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Should You Use Mold-Resistant Paint?

Building materials are constantly evolving, making our lives easier and our homes more functional. Over time, homes have become stronger, more airtight, and easier to care for.

Home ownership is a constant state of repairs, maintenance and prevention. One of the things you have to guard against is mold. Mold is an issue that every homeowner has to deal with at some point, whether it’s a major infestation or weekly shower scrubbing.

Mold exposure can take a toll on your health, but it isn’t deadly in most cases. It can, however, cause everything from skin rashes to classic allergy symptoms to depression.

Therefore, you probably want to take every possible precaution to keep mold out of your home.

While there’s no magical remedy to prevent mold altogether, there are modern building materials and products with built-in anti-microbial properties that resist mold growth. They include the following:

  • Wood

  • Drywall, tape and joint compound

  • Insulation

  • Carpet

  • Caulk

  • Grout

  • Subfloor and finished flooring

  • Exterior home finishes

  • Paint

As you look over that list, it should become evident that these are the most common places that mold develops in homes - and the most problematic places to remove mold from.

Mold needs a food source, and it finds a plentiful one in all of these organic materials. Given time and the right conditions, mold can eat through all of the building materials above.

What is Mold Resistant Paint?

If you can add a layer of protection to your home - and in the case of paint, we’re talking about a literal layer, here - it may end up saving you hundreds or thousands in future mold removal and home renovation services.

Here are several benefits of mold resistant paint:

  • Mold can eat away at organic materials and make your walls and floors weak.

  • A mold resistant paint can postpone inevitable minor mold issues in mold-prone areas.

  • It also offers extra protection in case of flooding or water damage when the chance of mold is even higher.

  • Preventing mold keeps your family healthy by protecting them from respiratory issues and allergic reactions.

We highly recommend using a mold resistant paint. You may pay a little more for it, but that’s most likely the high quality brand you’re paying for, not the actual mold resistant properties.

And we can’t recommend a product like this without a disclaimer. “Mold resistant” doesn’t mean that the paint is 100% guaranteed or that it will be effective forever. Use a healthy amount of common sense when buying and using any products that use the word “resistant.”

Types of Mold Resistant Paint

Don’t start worrying that you’re going to have a long list of choices. While there are many brands, most of them do about the same thing. To make sure you are getting a mold resistant paint, here are some keywords to look for.

Waterproof or water resistant

These terms primarily apply to epoxy paint varieties often used for garage floors. These paints can also be used indoors for basements and have even been seen in modern kitchen designs. Epoxy paints offer the added benefit of extra durability because they harden like plastic.

All of the following indicate that the product has anti-mold qualities. Most of these products contain fungicides or mildewcides that are approved by the FDA, EPA, or both:

  • Mold or mildew proof

  • Fungicidal

  • Antimicrobial

Any product with one of these words in its title or description is a safe bet for mold resistant paint.

And let us provide a word of warning about one type of mold resistant paint.

Mold Killing

Don’t take this descriptor at face value. Paint and primer don’t kill existing mold, as the name suggests. These products are no different than those with the descriptors above. Paint that claims to kill mold actually just resists it.

Mold resistant paint is available in a wide variety of locations, including major home improvement stores and a lot of local and regional stores as well. It shouldn’t be hard to find, at least primer if not paint, too.

That being said, if your store doesn’t carry mold resistant paint, all hope is not lost. You can choose regular paint that is more resistant to mold than other varieties. Here are a couple of tips on how to do that:

  • Latex paint is more resistant to mildew than oil-based.

  • Satin and semi-gloss finishes are better because they are smoother and less porous than flat.

Most mold resistant paint varieties have already taken these factors into account, but if you have a choice, it’s nice to know what is going to give you the most protection against mold.

Where Should You Use Mold Resistant Paint

The most obvious places to use mold resistant paint are areas that are prone to mold due to flooding or high humidity. This includes the bathroom, kitchen, basement, and garage.

But honestly, you can use mold resistant paint anywhere in your home for extra defense against mold. Investing in high quality paint is not a decision you will regret.

Using Mold Resistant Paint

Mold resistant paint can be used exactly like regular paint, for everything from ceilings, floors, furniture, trim and, of course walls.

Here are a couple of pro tips for applying mold resistant paint:

  • Only apply paint on clean, dry surfaces. If the weather is wet, wait until it dries out. Similarly, if you have cleaned the walls (which we highly recommend) let them dry completely before painting.

  • Don’t paint over mold. You can paint over old mold stains, but not live mold. Even if a paint claims to kill mold, you still need to treat the surface with an antifungal or other cleaning method and let it dry completely so as not to seal in moisture underneath the paint.

  • Accept that the job may be bigger and more complex that a quick coat of paint. It’s impossible to remove mold from some materials with DIY techniques. You might have to call Pure Air North Carolina in Charlotte to assess the extent of the mold and determine the best course of action to remove the mold from your home.

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