Does Paint Protect Against Mold and Mildew?

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When you’re a property manager or owner, you know firsthand that there is a consistent threat of mold and mildew getting on or into your building. Knowing what to do to prevent it and stop it from growing will save you time and money. 

Having mold in your home or business can cause it to smell, look dingy, and may cause health problems for your family or customers, and employees. So, if you do find mold, what do you do about it? What are the best ways to treat and remediate mold? Here is some explanation of what mold is, where you might find it, and how to treat and prevent it from growing.  

Causes of Mold and Mildew 

The first step to prevent mold and mildew is to know what it is and what causes it. There are thousands of different types of molds and mildews. These two things are similar, however, they do have some distinctive characteristics. When trying to picture mold, picture those fuzzy spots on the bread you left in the drawer too long. Mold is typically green or black and has that fuzzy appearance. Mildew is usually gray or white and has a flatter, less fuzzy appearance. Mildew is a surface fungus, meaning, it does not penetrate deep into the surface it is on. In contrast, mold can go deep into the surface it is consuming.   

Mold and mildew have one job, to decompose and digest. They are both types of fungi. They are essential to the world around us but when they get into our homes and businesses, they can become a big problem. To survive, mold must feed. Mold and mildew only eat organic substances, meaning anything that is natural. Mold and mildew thrive in dark, moist, damp places. A leaky roof or ductwork can often cause an area of your home or building to become damp. If the issue is not resolved quickly, mold can grow.  

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Most Common Places to Find Mold in your Home or Building 

Molds feast on organic material. Because of this, it can be found on drywall, insulation, wallpaper, and the glue that holds carpets together. Some types of mold feed on dust and dirt. Mold and mildew also need a damp place to grow and reproduce; that is why the basement is the most common place to find mold and mildew. 

Many things in a basement can cause leaking. Washing machines are commonly found in the basement. They can leak or overflow, causing dampness.  If this happens, mold will have a feasting ground. The ductwork that runs through the basement can have leaky connections. Another common thing in the basement that can cause mold and mildew is when the concrete has not thoroughly been waterproofed. Water can leak in and get trapped between drywall, layers of insulation, and carpet causing mold and mildew to grow without notice.     

Another common location to find mold and mildew in your home or building is in the bathroom. Poor ventilation in the bathroom is the leading cause of mold and mildew in that space. The moisture that comes from the steam of the shower needs to have a place to go. If it does not, it can get trapped in the drywall and any rugs or other textiles that are there.      

Prevent mold and mildew from forming by protecting against moisture from leaky ductwork
photo from: unsplash.com

 You Found Mold, Now What?

If you find mold in your home or building, it should be addressed right away. It needs to be taken care of appropriately so the problem does not get worse. Lingering mold can cause moderate to severe illness to some people. It can cause health problems if exposed to it for any length of time. 

Depending on the severity of the mold, you may be able to treat the problem yourself. You also may need to hire a professional to remove and treat mold, should it be widespread, deep, and severe enough. 

The first step in eliminating mold and mildew is to correct whatever is causing it. For example, if you have mold around your leaky ductwork, the leak needs to be fixed, or the mold will return. Or, if you have poor ventilation in your bathroom, the mold will recur even if you put up new drywall. 

Next, any material that has mold on it needs to be removed or cleaned. When removing or cleaning mold and mildew, you must be careful not to ingest the mold. This can make you very sick. Wearing the proper protective gear is essential for your health.    

Prevent mold and mildew from forming by protecting against moisture

Does Paint Protect Against Mold? 

There are preventative measures that can be taken to stop mold from growing in your home or building. One of them is to use mold-resistant paint. Mold-resistant paint contains antimicrobials that prevent mold from getting on the surface to feed on the organic material. 

This type of paint can prevent mold and mildew from attaching to the surface. However, as stated before, the cause of the mold needs to be taken care of before painting. Painting over mold with mold-resistant paint will not solve the problem. This will only temporarily mask the issue and potentially make it worse.  

Streamline Painting & More can help you protect your home or building to prevent mold and mildew. Call today for a free estimate and we’ll inspect your home or building to see if you may need mold-resistant paint. Protecting your home or building from mold will not only add longevity to the structure, but will also keep your family, clients, and employees safe and healthy. 

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About the author
Kyle Caywood
Kyle Caywood

Owner of Streamline Painting

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