landscaping around the house to route water around the crawlspace. Additionally, the crawlspace vents should be left open to make sure that it airs out properly.

A mildewing bathroom is also common. Older bathrooms tend to lack proper ventilation. Adding a vent — even a passive vent — can do a lot to help remove mildew problems in a bathroom. If you have a vent, make sure to turn it on while you shower.

If installing a vent isn’t an option, you can put a dehumidifer in the bathroom to remove the moisture from the air.


Step #2 Kill The Mold

Once you’ve solved the dampness, it is time to kill the mold. Make sure to wear a heavy-duty respirator like the 3M Mold remediation respirator kit.  Mold in the lungs can cause irreversible damage. It is worth the investment in proper breathing equipment to protect your lungs.

Many people choose to use bleach to kill the mold. Bleach is very efficient for that purpose. To use bleach, mix your bleach so that it is one cup of bleach to one gallon of water and spray it onto the area.

However, bleach is only good for killing mold on the surface of non-porous surfaces. If you are fighting a fungus that is growing on drywall or wood, you should use a fungicide that is designed to penetrate and kill the mold roots living inside the wood.

A reliable mold killer is the Concrobium brand aerosol. This aerosol can of fungicide is sold online and by almost any local hardware store. Wear your mask when applying it, but it is highly effective at killing and preventing the recurrence of mold growth.


Step #3 Prep and Prime The Moldy Surface

You wouldn’t paint a dirty wall, would you? In the same way, you want to remove the now-dead mold.

It is recommended to continue wearing your mask for this part. Once the mold killer has time to dry, it is time to scrape, sand, and remove the mold. Some people try to use vacuums to remove the sanded dust, but this risks further disseminating the fungus spores into the air.

A rag that has been dampened with bleach water or Windex seems to work well for removing small dust particles and cleaning the area once you have fully sanded and scraped the area.

Once the area has been cleaned, it is time to prime the surface. This is where I like to use Kilz or another mold inhibiting product. These primers are not mold-killers, but they do discourage the recurrence of the mold.

If you are painting a deck, use a mold-resistant primer to help provide an added barrier against future mold problems.


Step # 4 Paint The Mold

Choose a high-quality brand of paint. Many cheap consumer grades are very affordable, but these paints tend to form a weaker bond with the wall and commonly bubble or chipping issues.

A good-quality brand of paint is going to cost around $35 per gallon. It isn’t cheap, but it requires lighter coats and goes on much faster and smoother. The finished product lasts for years with minimal touch-up, causing the paint to pay for itself in the long term.

As you approach your mold problem, if you feel unqualified to handle your problem, there are many local mold remediation experts that you can call in for a free consultation.  


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