Can You Paint Over Mould

Can You Paint Over Mould

Can You Paint Over Mould

Mould is a scourge that every household and occupied building must eradicate. Unfortunately, some people may not know the right way to prevent or get rid of mould. But does painting over it remove it? Or make it worse?

In this blog, we will answer the question ‘Can you paint over mould?’

With new buildings being made to be as energy efficient as possible, and the UK aiming for 95% of its electricity usage to be low carbon by 2030, it is imperative to understand how we can make the most of our ventilation. This is where ventilation units come in.

To prevent mould, fresh air should constantly be introduced into your dwelling daily, as it helps to regulate temperature and reduce condensation. Introducing fresh air can be as simple as having a ventilation routine, or installing extractors or MVHR units. Almost all of this is facilitated by ducting.

At I-Sells, all things ventilation and ducting related is our speciality, and we are here to answer the questions we know are common for those new to HVAC and what it encompasses.

Where are mould hotspots in a house?

Mould thrives in damp, dark, and organic environments. Bathrooms are prime targets due to constant exposure to shower spray, sink splashes, and toilet use. Poor ventilation in bathrooms traps moisture, creating a breeding ground for mould.

Kitchens are another danger zone, with moisture accumulating around sinks, dishwashers, and refrigerators. Leaky pipes under these appliances can go unnoticed for long periods. Laundry rooms see their fair share of moisture from damp laundry and condensation from dryers.

Exterior walls, especially those facing the outdoors, are susceptible to condensation, particularly in cold weather. Corners and window areas are especially prone because they tend to be colder than other parts of the wall.

Windows themselves can become breeding grounds for mould thanks to condensation build-up, especially in rooms with high humidity. Basements can be naturally damp and poorly ventilated, making them mould magnets if not properly maintained.

Attics can harbour mould due to poor ventilation or roof leaks. Moisture can build up and cause mould to grow on insulation, beams, or even stored items. Don’t forget about the areas around pipes. Leaks behind walls, under floors, can introduce moisture that promotes mould growth even if it’s not visible at first.

Even carpets and rugs can also become mouldy if spills, pet accidents, or dampness from basements aren’t addressed promptly and allowed to dry out completely.

Other areas mould can grow

Closets, cabinets, and pantries lacking proper airflow can trap moisture, creating a mould-friendly environment. The type of building materials you have can also play a role. Porous materials like drywall, wood, and fabric can absorb moisture and become susceptible to mould growth if not maintained properly.

Remember, even areas that seem dry can harbour mould if they were previously exposed to moisture and haven’t dried out completely. Be sure to stay vigilant and check these high-risk areas for signs of mould growth.

Is mould always caused by poor ventilation?

Is mould always caused by poor ventilation?

In a majority of cases, mould is usually caused by poor ventilation. This can be through not opening windows, using an extractor, or even leaving surfaces wet without wiping them. However, there are occasions in which an external factor beyond your control can be the cause of mould. Below are some examples:

  • Leaking Pipes: Hidden leaks behind walls, under floors, or in ceilings can introduce moisture that isn’t readily apparent and doesn’t necessarily create visible signs of poor ventilation.
  • Damp Building Materials: Building materials exposed to excessive moisture from previous leaks, flooding, or improper drying after construction can harbour moisture that sustains mould growth, even if the source of the initial moisture is no longer present.
  • High Humidity Levels: While ventilation helps control humidity, even with average airflow, consistently high humidity levels (above 60%) can create a favourable environment for mould growth, especially in combination with other factors like a cool surface or a food source.

Can I prevent mould growth?

Yes. Mould growth can be preventing, by following the steps laid out below, you can significantly reduce the chance of mould appearing:

  • Maintain Low Indoor Humidity Levels: Aim for a humidity range of 30% to 50% using dehumidifiers if necessary.
  • Address Leaks Promptly: Fix any leaky pipes, taps, or roof issues as soon as possible to prevent moisture build-up.
  • Increase Ventilation: While major ventilation problems might not be present, ensure good airflow by opening windows regularly, using exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens, and maintaining proper ventilation in crawl spaces or attics.
  • Proper Drying: Allow wet areas like bathrooms or laundry rooms to dry completely after use.
  • Monitor Condensation: Identify areas prone to condensation and address them by improving insulation, increasing airflow, or using dehumidifiers.

Can you paint over mould?

Can you paint over mould?

No, you cannot simply paint over mould. Painting over it won’t solve the underlying problem and could even make things worse. Here’s why:

  • Mould grows underneath: mould spores spread through the air and can land on various surfaces. When you paint over it, you’re only covering the surface growth, but the mould colony itself might extend deeper into the material (like drywall or wood) beneath the paint.

The mould will continue to grow underneath the new paint layer, potentially causing further damage and resurfacing later.

  • Moisture issues: mould thrives in damp environments. Painting over it traps moisture and prevents it from drying out, creating a perfect breeding ground for the mould to flourish further. This trapped moisture can also lead to peeling or bubbling of the new paint.
  • Health risks: mould can release harmful spores that can trigger allergies or respiratory problems. Painting over it doesn’t eliminate these spores, and they could still be released into the air, posing a health risk.

Here’s what you should do instead of painting over mould:

  1. Identify and address the source of moisture: mould growth is a sign of moisture issues. Before tackling the mould itself, you need to find and address the source of the moisture, such as leaks, condensation, or poor ventilation.
  2. Clean and remove mould: Wear protective gear (mask, gloves) and use appropriate cleaning solutions to remove the visible mould. There are various mould removal products available, Such as mould surface cleaners, but always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. In severe cases, professional mould remediation might be necessary.
  3. Apply Primer: Once the mould is removed and the surface is completely dry, apply a primer specifically designed to block stains and inhibit mould growth. This will create a barrier against future mould development.
  4. Paint: Only after proper cleaning, mould removal, and priming, can you repaint the affected area. A great option to consider is using anti-mould paint.

Remember, prevention is key. Maintaining good ventilation, addressing leaks promptly, and controlling humidity levels can help prevent mould growth in the first place.

Purchase anti-mould paint today

Purchase anti-mould paint today

At I-Sells, all things ventilation and ducting related is our speciality, we are here to answer the questions we know are common for those new to HVAC and what it encompasses.

We at I-Sells endeavour to ensure our customers have all the information they require before investing in our mould solutions. Be sure to visit our blog page to learn about the vast array of factors and issues surrounding ventilation, mould, condensation, and much more.

Within this blog, we hope to have answered the question, ‘Can you paint over mould?’

We understand you may have more questions, do not hesitate to contact us for more information about whatever you need our help with. If you’d like to email us, click here. For other contact options, see below:

Call us on 020 8463 9696

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Sidcup, Kent

DA14 6ES

United Kingdom

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