PennCoat, Inc – Paint Failure Series – Mildew

 Mildew is a Problem with Industrial Paints

While selecting paint for any industrial surface, there are a few factors that one needs to consider.  Your choice of paint should not depend only on colors or budget, but also the paint’s performance. From anti-corrosive paint to mildew-resistant coating, there are a variety of commercial painting products available in the market. Mildew-resistant paints are, usually, used for equipment and surfaces in areas where the environment is damp.

In industrial painting, mildew is defined as a slight discoloration in the surface of the paint that is caused by a growth of fungus. From wooden to aluminum, mildew can grow on a variety of organic and inorganic surfaces. They are visible as green, gray, brown or black spots on the surface. But, mildew is not caused by paint; it is caused by presence of moisture in the environment. Thus, most painted surfaces face problem of mildew, especially, ones that receive very less or no sunlight. Mildew can also grow if paint is applied on a contaminated surface or substrate consisting of mold. Presence of mildew also interferes with adhesion, and can lead to other paint failures too.

Though mildew is easily visible, here are few ways to identify presence of mildew –

  • For verifying presence of mold, check surfaces in areas with less direct sunlight, high condensation, damp and warm climate. These are the conditions in which mildew thrives, even on painted surface.
  • Mildew has a strong, musty odor, and can easily be identified.
  • If you find green or brown spots on the surface, put few drops of bleach on the area. If the spots disappear, it indicates presence of mildew.

For preventing and fixing problems related to mildew on paint surface, you need to take care of the following –

  • Apply epoxy coating on surfaces that are exposed to humidity and dampness. Epoxy coating prevents growth of mildew on surface.
  • You can also apply specific algae-resistant and mild-dew resistant coatings.
  • While preparing surface for paint, remove all visible and invisible contaminants like dust, bacteria and others. If you are repainting a surface that has been affected with mildew, remove the mildew completely before starting with repainting. For removing mildew, use a mixture of bleach with water and scrub the affected surface.
  •  Try to control humidity and dampness in the environment. Also, take steps to improve air circulation in the room.

Taking small steps can go a long way in improving life and appearance of painted surface!