Mold & mildew prevention on exterior paint
-Charles Graves Painting
Common scenario: You close your front door and walk outside. It's a sunny and beautiful day, and you're excited for the gathering of friends and family you have planned for this weekend. You walk to your backyard to get everything ready, and then notice something on your home with dismay. There's no mistaking it: There's mold and mildew all on your siding and trim. But why? It was just painted last year! The painter swore his products were good. You try to wash it off, but the mold has eaten *into* the paint. Now there's no way of fixing it w/out repainting.
This situation is very common, but it's also easily preventable. With the right process, products, and additives, we are able to completely prevent mold growth on your painted surfaces, by creating a beautiful, strong-bonded, environmentally safe product that is inhospitable for mold.
What are our mold/mildew qualifications?
As a certified mold remediator and inspector with PMII and OSHA, I (Charles) have received both private and government training on mold remediation, prevention, and inspection. This covers mold, mildew, fruiting bodies, and all types of microbial growth. Equally importantly, I apply the information I've learned into providing the highest quality procedures, products, and additives, to ensure that our paint job remains mold-free- guaranteed. Our company has specific staff members who's sole job is to remediate mold and mitigate water damage- often these are very serious situations. We are also trained on the proper steps to avoiding mold on exterior paint projects as well. Although exterior painting may seem like a simple project by comparison, if steps are not taken to prevent mold and mildew growth, the paint job will quickly be compromised. All of our painters and our project manager are trained on the steps needed.
In addition, we are also a Class "A" Licensed Contractor in both PTC (Painting Specialty), and HIC (Home Improvement).
What is mold? How does mold work?
Mold and mildew are both small, multi-celled microorganisms in the "fungus" category. Fungi are eukaryotic organisms; i.e., their cells contain membrane-bound organelles and clearly defined nuclei. Mold and mildew spores are between 2 to 100 microns, and colonies can grow significantly larger. Mold and mildew are both spread through spores, which are non-living reproductive cells. Living mold and mildew give off spores into the air, which are carried by wind and land onto surfaces. From there, if a surface is suitable for mold or mildew growth, the mold or mildew will germinate. Mold then generally eats into the surface, whereas mildew (thankfully) tends to remain on the surface in a powdery form. Mildew is more likely to impact plants; mold is more likely to impact non-living carbon-based food sources, like wood, paper, paint, etc. Most types on paint tend to be mold, not mildew; but are often misclassified as mildew. All types of fungus are heterotrophs; they feed off of absorbing dissolved molecules. All mold and mildew needs 4 things to grow and reproduce- air, water, a food source, and a suitable environment for mold/mildew. This becomes a problem because the outside of homes naturally have all of this- they have plenty of fresh air, regular rainfalls wet the outside of your home (and this problem is compounded for backyards and lower elevation areas, as they experience higher retained moisture), and (on most paint jobs) they have a suitable food source- unprotected paint. Also, an improperly powerwashed and cleaned substrate (surface) can also have mold eat through the inside.
How do we prevent mold and mildew?
As outside air naturally contains mold and mildew spores, it is critical that painted surfaces be fully cleaned and properly prepared prior to painting, and that the finished painted surface be mold-inhibitive. Furthermore, it is important that chemically correct primers, the right high-quality paint, and correct high-quality caulks, are all used to prevent water intrusion into or damage to the painted surface. Furthermore, it is important that chemically correct primers, the right high-quality paint, and correct high-quality caulks are used in order to achieve a mold-inhibitive coating that also repels moisture from entering & damaging the substrate (as can occur with cheap caulk, cheap paint, incompatible primers, etc).
Our process is based off of my extensive training, and it begins with a free pre-project inspection during the estimate to see if there are any issues, leaks, grading issues, or any other items of concern that might be an issue for you. This is followed up by a properly prepared and powerwashed surface, and 3 days later, we do extensive preparation to replace rotted wood, repair (scrape, sand, bondo) minorly damaged surfaces, and high-quality exterior caulk is used. Lastly, we apply the high-quality primers and paints that we recommended to you, and we also mix specific additives mixed into the paint (and confirmed by both our project manager and team leader both) that will prevent mold and mildew growth. The mixture of high-quality specific paints, and specific additives, used in the correct amounts and mixed correctly, create a mold-inhibitive topcoat. When we are finished, your properly-bonded painted surface will be fully mold-inhibiting. Meaning, if mold spores land on the surface, they will not germinate into the surface, instead they will denature (cease to function or germinate. Mold spores are not technically living, until they germinate into mold.) All of this is backed by our full industry standard 2-year warranty; and with our process, the general expectation is a good 12-15+ years before needing a full repainting for vertical surfaces and trim. Horizontal surfaces or stained surfaces, such as decks, or wood surfaces touching soil (such as fencing), will need more more frequent attention- although our process, products and additives will maximize the longevity you experience.
Why should you care?
1- Because your time, your money, and your happiness are all very important and valuable. And, your time is money. Anytime you purchase any good or service, you want to know that you've received a good value and quality, and that the product/service is going to *last*. If you receive a paint job, but the paint job looks almost as bad in 1-2 years as it does today, then your money will have been wasted- because you will have to purchase that same service *again*. Getting it done right the first time, saves you time & money.
2- Because without a qualified and licensed professional who knows how to prevent mold/mildew, then the mold/mildew will quickly come back, and your money will have been wasted. It is important to hire a professional who is trained in mold prevention and remediation, and also in painting, and understands the correct process, products, additives, and mixing specs, so that they are educated and qualified to take the necessary steps to protect you and your home. The vast majority of painting companies do not have mold certification and training.
3- Because paint brands do not make paints specific for your area, they make them nationally. This means that the paint sold in the sunny, arid climate of Arizona or Texas, or sold in the frigid climates of New York or Maine, will be the same paint that is sold to you- in Northern Virginia- in the Piedmont region, a temperate and high-moisture area. Without our process, your painted exterior simply doesn't stand a chance.
In conclusion, our proven process will save you time, AND money- by keeping your beautiful painted surfaces mold-free and mildew-free for the lifetime of your paint. And, we use the highest-quality paints and chemically correct primers, for the longest-lasting paint job.