Removing Mold From A Composite Deck
Composite decking materials are made from a combination of wood fibers and plastic. Several manufacturers have been involved in class-action lawsuits, largely because consumers claim the wood lookalike harbors mold. Trex, a popular manufacturer of composite decking, says mold will not damage the deck boards. Still, the manufacturer recommends cleaning the deck periodically, and offers these guidelines for removing mold from its composite decking:
What Is The Green Stuff
The green stuff that forms of patios is typically either mold, mildew or algae. Although you cant see it not without a microscope, at least wood contains thousands upon thousands of small holes in its surface. These holes, also known as pores, are constantly absorbing and releasing moisture, depending on the surrounding environment. When the environment is humid and moist, they absorb moisture. When its dry, they release moisture.
A wooden patio may turn green when excess moisture is held inside the pores for a long period of time. Mild, mildew and algae thrive in moist conditions such as this. If the wooden patio doesnt dry out, it may develop a slimy film while simultaneously turning green.
How To Remove Green Mold From Wood Decks
Shade keeps the deck inviting on a sunny day. Add moisture, and youre dealing with green mold on wood flooring, stairs and railings. Pressure washing can remove the mold, but its a job best handled by cleaning professionals.
1. Mix one-third cup of laundry detergent with 1 gallon of water. 2. Use a broom or stiff bristle brush to scrub mold off wood surfaces. 3. Rinse well, and repeat if necessary.
You can also use a mix of one-half gallon white vinegar and one-half gallon water. Keep mold at bay by regularly sweeping leaves and debris off decks and steps.
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Removing Green Mold From A Deck With Vinegar
White vinegar works well as a . It is an acidic liquid that breaks down greasy residue and grime and can easily penetrate porous materials to kill mold down at its roots.
- Scrub brush
Make sure that you have swept the deck surface to remove debris before beginning the cleaning process. Begin by mixing equal parts white vinegar and water into a spray bottle.
You can either spray the entire deck surface or just the areas affected by green mold. Use a scrub brush or stiff-bristled broom to brush away the green mold. Finish up by rinsing the deck with a garden hose.
Use this simple mixture for removing mold from walls with vinegar or for any other area affected by the fungus, both indoors and out. Vinegar is highly effective at destroying mold spores and getting rid of this dangerous invader.
Dont Make These Mistakes
Avoid these common mistakes to make cleaning your deck easier.
- Using the Wrong Cleaner
- Composite decking can be quite porous, so its important to use the correct cleaner on your deck. Avoiding using any deck cleaner that has bleach in it as it can be extremely corrosive. Instead, use an oxygenated cleaner that can reach deep into the material and clean the inside of the deck as well as the outside.
- Use a cleaner that is safe for the environment. This will help protect any plants you have around your deck.
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Directions For Treating A Wood Deck With Wet & Forget Outdoor:
Simply dilute Wet & Forget Outdoor 5 parts water and 1 part Wet & Forget in a pump-up garden spray. For a large deck, connect the Wet & Forget Xtreme Reach Hose End product to your garden hose and attach the fan tip to apply to the entire deck in minutes.
Then spray the wood deck. Thats it!
Theres no rinsing or power washing required. Wet & Forget will work with the elements over the winter to clean up the deck so its ready for use next spring.
Wet & Forget Outdoor makes deck cleaning easy!
Not all growths are equal so weve provided a few tips and facts for each.
Pressure Washing Not Recommended
You should never pressure wash a wood deck because the power washing affects the painted or stained surface making it rough. It can easily peel it off, leaving exposed wood underneath which will then rot without immediate attention. Any damage to the protective paint or stain would force you to sand and refinish your deck which would cost you much more time and money.
Composite decks are safe for pressure washing because they are sealed and therefore relatively unaffected by the blast from the pressure washer. However, we still recommend that you use a mild eco-friendly cleaning solution and just apply it with a bristle brush to remove the algae, moss or mildew.
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How To Remove Mold From Your Deck
It is always a good idea to check with your manufacturer for recommendations. For instance, TREX® Composite decking recommends UltraMean2 as an eco-friendly alternative to many of the other harsh deck cleaners on the market. A common misconception when dealing with a moldy deck is to use Chlorine Bleach to clean it. This is NOT a good idea.
The best solution for composite decking is a sodium percarbonate based cleaner, such as UltraMean2. It will provide you with a deep clean without damaging the deck.
A Complete Guide To Removing Green Mold From Home Exteriors
Last Updated on September 27, 2019 by Diana Rodriguez-Zaba
Routine yard work and seasonal chores keep the house looking its best. You can fix just about anything around your home, but how do you tackle unsightly green mold?
It grows on all types of exterior surfaces, and it doesnt care about age. Whether youve lived there for years or you just bought the house, green mold can quickly become a serious cleanup challenge.
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Restoring Your Patios Color
If your wooden patio deck has already turned green, you can typically restore its color by cleaning off the mold, mildew or algae. Start by pressure washing your patio, beginning with the lowest PSI setting and gradually increasing it until you find a PSI that works. You dont want to use the highest PSI setting, as this may damage the wooden planks. Once you find a pressure setting thats strong enough to remove the green slime without damaging the wooden planks, you should be able to clean your patio.
The Spruce also recommends cleaning green patios with a homemade solution of vinegar and Borax. After hosing down your patio either with a pressure washer or garden hose combine 1/2 cup part distilled white vinegar and 1/2 cup Borax in warm water and place the mixture into a spray bottle. While wearing protective rubber gloves, spray the solution onto your wooden patio, allowing it to sit for five or so minutes. Once soaked into your deck, scrub your deck by hand until it comes clean.
What Is Green Mold On Wood
Green mold growth occurs commonly on wood in shady or damp moist areas, or under debris that creates a shady, damp area. It often begins as dark spots or shadows before becoming furry or fuzzy. Mold can appear in different colors depending on the type of mold, environmental factors, and sometimes on the content of the material, it is feeding on.
With over 100,000 different types of mold or fungus living and working to break down organic materials, identifying the exact species requires an expert. Green mold includes thousands of different species. Penicillium, Cladosporium, and Aspergillum classifications of mold can all have a greenish coloring, as well as other colors.
Green mildew on deck boards may not be mildew it might be mold. Mold isnt mildew, although both are fungi and can occur together on different surfaces. Green mold ranges from greenish to black and is usually slimy or fuzzy. Mildew usually begins as yellow spots and then turns grayish white to a brown or greenish tinge, and has a powdery or fluffy texture. Mold penetrates wood or other organic material, not just on the surface. Mildew stays on the surface and spreads across it. Although not the same, they grow in similar damp, dark conditions.
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How To Remove Green Mold From Vinyl Siding
It takes a little pre-planning to clean green mold off exterior siding. Make sure the weather forecast is on your side. Stay safe by letting someone nearby know youll be working up on the ladder.
1. Mix a solution of 30% white vinegar and 70% water. 2. Clean mold from siding using a long-handled scrubber and working sections from top to bottom. 3. For tough mold removal jobs, use a product specially formulated to clean vinyl siding.
Slow down green mold growth on siding by keeping gutters and downspouts in good condition. Think about having your homes vinyl siding pressure washed once or twice a year by a professional cleaning contractor.
If Necessary Sand The Wood
These cleaning solutions should take care of your mold problem, but if youve got some stubborn traces left under the surface, you have one last resort: sanding.
- Use 100-grit sandpaper to rub out the affected portion, taking care not to sand away too much of the surrounding areas.
- Repeat Step 2 to remove the dust and any loosened mold spores.
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How Do I Clean A Wood Deck
To get your wood deck clean of algae, you can follow these steps.
Does Algae Rot Wood
Algae itself does not eat into timber, but the kind of moist environment in which algae thrives also spells trouble for the long-term health of wooden walls, fences and decks. Bacteria and fungi thrive in wet, shaded conditions, particularly where leaf litter and debris offer plenty of fuel for these microorganisms to reproduce. Over time, these factors will lead to wood rot and damage the structural integrity of timber, so its vital to treat algae and mould growth wherever it appears.
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Wash Down Sealed Or Painted Wood
If the mold has grown on painted wood or a sealed wood finish , begin by washing down with a liquid dishwashing detergent and water solution. Mix one tablespoon of detergent to one quart of water. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub down the surface. Try not to saturate the wood, use a sponge to remove excess water as you clean.
The Spruce / Georgia Lloyd
How To Clean Mold And Mildew From Composite Decking
Mold and mildew arent just an eyesore, they can be hazards to your health and can even shorten the life span of many composite deck boards. Mold and mildew can sometimes make composite deck boards slippery, so use caution and wear good shoes while cleaning. Use these tips to remove mold and mildew stains from your deck boards.
- Sweep the Deck
- Sweep off any surface debris such as leaves, pine needles, and dirt from the deck.
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Clean Deck With Vinegar
White vinegar is acidic and will seep into the wood and wipe out the mold at its roots. Mix the vinegar with an equal part of water and pour it into a spray bottle or plastic watering can. Apply it liberally to the whole deck as a cleaner, or only to the mold or mildew areas. If the mold area is large, do a section at a time, so the vinegar solution doesnt dry. Use a stiff-bristle scrub brush or broom to work it in and to remove the fungus. Rinse the wood thoroughly with clean water.
Why Its Important To Remove Algae From Your Deck
Besides the fact that green algae isnt a very pretty sight, it can also be hazardous. Moisture from the algae can seep into the wood, causing splinters and even structural damage if the problem is left unchecked. Algae is also extremely slippery if your deck is covered with it, someone could easily get hurt, especially if its on your deck stairs.
Algae is more difficult to remove than your average stain itll regrow in just a few weeks if it isnt properly cleaned. It also spreads quickly, so its important to remove any green spots you see right away.
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Mold Mildew And Algae Stain Remover
Some products are EPA certified for use around gardens, plants, and other landscape features. However, they shouldnt be applied near water sources, rivers, or lakes. The concentrated formula is diluted following the manufacturers instructions. For some products, one-gallon makes 6-gallons, so one part product to 5 parts water and the 6-gallons treats up to 1200 ft². It should be applied using an attachable hose spray bottle, pump-up sprayer, bucket and mop or broom, or a hand-held sprayer for small spots.
Wet & Forget products contain no bleach and arent acidic or caustic. They should be applied on a morning with mild temperatures and no chance of rain for at least four hours. Spray or mop the solution on, and youre done. There is no rinsing or scrubbing needed. Dark or extreme stains should receive a second soaking 4 to 5 weeks later.
Note: For quicker results with moss or thicker organic stains, remove as much of the material as possible without damaging the deck surface. A pressure washer may prove helpful. Apply the diluted stain remover to the surface once the top layer has been removed.
How Do I Stop Algae Growing On My Deck
To prevent algae on wood deck surfaces, you need a good airflow over and under the boards to help them stay dry or dry after a rain. Algae, like mold and mildew, flourishes on warm, moist surfaces. Using deck algae cleaner is only one of the ways of how to remove algae from wood decks. Using oxygen bleach, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide, or TSP solutions will also remove algae from the deck boards.
Scrape the surface foliage off first without damaging the wood. Apply the cleaner as per its directions, or the other solutions using a pump sprayer or scrub brush. Work it into the wood in the direction of the grain. Once the algae are gone, rinse the wood thoroughly with clean water.
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All Bleach Is Not Created Equal
One common environmentally friendly cleaning product is oxygen bleach. This is NOT the same as chlorine bleach, so dont make the mistake of confusing the two! Chlorine bleach is dangerous and toxic and will destroy the finish and material of your deck. Oxygen bleach is a completely different compound that will not take the color out of your wood decking, your vinyl siding, your painted surfaces, or your roof. Typically, oxygen bleach is a powder that gets mixed with water. Once mixed, all you get is more water, oxygen ions that do the cleaning and some harmless organic soda ash. Not all oxygen bleaches are the same. Some are completely organic, while others contain fragrances, dyes, color crystals, and excessive fillers. Always go for completely organic.
Dissolve the powder in warm water, pour it into one of those garden hand-pump sprayers and squirt it on your algae-coated surfaces. Let it soak for about ten minutes, then use a scrub brush to remove the green algae. After rinsing with a garden hose, the surfaces should look brand new again.