Paint Doctor: Mold and Mildew

PPG Pittsbugh Paints presents The Paint Doctor:

Dear Paint Doctor: I know that mildew and mold are

words that trigger fear and frustration in homeowners.

Please educate me on this condition so that I can be a

better guide to paint choices and surface preparations

 

What are the sources and problems due to mildew and mold?


Mildew and mold exist in our environment. Think of molds as

natural compost stations and recyclers. As a general rule of thumb,

the same types of molds grow everywhere in the United States and

Canada. Mildew and mold growth is seasonal, due to the natural

fluctuations of temperature and humidity.

Mildew and molds grow inside and outside of any building

surface, including glass, tile, fabric and wood. Growing mold

causes serious damage to these substrates. In addition, mold growth

is unattractive and can discolor, mar and decompose substrates.

Interior spaces that tend to grow mold are associated with humid,

damp or moist areas that lack adequate ventilation. In interior

areas, the molds and the deterioration of substrates are accompanied

by odors, which can affect indoor air quality. Once an area is

attacked and compromised, the surface is more susceptible to rapid

future attacks.

In exterior areas, dampness increases growth opportunities.

Examples of mold target areas are shady spots and locations close

to the ground, such as decks. More sunlight allows the drying of

substrates, which interrupts and inhibits mildew and mold growth.

 

How do mildew and mold spread?


In the home and workplace, molds grow on dust, wallpaper,

painted surfaces, drywall, fabric and upholstery, and in insulation.

When contaminated areas are disturbed, the movement of dust

carries the mold into other areas as airborne

particles. When the moisture and

temperature conditions are optimum, the

mold spores will grow in the new areas.

Outdoors, molds are naturally distributed

by breezes and wild creatures. Molds also

are associated with tree and shrub populated

areas.

 

How can mold growth issues be

reduced?


The best strategy to reduce mold

growth is to prevent it from growing

in the first place. For a homeowner,

the most effective control of mold and

mildew comes from the elimination of high-moisture conditions.

This means that humid areas in homes should be ventilated so that

interior water vapor disappears. In addition, adequate filtering of air

reduces dust, which leads to less opportunity for mold distribution.

The selection of a paint or stain that has a mildewcide discourages

the growth of mold on painted surfaces; however, this does

not prevent mold spores from entering the house from the outside

air or prevent its growth on unpainted surfaces.

PPG makes interior and exterior paints, stains and primers that

contain additives to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. PPG

products containing microbiocidal agents for mold and mildew

provide additional support in dealing with mold contamination

problems in the home and workplace. Ask your technical service

representative for advice on which products are best for your application

need.