Under normal conditions, most of us would not expect mold and mildew to interfere with a painting job. Instead, we might find sanding to do, maybe a few nicks in the wall to spackle, and possibly some dust to remove.
For a painter, surface preparation is always an essential part of a quality paint job. Still, on inspection, the presence of mold indicates that painting will have to be postponed, until the area is cleansed properly.
The presence of bacterial growth, especially in a room of one’s home, would make most people cringe, and walk away. However, if one views it in a safe way, then cleaning it will be of little trouble.
For certain, I recommend wearing snuggly-fitting long rubber gloves, a paper hazard suit, eye goggles, and an organic vapor respirator. Especially, when there is quite a bit to remove. By the way, you do not want any of the solution and/or vapors to seep into any part of your body.
As far as products go, bleach appears to be the most effective, affordable, and readily available product. When it comes to using a healthy and safe product, bleach is not the choice by far. Get online/on the internet, and you will find a variety of organic and non-volatile mold and mildew removal products that can be mixed with water.
As I found out the hard way, cleaning mold, when using a respirator, is ineffective sometimes. If you are going to be doing a lot of mold and mildew removal with bleach, your best bet is to use a fresh-air supply respirator system. This will ensure that bleach will not get in your eyes and/or in your lungs.
My preferred method of mold and mildew removal is to use a garden sprayer to apply a chemical solution to the affected surfaces. When the mold is very heavy, I recommend spraying two applications, with about a five-minute interval between the applications.
As this is done, a towel or sponge can be used to wipe the areas where the mold is releasing at a slower rate. As this is taking place, it is then a good idea to have a fan on to circulate the air in the room. After the mildew has disappeared, it will take some time for the odor to dissipate. So, be patient.
During the time that you are cleaning mildew, watch for the physical symptoms that the mildew and/or especially the chemical (bleach) solution is affecting you. Look for watering and/or burning eyes, coughing, sore throat, runny nose, and skin rashes. Mentally, you may notice disorientation, lack of focus, and confusion. If you notice any of these, and/or any other unusual, symptoms, get out of the environment. Be safe and be careful.
As far as products are concerned, there are many available options. Yet, only very few have the effectiveness of bleach, without the toxicity.
The first, Moldstat, is a concentrated peroxide-based cleaner, and it is very effective. Next, Molderizer is an organic remover, sold in five-gallon containers, and is also concentrated. The last, Vital-Oxide, is a antimicrobial and disinfectant. This product contains chlorine dioxide, which is said to have little odor.
Of the three, I prefer Moldstat. You can make up to twenty-one gallons of solution per package of concentrate. That makes it extremely cost-effective.
As you may know, painting is secondary to removing mold or mildew from an infected area. Yet, once this is completed, you may need to repair the surface of the wall, or even cut out sections of drywall that were severely affected, and replace the drywall.
When it’s okay to paint, get out your primer and/or finish. Brush where you need to brush – eg. corners, tight spots, around window and door frames. Then, roll the paint on to bring your walls back to life.
The presence of mold and/or mildew is a certainty, as long as the conditions for its existence are met. And, at certain times of the year with temperature change, and higher humidity, the mold and mildew are going to grow.
Important footnote: It is prudent to use all protective gear that is provided, or available. Every time that you must expose yourself to mold and mildew.
By the way, there are many employees who, as part of their jobs, are exposed to mold and mildew, and a bleach product to clean it. Especially, in prolonged hot and humid environmental conditions.Often, they are not properly equipped, through safety precautions, which can protect their health in the long run.
Bottom line: Mold and mildew must be handled – remediated – before any painting or finishing can be done.
Thanks for stopping by. And, stay safe!
Bob the Painter