April showers bring more than just May flowers. In fact, all the rain, snow, sleet, and temperature changes that lead up to the warm weather can take a serious toll on your outdoor spaces. While you surely want to enjoy your porch and/or deck all season, you might have a problem on your hands: mold or mildew.
Of course, you can’t fully address this problem if you don’t know what to look for. Let’s go over some key indicators of mold or mildew on your deck or porch, and suggest what you or your Raleigh painting service might do to get rid of it and prevent it in the future.
What Causes Mold or Mildew?
We’ve all run into mold at one time or another, usually when emptying old takeout from the backs of our refrigerators. While there are various types of mold, some more harmful than others, they all operate in similar ways. Molds are multicellular fungi that often grow and thrive in warm, humid conditions. In other words, moisture is one of the main culprits in mold formation on or in your home, and if left unchecked, these spores spread fast.
Mildew is similar to mold in that it’s a quickly spreading fungus that thrives in similar conditions. Mildew, however, is typically easier to clean and remove than certain types of mold. You can usually identify mildew by its white-grey color, while mold typically looks greenish-blue. Both mold and mildew are found more often in regions with wetter, more humid climates.
Signs of Mold or Mildew on Your Porch or Deck
If you live in a humid climate, then, you should check your deck or porch every month or so for signs of mold or mildew. But what exactly should you look for? If you catch mildew in its early stages, you might struggle to notice it, though in later stages it might be widespread and readily apparent. Start by looking at the bottom and corners of your deck, and below it, if possible. The ground will carry plenty of moisture, so mold and mildew are likely to start their journey at these parts of your deck.
If you see darker areas, white spots, small fibers, or all of the above, you’ve got mold (and/or mildew). But don’t panic just yet. Noticing these signs early on will allow you to remove the material and take some preventative measures to keep it away.
What You Can do About it
All types of fungi are well-adapted and therefore difficult to completely eradicate. That said, there is plenty you can do to help prevent mold and mildew from forming on your deck or porch. Indeed, the reason you might have found mold in the first place may be due to a lack of preparation.
But first things first: you’ll want to get rid of any existing fungi. You can use a chemical spray containing mildewcide, though bleach works as well. Just be careful not to use anything that might corrode or damage the wood. Scrub the areas with a firm wire brush to really buff the nuisances out. Also, consider pressure washing your deck for a deep clean that gets between the cracks and blasts away bacteria.
Once your deck is clean and dry, you’ll want to apply deck stain or paint your deck to seal it, depending on your aesthetic preferences. Both painting and staining well protect the wood’s pores from moisture, though stain penetrates the wood while paint simply covers it like a thick blanket. If you’re unsure about how to stain a deck, get help from professional contractors. Some Raleigh house painters are able to do this for you.
If you want to spend time on your porch or deck this summer and for years to come, you must guard against mold and mildew. Anderson Painting contractors can give you advice on regular deck maintenance, as well as remove any existing mold that might be present and prevent it from returning. To learn more about us and all our services, call Anderson Painting today at 919-610-1855 or email us at [email protected]!