Did you notice mildew on your home’s exterior a mere few months after you had it repainted?
Have you been trying to get rid of it for years, but to no avail?
Are you resigned to an unappealing greenish grey facade?
If it’s any consolation, mildew is an extremely common problem, especially in areas with lots of warm, humid weather.
Of course, that doesn’t make it any less annoying. It looks bad, it smells bad and it keeps coming back. It’s like the herpes of the construction world. Right?
The truth is that you don’t have to surrender control of your home’s color scheme and curb appeal to the elements. In fact, if you understand what you’re dealing with, saying goodbye to mildew for good is actually quite easy.
Think that sounds too good to be true? Read on.
Know Your Enemy: What Causes Mildew?
The first thing you need to understand about mildew is that it’s a living thing: a microscopic form of plant life. And just like any other living organism, it needs certain conditions in order to develop.
It’s not unknown for mildew to grow even at freezing temperatures. However, the optimal conditions include some form of organic material (read, your home’s siding), moisture and warmth.
Unfortunately, warm and humid weather is somewhat the norm in certain areas of the country. Short of moving North, there’s nothing much you can do about this.
But don’t despair just yet.
There are still ways and means to prevent mildew from taking hold. The trick is to make your house an unpleasant place for it, so it won’t be able to thrive.
How To Prevent Mildew Formation
If you understand what causes mildew, preventing its formation is as simple as taking those conditions away.
Firstly, you should address any issues that might be creating moisture on your exterior walls. Look for any setup that encourages it and address it there and then.
Plants shouldn’t be placed too close to your exterior walls. They tend to accumulate water, which – you guessed it – attracts mildew. In the same way, remove any tree branches that hang directly over your house. They’re unsightly and can be dangerous, anyway.
It’s also a good idea to check for any leaks or water damage. Most will be relatively easy fixes, such as a badly behaved sprinkler or a leaky gutter.
Secondly, you should give your exterior walls an anti-mildew treatment. This is as simple as buying a special paint from your local hardware store.
In addition, you should be aware that certain paints will let mildew take hold more readily, whilst others will actively inhibit mildew growth. Always go with the latter.
But before you head off to the hardware store to buy yourself some paint, make sure you’ve killed any mildew first. Painting over it won’t work. The mildew will simply come through.
Getting Rid Of Mildew For Good
Killing mildew for good is as simple as wiping it off with household bleach.
Just mix one part bleach with three parts water and scrub the area with a stiff-bristled brush.
Even better, call in the professionals to pressure wash your exterior walls. The mildew won’t even know what hit it, guaranteed!
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