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A wall affected by mould

Does anti mould paint really work?

Mould and mildew are common issues across the UK, with many people desperate for a solution that actually works. As well as being unsightly, mould can have negative health effects. These range from sneezing, a runny nose, rashes and red eyes, to triggering more serious health problems, including asthma attacks. One potential solution to mould and mildew growth is anti mould paint. But how does it work? And how effective is it? We take a look in our latest guide.

What is anti mould paint?

Anti mould paint is a solution that can be painted on interior walls and ceilings to prevent mould and mildew. Generally, these paints do not treat the issue that is causing the mould, but stop harmful black mould from growing.

Does anti mould paint really work?

Yes, anti mould paint does work. Correctly applied, anti mould paint prevents mould from growing. It is based on chemistry and tried and tested chemical processes. However, anti mould paint is not a miracle cure. If there’s an underlying issue causing the mould, such as condensation, it will need to be dealt with separately. So, while applying anti mould paint will help avoid unsightly mould and mildew, it won’t fix the root cause. We recommend addressing the underlying issue along with applying anti mould paint. To combat these issues, you’ll need to identify the cause of the damp, rectify any structural issues if necessary and provide effective ventilation.

How does anti mould paint work?

Most anti mould paints work by using chemicals called biocides to prevent black mould growth. The biocides within the paint are designed to target specific living organisms - in this case, mould and mildew fungi. 

Paints containing biocides can be expected to work effectively for around five years, even in areas of high humidity. But over time, the biocides do break down and become less effective, so surfaces will need to be repainted based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.

What is mould and mildew?

It’s useful to know a bit more about mould and mildew to understand the importance of anti mould paint.
Black mould, officially called Stachybotrys chartarum, can form and multiply very quickly in the right conditions. Although it’s called black mould, it can also be dark green or grey and presents itself as clustered spots or slime.

Mildew is a surface fungus that also appears in damp areas. It can be grey and white and is often powdery. It can often be removed by scrubbing with a mould wash, but if left untreated it can negatively affect your health in a similar way to black mould.

Mould on a wall

See our Permagard glossary for more damp and mould terms.

Is anti mould paint safe?

Anti mould paint is safe and non-toxic. However, extended exposure to the fumes as the paint dries should be avoided and rooms should be well-ventilated until the paint is fully dry. Young children and pets should also be kept away from drying paint to ensure they don’t get any on themselves or accidentally ingest it.

How to apply anti mould paint

Begin by preparing the surface that you want to paint. Remove any debris or loose material, including paint or wallpaper. You should also fix any cracks in the surface with a suitable filler. When the surface is smooth and free of debris, any existing mould needs to be removed.

Use our Mould Wash Concentrate to create a solution (1 part concentrate to 19 parts water) and wash the area with a sponge, scrubbing brush or cloth. Allow the area to dry thoroughly. If there is still visible mould, wash the area again and allow it to dry completely.

When the surface is fully dry, you can apply the anti mould paint. Make sure to stir the paint thoroughly after opening.

You can then apply the paint with a standard paint brush or roller. Two coats are required to ensure the paint works effectively. Remember to wait 2 to 4 hours between coats, leaving the room while it dries and ensuring it’s well-ventilated.

Can you paint over anti mould paint?

You can’t paint over anti mould paint as this stops the active components of the paint from working effectively. However, if you want to add the properties of anti mould paint to a specific shade or type of paint, you can use our Anti Mould Paint Additive. Just mix one 50ml bottle into 2.5 litres of any type of paint and it will act just like a pre-mixed anti mould paint, preventing mould and mildew.

How long does anti mould paint last?

Anti mould paint contains biocides that do breakdown and become less effective over time. Most anti mould paints last for around 5 years. After this time they need to be reapplied.

What surfaces can you apply anti mould paint to?

PermaPROTECT Anti Mould paint is suitable for use on interior walls and ceilings. It can be applied to a number of different environments where condensation is consistently high, including:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Finished basements and cellars
  • Bedrooms
  • Living rooms
  • Utility rooms

What surfaces can’t you apply anti mould paint to?

Anti mould paint can’t be applied to external walls and surfaces or wood, metal or plastic. It’s also not always suitable for older or listed buildings that have a lime plaster build-up and need to breathe.

When anti mould paint won’t work

Anti mould paint isn’t always effective or the right option. There are a few scenarios where we wouldn’t recommend its use or would advise looking deeper into the issue:

Root cause not fixed: Mould is the effect of excess moisture in the room. If this is a result of excess condensation or a structural issue causing dampness, this needs to be rectified before using anti mould paint.

Applied incorrectly: If the paint hasn’t been applied correctly, it won’t work effectively. The paint must be properly stirred, two coats are required and you must wait 2-4 hours between coats.

Used on the wrong surface: If the paint is used on the exterior side of walls or on wood, metal or plastic, it won’t work as intended.

Painted over or covered: Anti mould paint must not be covered with other paint or wallpaper.

Dealing with the root cause of mould

As we’ve discussed, there is a reason you’ve got mould growing. How to deal with the root cause depends on the issue. 

Most commonly, it’s due to excess condensation, particularly in bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens. This happens when warm, moist air comes into contact with a cold surface, causing the water to be deposited there. Moisture can be created through cooking, washing, showering and drying clothes. With well-insulated homes, it can be extremely hard for this moist air to escape. Poor ventilation and underheated homes can increase the amount of moisture that’s deposited on surfaces, thus increasing condensation. 

Condensation on windows

To fix condensation issues, there are a number of things you can do. Ensuring your home is evenly heated without rapid changes in temperature is a good first step, but you’ll need to improve ventilation to cure the problem. For more information about how to properly ventilate your house, see our comprehensive guide.

Rising and penetrating damp can also cause mould by providing a constant source of moisture. Rising damp is generally caused by an issue with the damp proof course (DPC). Penetrating damp can be caused by plumbing issues, building faults, blocked or inadequate gutters and increased groundwater levels. For more information on how to identify and rectify these problems, read our guide on the causes of damp in houses.

A wall affected by mould

Once you’ve identified and treated the underlying problem, you can apply anti mould paint that will stop mould from re-forming.

Anti mould solutions from Permagard

We stock a range of products in our PermaPROTECT range that effectively deal with mould and condensation. You can apply certain products to walls and ceilings to make them resistant to the effects of condensation and prevent the recurrence of black mould and mildew. Our range includes:

Permagard - anti mould paint suppliers

Permagard is proud to offer anti mould paint and other mould products at affordable prices. For more information and guidance about any of our products, call our expert team on 0117 982 3282.