As with all jobs that are worth doing right, preparation is the key in painting.
Properly planned and carried out, the right prep can be the difference between a smart, hard-wearing and enduring finish and the paint cracking and peeling off after a matter of months.
Before you even begin, there are a few things to consider, the main one being the actual surface material to be painted, whether it is internal or external and more importantly, the condition of the surface and the surrounding atmosphere.
The atmosphere can impact on a paint job in a number of ways, but the main consideration is the presence of moisture; condensation, damp and mould or mildew.
How to spot mould and damp before attempting to paint
Mould can appear as discoloured spots or patches and its growth is encouraged by a lack of ventilation and pervasive dampness.
To avoid damp and mould, ensure any room is well ventilated; removing stagnant water (i.e. in the bathroom or kitchen) will prevent condensation through moisture build-up in the air.
If the source of damp air is within the building, consider installing vents or extractor fans, particularly in kitchen, bathroom and laundry areas.
If excess moisture is the cause of the dampness, remove the source by repairing roofing, fixing or clearing gutters and drainpipes and sealing any cracks in the brickwork using a sealant or caulk.
One of the way damp can manifest inside is when the exterior walls are not protected from the weather and they suck in water from rain.
This goes cold, internally, when the wind blows against it, plus it increases the humidity inside the dwelling.
There are many ways to combat this, and if you do not want major work doing but you want to stop the humidity inside then having a silicone wall covering sprayed to the external walls will often cure that.
Mould flourishes in damp areas, such as under eaves and on north-facing elevations so these should get special attention when seeking out the causes.
To test a spot, try applying domestic bleach. If it is moss, mould or mildew, the spot will fade or vanish, whereas dirt will remain. This is for a test area only.
It is worth noting here that spray bleach will NOT cure damp and mould. Domestic spray bleach contains water and you are simply adding more water to the affected area, making it worse.
Before implementing any form of damp proofing in the home, it is vital that the real source of dampness is correctly identified. Whether it be rising or penetrating damp, condensation, or moisture entering at the floor/wall junction, getting the wrong diagnosis means any remedy is likely to be unsuccessful.
Dampness will then continue, and any cost of treatment will be wasted.
Damp proofing paints
Rising damp is a major consideration if you are thinking of painting, as it causes decorative spoiling.
To create a dry and non-spoiling decorative surface, free from salt contaminant and water, addressing a rising damp problem needs to be a two-stage process.
Injecting a damp proof course into the wall to manage rising water and removal before the replacement of potentially salt contaminated plasters and finishes.
Mould cannot simply be painted over, as any patches will just reappear, spoiling the new paintwork. If mould is present, the causes of any dampness need to be found and addressed.
Following this, any surfaces to be painted should be sterilised using either fungicidal solution or a mix of water and household bleach (3 parts water to one part bleach).
It important for your health, to get rid of Mould spores.
When treating mould it is essential that all mould spores are killed before applying any coats of paint, this can be done by scrubbing the area with mould removal solution or undiluted bleach (making sure to wear the appropriate personal protection equipment).
Remove any efflorescence (the white powder sometimes present on masonry) or loose matter from the brickwork with a wire brush or power washer. Once the source of dampness has been identified and removed and the mould and mildew has been cleaned away, it is important that the area is left for at least a week.
Check for any reappearance of mould before painting the house walls.
Specialist products are available to treat the effects of damp.
These act as a barrier to limit the risk of new decoration being spoilt.
Anti-fungicidal paint acts to block out damp on interior walls and surfaces, and can even be applied to damp surfaces. However, this type of paint will not treat the causes of damp.
In short, there are no quick fixes or magic remedies.
Put in the time and effort before you begin and ensure the durability and quality of finish for your paint-job.
Remember the old adage; fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
If your home has damp walls or maybe peeling paint then why not contact the team for a free home appraisal on 0800 970 4928