Can You Paint Over Mould?

Can You Paint Over Mould?

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Key Takeaways:

  1. Understanding Mould and Its Characteristics: Mould is a specific type of fungus that thrives in moist or humid conditions, both indoors and outdoors. It reproduces by dispersing spores and can cause damage to surfaces like walls, ceilings, and furniture.
  2. The Pitfalls of Painting Over Mould: Painting over mould may seem like a quick fix, but it is a temporary solution that fails to address the root cause—excessive moisture. Mould thrives in damp environments, and painting over it won’t eliminate the underlying moisture issue. Moreover, this approach may worsen the problem.
  3. Comprehensive Approach to Mould Remediation: To effectively tackle mould in the home, it’s crucial to identify and eliminate the source of excess moisture. This may involve repairing leaks, using mould-killing solutions, improving ventilation, or reducing humidity levels

It’s critical to have a thorough strategy when dealing with mould in your home. While covering the mould with paint could seem like a quick cure, it’s crucial to be aware of the risks and restrictions.

Because of the potential health hazards and unpleasant appearance, finding mould growing on the walls of your home can be concerning. 

It’s understandable to want to remedy the issue as soon as possible, but merely painting over the mould won’t do the trick. Sooner or later, the mould will unavoidably return and cause the same issues.

You must take some precautions when painting over mould to guarantee that the paint job lasts and that the mould does not reappear. 

What is Mould? 

A particular sort of fungus that thrives in moist or humid conditions is mould. It can be found both inside and outside, and it frequently appears in places with inadequate ventilation, a lot of damp, or water damage.

Mould reproduces by dispersing spores into the atmosphere, which can be inhaled and result in some medical issues. Personal items like clothing and furniture can also harm surfaces like walls, ceilings, and carpets.

There are many different types of mould, each with its characteristics and potential health risks. Some common types of mould found in homes include black, green, and white mould. It’s important to identify the type of mould present and take appropriate measures to eliminate it.

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black and green mould

Why Painting Over Mould is a Poor Choice? 

While it may seem like a quick and easy solution to the problem, it will only offer a temporary fix, and the mould will inevitably return.

Mould is a type of fungus that thrives in damp and humid environments. It can grow on various surfaces with visible signs, including walls, ceilings, and floors

Painting over mould won’t fix the issue’s root cause, which is the excessive moisture that first causes the mould to grow.

Painting over mould might exacerbate the issue. The moisture trapped beneath the paint can encourage the formation of further mould; as a result, the paint may eventually peel or flake, exposing the mouldy surface below.

Mould can be more than just an eyesore; mould can also be dangerous to your health, especially if you’re a susceptible person like a youngster, elderly person, or someone with breathing problems. 

Mould spores can cause many health difficulties, such as allergic reactions, respiratory problems, and skin irritation when they are discharged into the air.

To properly address the mould problem in your home, it’s essential to identify and eliminate the source of the excess moisture that allows the mould to grow. 

This could involve repairing leaks, using mould-killer solutions, improving ventilation, or reducing humidity levels. Once the underlying issue has been resolved, the affected area must be thoroughly cleaned and properly treated with an appropriate anti-mould solution.

Painting Over Mould

Why Is Mould Growing In Your Home?

Mould can grow if your home has an excess of moisture, whether from water leaks, poor ventilation, or high humidity levels.

The following are some of the most frequent causes of mould growth in homes:

  • Leaks: If leaks in your home from the roof, the plumbing, or the walls- might foster mould growth. Mould growth is possible in any regularly wet location.
  • Poor ventilation: This might result in an environment where moisture is trapped and unable to escape from your home. Due to their naturally high amounts of moisture, bathrooms and kitchens can be particularly problematic.
  • High humidity levels: If the humidity levels in your home are consistently high, this can create an environment where mould can thrive. Humidity levels above 60% can encourage mould growth.
  • condensation: If there is condensation on your windows, this can be a sign that the humidity levels in your home are too high. If this is left unchecked, it can create the perfect environment for mould growth. Learn more about condensation treatment
  • Flooding: If your home has been flooded, this can create an environment where mould can grow rapidly. Any area affected by floodwater must be cleaned and dried thoroughly to prevent mould growth.

Signs of Paint Over Mold

Painting over mould may seem like a quick and easy solution to cover up the problem, but it is not a smart idea. It can create a potentially dangerous environment in your home, and several signs may indicate that paint has been applied over the mould.

Here are some of the signs that may indicate that paint has been applied over mould:

  1. Discolouration: If the paint on your exterior/interior walls or ceiling is discoloured, this may be a sign that mould is growing underneath. Mould can cause the paint to appear darker or discoloured in spots.
  2. Peeling or flaking: If the paint is peeling or flaking off, it may be a sign that it was applied over the mould. Mould can cause the paint to lose its adhesion and start to peel or flake off.
  1. Musty odour: If your home has a musty odour, this may be a sign that mould is growing behind the walls or ceiling. Painting over the mould will not eliminate the musty odour and could worsen it.
  2. Allergic reactions: If you or someone in your household is experiencing allergic reactions, such as coughing, sneezing, or skin irritation, this may be a sign that mould is present in your home. Painting over the mould will not eliminate the allergens and could worsen the symptoms.
  3. Water stains: If there are water stains on your walls or ceiling, this may be a sign of moisture present, which can create an environment for mould to grow. Painting over the water stains before even using a stiff bristle brush will not address the underlying issue and could lead to mould growth underneath the paint.
paint over mould

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How Should you Treat Mould Before Painting?

If you paint over mould without addressing the underlying issue, the mould will continue to grow and eventually reappear. 

Here are the steps you should take to treat mould before painting:

Identify The Source Of Moisture

Mould grows in damp environments, so identifying and addressing the source of moisture is critical to treating mould. The source of moisture could be a leaky pipe, a roof leak, or poor ventilation. Once you have identified the source of moisture, you must fix the issue to prevent the mould from returning.

Clean The Affected Area

Before treating mould, you should clean the affected area to remove any surface mould. You can use warm water, mild detergent, or a commercial anti-mould solution. Scrub the area with a soft brush to remove any loose and failing material on the surface, and rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Mould Before Painting

Apply An Anti-Mould Solution

After cleaning the affected area, you should apply an anti-mould solution to kill any remaining mould spores. Several anti-mould solutions with strong mould-resistant capabilities are available, including bleach, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and commercial anti-mould products.

Follow the instructions on the product label and ensure that the area is well-ventilated. Also, wear mask and rubber gloves while applying the solution to the mould.

Allow The Area To Dry

After treating the mould, you should allow the area to dry before painting. Moisture is the primary cause of mould growth, so ensuring that the area is dry will prevent the mould from returning.

Use fine-grade abrasive paper for sanding down any remaining mould, and use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to remove any dust or debris. Feather sound edges to remove any kind of loose material or visible paint defects, and then use a primer to seal the area. Once that is done, you can now safely apply your new paint finish.

Apply a Mould-Resistant Paint

Once the area is dry, you should apply mould-resistant paint if you’re genuinely a DIY surface mould remover. Mould-resistant paints contain fungicides that inhibit mould growth and can help prevent the mould from returning. Such anti mould paint is readily available at most hardware stores and can be applied just like regular paint.

Choose The Right Paint

When selecting paint for your home, choose a mould-resistant paint that contains fungicides and more mould-inhibiting ingredients.

These paints are designed to resist mould growth and are readily available at most hardware stores. You can also use an anti-mould additive to any regular everyday paint product. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying times, as this will ensure that mould growth is inhibited.

Use A Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier can help reduce the moisture levels in your home, which can help prevent mould growth. Using a dehumidifier in areas of your home that are prone to moisture, such as damp basements or bathrooms, can be particularly effective.

If a mould killer added to the dehumidifier, it can further help reduce mould spores. It’s important to note that a dehumidifier doesn’t kill existing mould – it only helps to reduce moisture levels and prevent future growth.

Additionally, be sure not to leave the dehumidifier running for too long, as this can create an overly dry environment, which can be uncomfortable and bad for your health. Regularly clean with stiff-bristled brushes and maintain your dehumidifier to get the most out of it.

Ventilate The Area

Proper ventilation is essential when painting to prevent mould growth. Open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate, and use a fan to increase airflow in the room.

Remember, painting over mould without addressing the underlying issue is not a smart idea and can create a potentially dangerous environment in your home.

Free Consultation

You want to ensure that the steps you take to remove the black mould and redecorate your home are prompt, lasting, secure, and safe for your home, right?

To restore your property to a state where it may be decorated securely and with little risk of the same black mould reappearing, contact our property care specialists for various services, including damp surveys, mould surveys, and damp treatment.

Picture of Jake Fitzgerald - Damp Surveyor

Jake Fitzgerald - Damp Surveyor

Surveyor of Timber & Dampness in Buildings (CSTDB) & ( MRICS ) Chartered Quantity Surveyor

Jake is a qualified chartered quantity surveyor and experienced damp specialist with a unique skill set in thermal imaging. With a focus on effective solutions, Jake combines his expertise in quantity surveying and thermal imaging to accurately assess and address damp-related issues. He utilises advanced technology to identify hidden moisture sources and develop targeted strategies, ensuring comprehensive and cost-effective solutions for his clients. With a commitment to open communication and client satisfaction, Jake delivers cutting-edge solutions that tackle damp challenges head-on.

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