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How to Clean Mold, Mildew, and Algae from Your Sidings

calander Jun 11 , 2020 user-icon Nash Painting

No one’s siding is immune to the forces of nature. Without regular and proper maintenance, your home’s exterior is bound to fade, chip, peel, or otherwise deteriorate. You should want to avoid these outcomes not only because they reduce your home’s curb appeal, but also because they can lead to larger structural issues and health concerns. Many homeowners who live in more humid climates are familiar with the menaces of mold, mildew, algae, and other fungal foes. Let’s go over how to clean these unwanted actors from your siding.

Act Fast

The sooner you commence cleaning your siding after spotting mold, mildew, and/or algae, the easier it will be, as the infestation will be smaller and less invasive. This is why it’s important to regularly inspect your siding. The most common indicators of these issues include black, green, or yellowish stains on your siding that won’t easily come off like dirt, dust, or other debris.

Use the Right Cleaning Solution

The most important factor in effectively removing fungi from your siding is to apply the right type of cleaning solution. You can create a mixture yourself using household materials or purchase a dedicated cleaning solution. Do your due diligence when using or mixing together cleaning solutions, as certain mixtures may end up removing your exterior house paint and/or damaging your surfaces. For instance, do not use products such as nail polish remover, grease removers, undiluted chlorine bleach, or anything containing organic solvents.

Experts note that a mixture of 70% water and 30% white vinegar is usually effective for cleaning mold, mildew, and algae from vinyl siding. If you’re looking for something stronger, you might also try mixing ⅓ cup powdered laundry detergent, ⅔ cup powdered household cleaner, one-quart liquid bleach, and a gallon of water. Cleaners containing hydrogen peroxide are another proven option. You can also purchase various siding cleaning solutions from manufacturers -- just pay attention to their composition, instructions, and recommended uses. Different solutions may be more or less suited for different siding materials (i.e. masonry, metal, stucco, etc.).

Scrubbing and Rinsing

Obtaining or concocting the right cleaning solution is only half the battle when it comes to removing mold, mildew, and algae from your siding, of course. Next, you have to add some friction. You can always decide to manually scrub any afflicted areas with a stiff brush or sponge -- just make sure to not use anything too abrasive (such as steel wool), as you might accidentally remove paint or scratch your surfaces. Right after scrubbing, rinse your exterior surfaces with a hose and warm water.

The Power of Pressure Washing

When performed properly, manual scrubbing can be effective, but it’s undoubtedly time-consuming, especially if your siding is riddled with fungi. If you want to speed things up, consider using a pressure washer instead. These gas- or electric-powered machines send a powerful pressurized blast of water and cleaning solution at a given surface. The ensuing heat and friction help loosen the mold, mildew, or algae while the detergent and water clean the surface of all remaining traces.

Understand, however, that while a power washer can be highly efficient at cleaning your siding, it can also damage your home and lead to injury if mishandled. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to enlist pressure washing services to clean your siding unless you have access to one of these devices and experience using them.

Whether you’re preparing for a new exterior home painting job or simply want to clean your home’s siding, any mold, mildew, or algae has to go. With the right materials, tools, and techniques, you can eliminate these threats with relative ease. But if you need help in any way, Nash Painting is here for you and your home. To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!