So you invested a small fortune into installing vinyl siding on your outside walls, and for a while, you have enjoyed the perfect exterior of your house. That is, until you started noticing unsightly dark stains on the walls. Indeed, vinyl siding is a durable, waterproof, and low-maintenance solution. But, unfortunately, it is not immune to mold or mildew. And no material is! It doesn’t matter whether your walls are made of plastic, wood, aluminum or brick. Give fungi favorable conditions, and it will grow pretty much anywhere. However, this is not a reason to give up! Keep reading to find out how to get rid of mold on the exterior of the house and – most importantly – how to prevent it from coming back in the future.
What causes mold growth?
Mold and mildew are types of fungi. There is hardly any difference between them except for the color. Mildew is a powdery substance that is usually gray, white or light brown. It resides on the surface of materials not eating away at it which is why mildew is considered to be the lesser evil. It is easy to spot and clean out. Whereas, mold can be more difficult to find and much harder to get rid of. If you don’t see anything but feel a distinct bad smell, we recommend inspecting every nook and cranny. Unlike mildew, mold comes in a myriad of colors and looks “fuzzy”. With mold, what you see is not always what you get – even more fungi can hide inside the walls.
Mold and mildew naturally occur in dark, warm, and humid environments and easily grow on porous materials like wood and paint. So the #1 areas that you should regularly check are the walls that never get direct sunlight, are shaded by trees and bushes, or frequently get wet from sprinklers and faucets.
Exterior house mold removal
The growth of mold or mildew on the outside walls can make even the most beautiful house looks hideous. As soon as you identified the problem, follow these easy steps to remove mold from the siding once and for all.
Step 1: Preparation
Chemicals in cleaning solutions may harm your garden. So before you get on to work, cover the plants or other items near the wall that may get damaged in the process.
Step 2: Choosing the cleaning solution
You may be tempted to apply a pressure washer, but it is worth checking with your siding manufacturer first since improper maintenance can potentially void your warranty. As for the cleaning solution, you can go with any of these options to clean the mold on the exterior of the house:
- For light stains: it is enough to use just water
- For medium stains: apply a solution consisting of 30% vinegar to 70% water
- For heavy stains: mix up a laundry detergent solution (⅓ cup laundry detergent, ⅓ cup powdered household cleaner, one-quart of laundry bleach, one gallon of water), use a special siding cleaning solution, or bleach.
Step 3: Testing
Any cleaning solution or tool should be first tested on a small area of your vinyl siding. Preferably the one that is out of sight. Better safe than sorry!
Step 4: Cleaning
Use a garden sprayer to apply a solution of your choice and lightly scrub the siding with a soft-bristled brush. Wash away with a hose or a power washer.
Exterior mold prevention
When it comes to fighting mold or mildew, prevention is key. Here are some tips on how you can stop mold on exterior walls from growing:
- Trim the trees and bushes regularly so that the branches never touch the siding and there is enough air between the plants and the wall.
- Make sure your sprinkler doesn’t aim directly at the house.
- Apply a fungicide recommended by your siding installation company.
- Wash your siding at least once a year. Give special attention to the walls on the shady side of the house.
Why you should never ignore mold on exterior walls
Unlike mildew, mold is far from just an aesthetic problem because it rarely stays outside. Mold tends to permeate deep into the walls and eventually can grow on the inside too. It will eat away wood and severely damage other materials reducing the value of your property. Mold is hazardous not just to your wallet, but also to your health. Inhaling spores can cause allergies, nasal stuffiness, eye, throat, and skin irritation, coughing, and wheezing.
If you want to remove mold from your siding but are afraid to damage it, hire a professional! We offer a full range of siding services to clients from Louisville, Kentucky. Call us at 502-379-7415 or fill a short online form here and our managers will get in touch with you shortly.