What happens if you paint over mold?

You might have recently discovered some mold in your house and would promptly like to paint over it, so it doesn't spoil your home's aesthetic. Doing so could potentially be a bad idea that will end up costing you more money to fix down the line than if you opted for proper repairs now. 

Sure, it might seem like just a small patch or sparse growth of mold at first, and you convince yourself that it's nothing to worry about — but this decision could be putting your health and the health of your loved ones at risk. So when asking the question "What happens if you paint over mold?" the varied answers you'll find online will all have one thing in common — it could be a dangerous and expensive mistake to do so.

To truly understand the risks posed to your home and health, let’s start at the beginning.

What is mold?

Mold (also spelled mould) and mildew are tiny spores of a fungus that grow and thrive in damp environments. While it is an essential part of the outdoor ecosystem, it can pose several health risks and cause damage to the interior of your home when found indoors. These organisms can wreak havoc on your home and must be dealt with immediately, and appropriately.

As mold thrives in damp places, they are primarily found in the darkest and most moist areas of your home. Some examples of interior spaces that are susceptible to mold growth include a home’s leaky roof, damp walls and floors, laundry areas, showers, sinks, bathtubs, attics, crawlspaces, basements, or even the building’s foundation. 

What are the signs of mold?

As mentioned above, mold grows in darker, damp, out-of-the-way areas and thus is usually “hidden” from plain sight. It’s essential to regularly check your house for mold, especially if you live in an area with higher humidity.

If not in a hidden area, mold can be spotted quite easily. It looks either powdery, velvety, or cotton-like and exists in pretty much any color. So if you see any odd powdery, fluffy, or furry substance growing on or near any damp or moist area, the chances are high that it’s mold. Mold has a characteristically “moldy” or musty smell and will continue to grow if left unchecked. It also causes your existing paint to crack and peel away. A sure-fire way to test it is to add a drop of bleach to it. If the color begins to lighten within a few minutes, then it definitely is mold.

The dangers of mold

If you or your loved ones are prone to respiratory issues like allergies or asthma, then mold will greatly aggravate these conditions. It has even been known to cause respiratory problems in people who otherwise never experienced them before.  It has a number of negative effects on immune-compromised people.
Exposure to mold causes not just lung irritation but can have irritating and damaging effects on your skin, eyes, ears, nose, and throat. Certain types of toxic mold have been known to cause severe ailments and have led to homes being abandoned or even demolished. 
Mold spreads quickly and will erode the areas it touches. It will weaken your walls, floors, roof, and even foundation — so it must be taken care of immediately.

What happens if you paint over mold?

Having read about the many dangers of mold above, it should be clear to you by now that you must take steps to eradicate the mold rather than paint over it. As tough as the paint might be, it will not stop new mold from growing or kill existing mold. Even mold-resistant paint will only help prevent mold from growing in a space that otherwise has none — meaning it only prevents mold from growing on clean, mold-free surfaces. Applying these types of paints over existing mold will not kill it or stop it from growing.

The simple, straightforward answer to the question "What happens if you paint over mold?" is — not much. Rather than addressing the problem, you are just sweeping it under the rug, and mold will continue to grow under the new coat of paint you’ve applied over it.

Painting over mold can seem like a quick and cheap fix but will end up costing you a lot more in the long run. Your new coat of paint will soon start to peel, crack, bubble, and chip away as the mold continues to grow underneath it.

We highly recommend that you do not paint over mold but focus on eradicating it instead. For this, you must hire a professional.

How do I get rid of mold?

Rather than painting over mold, you must hire a professional who can deal with the problem. Removing mold is, by no means, a DIY job and poses several health risks if not carried out correctly.

The mold removal professional will attend to their duties while fully equipped with state-of-the-art protective gear. This process will include the right chemicals needed for mold removal, as well as proficiency in how to use them, and they will take the proper steps to fully eradicate the problem at the source, inevitably saving you thousands of dollars in the long run. It will protect your home from irreparable future damage as well as keep you safe from health hazards that can cost a lot in medical bills and treatment.

We hope this article was informational and helpful in enlightening you on what happens if you paint over mold. Your safety and the safety of your household must be of paramount importance when making the decision on how to deal with mold effectively. If you’re a tenant and your landlord suggests painting over mold in your home rather than treating it, you must insist on its proper removal for the sake of your health and the health of your loved ones. Stay safe!

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