Mold and Mildew Inside Home

Problem: High humidity levels re-suit in mildew growth, which causes damage and potential allergic reaction.

Background: Mold growths that develop under favorable conditions are often seen as a discoloration, ranging in color from white to orange, and from green to brown to black. If mold can’t be seen, it may be recognized as a musty odor. Mold growth can cause soiling and deterioration of appliances and other items in a home. The build-up of mold in air cooling and humidifying units, plumbing fixtures, condensation trays, and drains can cause serious and often costly mechanical problems. Mold can discolor paint, weaken fabrics, and degrade food stuffs. It can also lead to odor problems.

What to do: Relative humidity levels above 70% are optimal for indoor mold build-up. Controlling the problem in a home usually involves three steps 1) eliminating moisture from inside and outside sources; 2) re moving mold colonies and spores, and 3) installing a mechanical ventilation system. One method of deter mining whether your home has a potential problem is to measure the relative humidity inside your house.

Optimal levels are 15% if outside temperature is -20°F, 20% if -10°F, 25% if +0°F, 30% if +10°F, and 35% to 40% if +20°F. Also visually inspect for mold colonies, including areas of stagnant water, and room corners.
Regularly clean appliances that have water pans or use moisture. Other steps to reduce humidity include turning humidifiers down or off, using range and bath exhaust fans while cooking or bathing, cooking with covered pans, installing a fresh-air intake duct to bring in drier outside air, venting dryers to the outside, sealing cracks in house or vapor retarders, and not using un vented kerosene or gas heaters.

Special advice: To remove existing mold, clean affected areas with a homemade solution of cup cleanser (such as Ajax or Comet), ½ cup no phosphate detergent, I quart 5% sodium hypocblorite (such as Clorox or Hilex), and 3 quarts warm water. Brush solution onto affected area with a medium-sized soft brush. After cleaning, rinse thoroughly with fresh water and, if possible, paint area with a mold- resistant paint.

Helpful hint: If a member of your household is allergic to mold, adding an air cleaner can help remove mold spores present. (Heating ducts need to be cleaned before adding an air cleaner.) If carpet, upholstery, ceiling tiles, or other porous furnishings are contaminated, it is best to discard them rather than attempting disinfection because mold spores are likely to remain.

Mildew Interior Paint Solution

Mildew: Black, gray or brown spots or areas on the surface of paint or caulk.

Possible Cause:

Forms most often on areas that tend to be damp, or receive little or no direct sunlight (bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms).
Use of an alkyd or oil-based paint, or lower quality latex paint.
Failure to prime a bare wood surface before applying the paint.
Painting over a substrate or coating on which mildew has not been removed.

Solution:

Test for mildew by applying a few drops of household bleach to the areas; if it is bleached away, the discolorant is probably mildew. Remove all mildew from the surface by scrubbing with a diluted household bleach solution (one part bleach, three parts water), while wearing rubber gloves and eye protection. Rinse thoroughly. To protect against mildew, use a top quality latex paint, and clean when necessary with bleach/detergent solution. Consider installing an exhaust fan in high moisture areas.


Interior Painting – Frequently asked questions

Can I paint directly over wallpaper?
No. Wallpaper can be painted over with the proper preparations. Be sure to remove any loose wallpaper, scuff/sand the surface, then apply interior oil-based primer.

Can I apply latex paint over oil based paint?
Yes. Be sure to prepare the surface properly before painting. Oil-based paints should be sanded to a flat finish before painting. After rinsing, apply Dutch Boy® oil-based primer and apply desired latex paint.

Can I apply paint directly over a semi-gloss paint?
No. Semi-gloss paint must be dulled to a flat finish by sanding*, allowing proper adhesion. Removing or disturbing old paint from interior or exterior surfaces by sanding, scraping, abrading or other means may produce dust, debris or fumes that contain lead. Exposure to lead dust, debris or fumes may cause brain damage or other adverse health effects, especially in children and pregnant women. Structures built before 1978 should be tested by a licensed inspector prior to removing or disturbing old paint.

Can I use exterior paint on the inside of my house?
No. Exterior paints are formulated to be more flexible to withstand temperature and climate change.

How can I best prepare my walls before I paint?
Walls that have never been painted should have a recommended primer applied before painting. For previously painted walls, thoroughly wash them with a mild soap and water solution, then rinse with clean water. If your existing surface was painted previously with semi-gloss paint, the surface should be lightly sanded to a duller finish. If the walls have not been painted in five years or longer or are stained then primer should be used.

How much paint do I need?
To achieve one-coat coverage, paint should be applied at a maximum of 400 square feet per gallon. Rough or textured surfaces may require more paint. On these areas allow for 125-300 square feet per gallon.

How do I prepare the surface?
As a general rule, all surfaces should be clean before painting. Remove any loose, peeling paint, and/or any other substrate that is on the surface*. Scrub all surfaces to remove all dirt, grease, oil, etc. Rinse surface well and allow to dry. Apply appropriate patching material to cracks, nail holes, or other surface imperfections, sand smooth, and remove sanding dust.

*If your existing surface is glossy, dull surface by sanding or use an abrasive cleaner. Remove any residue.

How do I take care of my freshly painted surface?
Freshly painted surfaces may be washed after 30 days. Avoid touching, wiping, or wetting any freshly painted surface for 30 days. After that time dirt and stains may be removed with a mild, non-abrasive cleaner and water. Do not place objects on windowsills and shelves until paint is thoroughly dry.

How long should I wait before applying a second coat of paint?
A second coat of latex paint may be applied 6 hours after the first coat. With oil-based paint, you should wait 24 hours between coats.

Should I paint the trim before or after I roll the walls?
The wall area around the doors and windows and along the ceiling should be cut in with a brush, this will prevent the wall from having an obvious and unsightly picture frame effect. Then, the main part of the wall can be painted with a roller, rolling into these areas.

Why do I need to use a primer?
Primers are specifically formulated to seal porous surfaces, block stains, as well as to insure the proper adhesion of the topcoat and produce the best possible coverage.

What is the proper order to follow when painting a room?
When painting a room, the ceiling should be painted first, followed by the walls, then the trim (including doors and windows) and finally the baseboards.

When should I apply?
Room and surface temperature should be between 50 and 85 degrees. Paint dries best between 65F and 85F. Allow at least 4 hours of drying time before recoating.

What is the proper rolling technique?
Fully load the roller with paint by dipping the entire cover deep into the tray of paint. Carry as much paint to the surface as possible. Make a letter “V” in a small 2 foot by 2 foot area with a generous roller load of paint. Fill in the “V”, spreading the paint evenly from left to right. Lightly smooth out with downward motions. Repeat “V” with a freshly loaded roller for every 2 x 2 foot area.

Exterior Mildew Exterior Paint Solution

Mildew: Mildew is the formation of brown, black or gray spots or blotches on the surface of paint or caulk due to the presence of fungi that feed on the paint film and other organic matter.

Possible Causes:

Damp areas that receive little or no direct sunlight (thus, such areas as walls with a northern exposure and the underside of eaves are particularly vulnerable).

Use of a lower quality paint with an insufficient amount of mildewcide.

Painting over a substrate or coating on which mildew is present.

Failure to prime bare wood before painting.

Solution:

First, make sure that the discoloration really is mildew, and not just dirt. Apply a few drops of household bleach to it, wait five minutes, then rinse. If the dark color disappears, the discoloration is probably mildew. Remove all mildew by scrubbing with a diluted household bleach solution (one part bleach, three parts water). Be sure to take the proper safety precautions -wear rubber gloves and eye protection. Leave the bleach on the surface for several minutes, then rinse. Next, thoroughly clean the surface with a detergent solution to remove dirt and other organic material on which mildew can feed. This can be done by hand or with a power washer. Rinse again. When the surface is dry, apply one or two coats of top quality acrylic latex paint — this type of paint contains extra mildewcide and will resist mildew better than oil-based or alkyd paints.


Exterior Painting – Frequently asked questions

Can I paint over aluminum/vinyl siding?
Yes. Always make sure the surface is cleaned to remove any chalk or dirt. Never apply paint that is darker than the original painted surface on vinyl siding.

Do I need to wash my house before I paint?
Yes. Surfaces must be clean before painting. Thoroughly wash with a house cleaner and water solution, making sure to remove any and all mildew. Rinse and allow to dry.

How much paint do I need?
Be sure to utilize our Paint Gallon Calculator in the Project Planner section to help you determine how many cans to buy for your next project.

To achieve one-coat coverage, paint should be applied at a maximum of 400 square feet per gallon. Rough or textured surfaces may require more paint. On these areas allow for 25-30 square feet per gallon. Some bright colors may require multiple costs to achieve sufficient hide.

How do I apply the paint?
When using more than one gallon of the same product, mix the gallons together to insure color and sheen uniformity. Two coats of this paint will provide maximum protection.

How do I paint shingles & shakes?
Shingles offer natural breaking points, paint in a vertical direction.

How do I care for freshly painted surfaces?
We suggest not washing your newly painted surface for at least 30 days. After that time, dirt and stains may be removed using a mild, non-abrasive cleanser and water.

I have never painted the exterior of my home before….?
When painting the exterior of your home always start with a clean surface; paint one side of the house at a time, starting with the highest point; apply a full even coat to one side of the house at a time and always paint the trim last.

What conditions are best for painting my house?
Generally you should only paint when the surface is between 50F and 85F. High temperatures cause the water in the paint to evaporate too quickly, while low temperatures prevent latex from covering properly. Always avoid painting in direct sunlight, strong winds, or when rain is expected within 8 hours.

What tools do I need?
Depending on your project and the type of structure you are painting, paints may be applied with a nylon/polyester brush, a paint pad or spray unit.

What is the proper way to use spray equipment?
It is always safe to operate spray equipment with safety cautions. Use respiratory and eye protection. All spray units are different and it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Exterior Mildew Exterior Paint Solution

Wrinkling: A rough, crinkled paint surface, which occurs when uncured paint forms a “skin”.

Possible Causes:

Paint applied too thickly (more likely when using alkyd or oil-based paints).

Painting a hot surface or in very hot weather.

Exposure of uncured paint to rain, dew, fog or high humidity levels.

Applying top coat of paint to insufficiently dried first coat.

Painting over contaminated surface.

Solution:

Scrape or sand substrate to remove wrinkled coating. Repaint, applying an even coat of top quality exterior paint. Make sure the first coat or primer is dry before applying the top coat. Apply paints at the manufacturer’s recommended spread rate (two coats at the recommended spread rate are better than one thick coat). When painting during extremely hot, cool or damp weather, allow extra time for the paint to dry completely.


Painting tips & tricks

Rub petroleum jelly on the hinges and door knobs before you start to paint a door. If you get paint on them, they will wipe off easily.

To keep white paint from yellowing, add 2 drops of black paint to each Gallon of white.

When painting ceilings, cut a child’s rubber ball in half and put your paint brush in one of the halves to catch the drips.

An old pair of swimming goggles will protect your eyes from paint splatters and drips when painting ceilings.

When painting, protect your hands and face with moisturizer. Cleanup will be easier and the moisturizer will prevent paint from seeping into the pores.

To stop paint from dripping, punch a few holes in the rim of the paint can. When the brush is wiped against the edge, the paint flows back into the can. The lid covers the holes so the paint won’t dry out.

Before pouring paint from a can, cover the rim with masking tape. After pouring, remove the tape — the rim will be clean and the cover will fit tightly.

To remove lumps from paint: Cut a piece of screen to fit the inside of the paint can. Set it on top of the paint and let it float down to the bottom of the can. It will take all the lumps with it, trapping them at the bottom of the can.

When painting a room, dip a small card into the paint so that you have the exact colour with you and can match accessories in store.

When painting inside corners, trim the paint brush bristles to a V to save strokes and spread paint more easily.

When you poke a paint brush into corners or allow it to rest on the bottom of the paint can, the bristles curl and stray. To straighten natural bristles (not synthetics), try wrapping the brush in a couple of thicknesses of damp cloth and press gently with an iron. The steam and cloth binding do the job. Only light pressure is needed. Let the bristles cool before you unwrap the brush.

When painting old woodwork fill in the holes or cracks with a mixture of flour and some of the paint you are using. It hardens like cement and matches perfectly.