Exterior Mildew

Mildew is a fungus which consumes organic materials. Because paint (as well as most construction materials) contain organic compounds, mildew growth can be destructive to these materials.

In addition to these destructive qualities, mildew can also pose a safety risk when it accumulates on walking surfaces, such as sidewalks and decks. When wet, mildew can be extremely slippery.

Regularly removing mildew is a necessary step to protect the integrity of your home’s exterior and preventing extensive and expensive damages to paint, siding, fascia boards, and bricks. Regular cleanings will also remove the dirt and other contaminants on which mildew depends for nutrition. As well as preventing damage to these surfaces, such cleaning will also improve the short-term appearance of your home.

While effectively removing mildew is not a complicated process, it does require the proper equipment, cleaning agents, and knowledge.

Because the mold spores are microscopic, removing visible mildew is only part of the solution. Residual mildew, as well as mold spores, must be killed for an effective cleaning job.

While a pressure washer can be used to clean painted surfaces, the most effective method utilizes chemical cleaning agents and a low pressure process.

A chemical injector attached to the pressure washer allows for rapid and thorough application of the cleaning solution.

The most common cleaning solutions use chlorine bleach to kill mildew and mold, and a detergent to loosen dirt. The solution should be applied and allowed to activate for a period of 10 to 15 minutes, and then the surface should be thoroughly rinsed.

Additional applications of the solution may be necessary, particularly in areas with heavy mildew growth. A pump up sprayer can be used to treat small areas with a more concentrated solution.

High pressure water will remove most visible dirt and mildew. However, pressurized water will not kill mildew, nor the mold spores which cause it.

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