Every professional painter hopes to complete any paint project to the utmost satisfaction of the client and without exposure to any health hazards. However, occasionally as professionals, painters and decorators encounter a paint project with mould on walls that have to be painted.
Mould is detrimental to a paint project because it is unsightly and could be damaging to human health. It is therefore important to get rid of it safely before commencing painting.
What is Mould?
Mould is a type of fungus that grows from tiny spores floating in the air. It grows wherever the spores find excess moisture and the right temperature, especially if the area receives little or no light or inadequate air circulation. Damp or excess moisture can result from leaking pipes in buildings, leaks through a damaged roof or window frames or from water condensation when the air in the room can no longer hold any more moisture. It can also occur in a newly built house if the water used during the construction is yet to dry out.
Mould usually appears as a black, dark grey, brown or dark green discolouration on bare or painted surfaces and you can smell it if the concentration is high. It gives off a stale, musty odour which is easy to perceive. Commonly affected areas in the home include the bathroom, kitchen, laundry and the shady exteriors of the house.
Mould is Hazardous to Health
Anyone may be affected because mould produces substances that can cause an allergic reaction, and it sometimes produces irritants and toxic substances. The most vulnerable are people with respiratory problems such as asthma and allergies because touching mould spores may trigger asthmatic attacks, sneezing, runny nose and red eyes. Babies, children, the elderly and people with existing skin problems should stay away from mould because it can cause severe skin reactions.
How to Remove Mould Safely
It is important to open the windows before beginning the process, but doors should be closed to prevent the spores from spreading to other parts of the house. Appropriate clothing, long rubber gloves, eye goggles and a mask that covers the eyes and nose should be worn to prevent contact with mould spores and the mould removal spray.
Recent studies have shown that the old method of using household bleach on affected areas only bleaches out the colour, it does not actually kill and remove the mould. It is advisable to treat and scrub the area with a suitable mould removal spray and then leave the space to dry. It is useful to prep the surface with a stain and mould blocker before applying the paint as this helps in covering any mould stains and prevents further mould growth. The area treated should be wiped down with a damp cloth or rag to remove excess product or mould.
Damaged caulk should be replaced before a mould resistant paint can be applied on the surface. It is vital to have the room well ventilated while the process is progressing.
Preventing the Mould from Returning
Adequate precaution should be taken to prevent the mould from returning. The room should be thoroughly cleaned with vacuuming or wet wiping and any rags or clothing in the plastic bag should be disposed of. The source of the moisture in the house should be identified and fixed. Any room that is prone to mould should be made to receive sufficient amounts of natural light and adequate ventilation should be provided in areas such as the kitchen and bathroom where steam may be in use from time to time.
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