Since it is summertime, depending on your area, you may be dealing with drought-like conditions, or it may be raining every day. Living in areas where it rains very often can open the door to a nasty problem if you don’t know what to do. How to handle mold is a critical skill for any individual who considers themselves a do-it-yourselfer. It is actually easily treated, as long as it is caught in enough time. The most important thing to remember is that mold needs moisture to grow. If you patch a mold spot on your ceiling without fixing the leak first, you’re going to have to do it all over again. Once you do fix the problem that caused it, repairing the damage – as long as it’s not too severe, is a snap.
TREAT THE MOLD
You’re going to need to use a chemical to kill the mold, that way it doesn’t come back as soon as you paint over it. Protect any nearby surfaces, then lightly mist the area once or twice with diluted bleach (1:3 ratio), a commercial mold killer, or a baking soda and water mixture (1:5 ratio). The surface should be damp, but not dripping. If you oversaturate the wall, it’s going to take a lot longer to dry. Scrub the wall with delicate strokes (you don’t want to damage the wall by scrubbing too hard), you can use an old toothbrush, a nylon bristle brush, or a rough sponge. Between the scrubbing and the chemical, any visible signs of mold will disappear.
DRY THE WALL
The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. Use a fan on the wall to thoroughly dry out the surface. The root problem here was moisture. By fixing the leak, you’ve stopped the source of moisture, but if you don’t dry the wall before you paint, the paint won’t cover it properly, and the mold will very likely come back. Make sure the wall is completely dry before you move on to the next step.
BLOCK THE STAIN
Use a stain-blocking primer such as Kilz to cover the mold stain. Even though the cleaner will take care of the actual mold, there may be some discoloration leftover. There are stain-blockers designed to cover mold, that will cut it off from air and moisture – thereby killing whatever was left in the wall.
COVER WITH ORIGINAL COLOR
Once you’ve applied the stain-blocking primer, all that’s left is to paint over the area a final time and restore the original wall color! Congratulations, you’ve just eliminated unsightly mold stains from your wall.