Indoor mould is not only something that’s ruining the appearance of your nicely painted walls, but it’s also very dangerous to your and your household members’ health. The problem will worsen and spread if you don’t take action as soon as possible. Luckily, there are ways to remove mould from painted walls safely without damaging the surface.
Mould Removal Method for Painted Walls
You can safely remove minor mould patches growing on the painted walls in your home by cleaning them with a diluted bleach solution and thoroughly drying them afterwards. However, the most effective method will also depend on the material of your wall and the extent of mould infestation. If you’re dealing with a minor case and decide to do it yourself instead of hiring cleaning professionals, generally, using a bleach and water solution should do a sufficient job.
Supplies You’ll Need
To remove mould from your painted walls, you’ll need the following supplies:
- Rubber gloves;
- N-95 mask;
- household bleach;
- Warm water;
- 2 large buckets;
- 2 sponges or disposable rags.
It’s also recommended to have a spray bottle on hand, a towel or humidifier and a HEPA vacuum cleaner.
To prepare for the mould removal process, first, make sure that the cause of mould, which may be a leak or another type of water damage, has been dealt with and that the affected area has been thoroughly dried. Mould can grow on your walls for a variety of different reasons, including condensation in bathrooms, leaking pipes or a broken damp course.
Once that’s taken care of, put on your protective equipment and open a window to provide the room you’re working in with proper air circulation. Afterwards, remove any materials that have been contaminated with mould, such as carpets, wallpaper or insulation by double-bagging them and dispose of them. Seal plastic sheets with duct tape over any large items and upholstery.
Step-By-Step Guide for Mould Removal on Painted Walls
To remove mould from painted walls, follow these steps:
- To prepare the bleach solution, mix 3,7 litres of warm water with 1 cup of bleach. Diluting the bleach will help kill the mould without causing damage or discolouration to the paint. When using this solution, it’s highly advised not to use undiluted bleach or mix it with ammonia.
- Fill 1 of the buckets with soap and water and the other one with diluted bleach solution.
- Using a spray bottle or sponge, dampen the mouldy areas to prevent the spores from becoming airborne.
- Soak a sponge or a rag in the bleach solution and scrub the entire area thoroughly until the mould is no longer visible. Be sure to treat every section of the painted walls with or near mould.
- Let the bleach solution soak and kill the remaining mould for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
- Soak another clean sponge or rag in the soap and water solution and wipe the area to remove the bleach residue, but don’t use the same sponge or rag you used to apply the bleach solution. Rinse the sponge in the bucket as many times as necessary until the entire wall has been cleaned.
- Dry the entire area with a towel or use a dehumidifier to remove as much moisture as possible.
- When the area has dried thoroughly, vacuum it with a HEPA vacuum cleaner to remove any remaining debris. Once you’re finished, empty the contents of the vacuum into sealed plastic bags and dispose of them safely.
Bleach-less Methods for Removing Mould on Painted Walls
As a precaution, if your walls are painted in colour, it’s best to use a solution without bleach because it may remove the pigment and leave an obvious patch. Instead, to remove mould from a coloured wall, use warm water and a mild detergent, such as washing liquid and a kitchen scourer.
Once you’ve created the washing liquid solution into a bowl, soak a scourer and use the sponge to wash over the affected area. Wipe the washed area and repeat the steps until all the mould has been removed and the wall is almost dry. Afterwards, use kitchen paper towels to wipe the wall clean, switching to a fresh piece for each wipe. However, keep in mind that this bleach-less method only works for surface mould.
Mould on walls can also be removed with vinegar, which is less harsh than bleach but is still effective at removing surface and ingrained mould. It’s a much safer cleaning agent for coloured walls.
To create a vinegar solution, mix 3 parts water with 1 part vinegar and add a bit of dishwashing liquid. Spray it onto the wall, wipe it with a damp sponge and dry it with kitchen paper afterwards.
Keep in mind that in more severe mould infestation cases, DIY mould removal isn’t recommended because it can allow the mould to regrow and spread further.
Is it possible to paint over mould?
Cleaning experts highly advise against painting over mould. Even though it may be tempting to spray over the affected area with a disinfectant and cover it with a layer of paint, it’ll likely peel off, and the mould will still be there.
To effectively get rid of mould on walls and be able to paint over them again, you’ll need to properly clean and remove the fungus because it may continue to grow between the wall and the paint coat. Paint traps moisture between itself and the wall, which further facilitates the growth of mould and a new layer of paint will only act as a temporary cover-up for a more severe problem.
It’s a common occurrence for mould to grow on painted walls, especially if there’s excess moisture because most paints contain organic compounds that can be easily metabolised by the fungus. Oil paints, in particular, are especially susceptible to that. Despite that, this isn’t a problem that should be taken lightly because exposure to these spores can trigger asthma, allergies and other respiratory issues in addition to other health complications. Because of that, it’s very important to address mould infestation issues on time and follow the proper steps to remove it effectively and safely.