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Put Down That Mold Killing Primer!

October 5, 2023

That tell-tale black stain indicates a mold problem.

But will a mold killing primer do the trick?


Of all the surprises you might encounter when doing a home renovation or disaster cleanup, few things are more concerning than mold.

In addition to the noxious smell (and the dingy stain it leaves behind), you’re probably concerned for your family’s health and safety…and rightfully so! (Though it’s important to note that not all mold is ‘black mold‘).

You know you can’t just leave it there, so you do what any reasonable homeowner would do: slap a coat of mold killing primer or mold resistant paint over it.

Here’s why that’s a bad idea.


What Is Mold Killing Primer?

There are a number of products at the hardware store that are designed to combat or prevent the growth of mold and mildew. The problem is that they’re not all created equal…and most homeowners don’t know the difference.

Mold fighting products come in a wide range of formats, types, and uses, but they can be broken down into three basic categories.

Not all products labeled "mold killing" are designed to kill mold.

Products like Concrobium sprays and Decon 30 are used to destroy mold on the cellular level and are used by professional mold damage restoration companies. These types of products will prevent the mold from returning or spreading, but will not improve your home’s cosmetic appearance.

Once the mold growth has been treated, you can use a mold-resistant primer and paint to cover the stains left behind.

Many people confuse “mold-resistant” with “mold-killing” but they are not the same thing. Mold-resistant primers create a slick surface that makes it difficult for mold and mildew to grow on top of them, but will do nothing to any mold that lies beneath the surface.


Does KILZ Kill Mold?

KILZ is a common go-to product for anyone looking to get rid of mold. It’s easy to apply and can be found at any local store. But one search for “KILZ mold killing primer” should tell you everything you need to know. KILZ Mold & Mildew Primer will not kill mold and its instructions say to remove any existing mold, mildew, and other fungal organisms before applying.

There is one mold killing primer on the market that does claim to kill mold, but this does not mean it is a valid option for DIY mold remediation.

Zinsser Mold Killing Primer is a water based product that claims to “kill all existing mold, mildew, moss, fungi, and odor causing bacteria and any other fungal organisms.” However, the label also states that it’s only for use on non-porous interior and exterior surfaces, such as stone and masonry.

Drywall, fabric, acoustic tiles, wallpaper, and even wood are considered porous surfaces. Due to the microscopic texture of these materials, you will not be able to apply the primer in such a way that it comes into contact with all of the mold spores. (That’s why professional mold remediation companies don’t use it.)

man painting primer on drywall

If even a single spore is left untreated and uncovered, it can grow into an entirely new mold colony and you will have to start all over again. And if the mold is growing behind (or inside of) the drywall, it will be able to spread completely unchecked.

As a professional damage restoration company, we see firsthand what can go wrong when mold and water intrusion aren’t properly treated. There is currently no mold killing primer for porous surfaces on the market, so any search for a mold killing primer for porous surfaces is futile. While mold killing primers can be effective at preventing the growth of mold in a moist area, your best bet is to get rid of the mold by cutting out affected areas in a completely contained location.

Can You Paint Over Mold?

Painting over mold it is not recommended and it definitely will not do anything to fix our mold problem.

Moisture is the underlying issue that needs to be addressed regarding mold growth and containment, and painting over mold does not address the moisture beneath the surface. Over time, the mold can continue to grow beneath the paint, causing health problems and structural damage.

Painting over mold can also cause the mold to release harmful spores into the air. Painting cover the look of mold, but it doesn’t actually do anything to treat it.

Getting Rid of Mold

Mold is notoriously pervasive and can pose a hazard to your health, which is why you should never attempt to treat or remove mold yourself.

Professional restoration companies have the training, knowledge, experience, and equipment needed to protect themselves and prevent mold spores from spreading during the removal process. Not to mention, many of the popular household solutions (such as bleach or air mold tests) are ineffective at removing spores deep within porous surfaces.

In order to properly treat and remove mold, the affected area must first be sealed off with plastic sheeting and tape. Think of this like a biohazard suit for your home. If you do this step incorrectly and the tape becomes unsealed, your entire house is now “infected” with mold.

Next, you must have a series of air scrubbers, both in and out of the sealed area.

Mold removal expert

Lastly, anyone who will be handling the moldy materials must have the proper attire, including long sleeves/pants, gloves, safety goggles, and a respirator. Mold remediation takes about a week from start to finish, but if you don’t hire a professional, it can take much longer and wreak havoc on your home if not done properly.

Very few homeowners have this type of equipment laying around (much less the know-how required to use it!). If you notice a mold colony taking up residence in your home, don’t try to do it yourself, even with a mold killing primer. Leave that to the pros.


Take Mold Seriously!

Mold’s ability to damage your home and cause a plethora of health issues means that you should take immediate action whenever you discover it. But testing for mold and removing it is an extensive process that homeowners lack the time, energy, and experience to complete correctly.

If you notice mold inside your home—or you’ve recently had a roof leak or any water damage—call a mold remediation company to determine the extent and severity of the infestation. The professionals will be able to tell if there is an underlying moisture issue that is contributing to the mold growth as well as remove it effectively.

As a full-service damage restoration and Orlando remodeling company, Axel Works has the knowledge, experience, and training to handle the biggest disasters life can throw at you. We can even work with your insurance company if mold damage is covered by your policy.

From structural damage to reconstruction, we are ready to tackle any stage of disaster. We’re available 24/7/365 and can be at most locations within a couple of hours. Call today to get started.

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