How to Clean and Paint Over a Moldy Wall
LESLIE: In Connecticut, listening on WXLM, we have Jackie. What can we help you with?
JACKIE: I have a mobile home and last summer I put an air conditioner in my kitchen window. And I think my daughter and I didn’t have it tipped out all the way. I had water running down. Now I have a mold problem running from my kitchen window all the way – I mean a good three feet. And I can’t – I’ve tried hot bleach and water; everything. I can’t rid of it. It keeps coming back. What do I have to do? (chuckling)
TOM: Well, you’re not using the air conditioner now, I would expect. So are you sure the mold is regrowing or are you just looking at a stain?
JACKIE: No, it’s – and actually the bottom moulding is kind of popped out.
TOM: Alright. Well here’s what I want you to do and it sounds like you’ve done some of this but let’s just go from the beginning. First of all, you need to mix up a bleach and water solution of about one-third bleach and two-thirds water. You need to spray this wall area down that’s affected. And then you wash it. The next thing you do is you prime that wall with an oil-based primer like a KILZ or something of that nature.
LESLIE: Because that’s going to seal in that stain and keep it from penetrating back through.
TOM: Because very often what happens is a stain will leach back out through the wall even if it’s been eliminated once. So once you seal the entire wall with a primer, then you could put a topcoat of paint on it and you might even want to consider using a paint with mildicide in it. Usually if you buy a paint that’s designed for the bathroom or the kitchen, it has a mildicide in it. And those things, as long as you’re not continuing to saturate that water, should cover this up and have it looking very nice.
JACKIE: OK. Thanks a lot.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us, Jackie, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.