Can I Paint Over Surfaces That Have Mold?

Can I paint over surfaces that have mold? Mold expert Kevin Bristol gives advice on painting over mold. If a wall in your home has been taken over by mold you can not simply paint over it because the mold...

If a wall in your home has been taken over by mold you can not simply paint over it because the mold will resurface through the new paint. Kevin Bristol, President of Advance Mold Remediation and expert in mold control with the Environmental Protection Agency, says, "you want to make sure that you get all the mold spores" before you, "go back and put on the paint".

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, "The key to mold control is moisture control. It is important to dry water damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. If mold is a problem in your home, clean up the mold and get rid of the excess water or moisture. Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water. Wash mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely. Absorbent materials (such as ceiling tiles & carpet) that become moldy may have to be replaced." If the area in your home that you would like to repaint is moldy you will have to do some detective work to see how deep the mold is growing. According to Bristol, the wall "has to be sanded down [at the very least]. Sometimes it's not necessary to remove the drywall if the mold hasn't penetrated... This is more likely if the surface is hard and slick such as walls painted with semi-gloss paint. If that's the case, the wall can be sanded and wiped down [but] you want to make sure that you got all the mold spores". Consumer Reports Magazine states, "Mold can damage your home by weakening floors, walls, and ceilings as it feasts on decaying wood and wallboard, ceiling tiles, caulk, cellulose insulation, and other organic materials. Toxic or not, it isn't good for you or your home." Since the goal of all mold spores is to decompose, you must remove the entire moldy area because it will continue to decompose from the inside out. You must either remove the wall board completely or sand it down to below the moldy surface.

When sanding or removing the moldy area, use plastic sheeting to quarantine the infected area to keep the mold spores from floating through the air and causing toxins in the rest of the house. It is always a good idea to wear a dust mask to protect yourself while cleaning. Consumer Reports magazine recommends wearing, "an N-95 disposable respirator approved by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health; goggles; and heavy-duty rubber, neoprene, or PVC gloves". Some molds in the home can cause severe health problems such as asthma, headaches, dizziness, learning disabilities, flu like symptoms and severe breathing problems so protect yourself while cleaning it up. If the mold infestation is more than a 12x12 area you may want to call a professional mold remediation specialist such as Kevin Bristol. In addition, if a large area of in your home has been wet for more than forty-eight hours you will most likely need to call a specialist to have all of the drywall replaced.

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