How To Remove Mold From Wood Or Composite Decks
Unsealed or uncapped wood easily absorbs water, making it an ideal environment for fungus to grow. Even sealed wood or capped composite material can occasionally fall victim to mold or mildew growth. Since mold can trigger health issues and allergies, as well as slips and falls on the deck, its important to act quickly if you see signs of mold. Mold grows in many different forms, colors, and shapes on wood and deck board surfaces. Let’s learn how to clean mold and algae from wood and decking to help prevent slips and falls on the deck.
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:
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.
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Removing Mildew From Wooden Deck
Oxygen bleach is a compound of hydrogen peroxide and natural soda crystals and is commonly used in many cleaning products. It is a gentle alternative to chlorine bleach and works well for removing mildew from wooden deck.
- Scrub brush
To make this simple DIY mold and mildew cleaner, mix just enough water and oxygen bleach in a bucket or plastic container to form a paste. Use a scrub brush to apply to the mixture directly onto the green mold stain and allow it to sit for about 20 minutes.
Use the brush to scrub away the loosened mold. Give the area a proper rinsing with a garden hose. If some of the stain remains, repeat treatment or try a different mold removal method.
How To Eliminate Green Mold From A Deck With Baking Soda
Baking soda is a natural cleaning alternative to use instead of a cleaning product that contains harsh chemicals. Its a soluble powder that acts as a mild scouring agent to loosen and remove green mold.
- Protective gloves
Give the deck a thorough sweep to remove all loose dirt. Cover nearby plants with a plastic tarp to protect them from the cleaning solution.
After putting on some protective gloves, mix the water and TSP in a bucket and use a brush with stiff bristles to scrub the mixture onto the decking. Scrub in the direction of the wood grain, and pay special attention to areas with green mold. When done, spray the entire surface area of the deck with a garden hose.
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How To Remove Green Mold From A Wooden Deck With Oxygen Bleach
For years, people have used chlorine bleach to clean their decks and for removing mold. While this is a useful measure for killing fungi, it can cause damage to the wood fibers. A safer alternative to chlorine bleach for mold cleaning is oxygen bleach. This homemade deck cleaner utilizes the strength of oxygen bleach, Borax, and soap to remove mold.
- Scrub brush
Sweep dirt and debris off the deck before you begin this method. Add the water, oxygen bleach, soap, and Borax into the bucket and mix the solution well until everything has dissolved. Apply the bleach solution by dipping the brush into the bucket and sloshing the mixture onto the wood.
Begin at the farthest side of the deck and work your way to the other as you scrub the deck surface. Re-wet the brush as needed. Allow the solution to sit on the decking for about 15 minutes and rinse the entire surface using a garden hose. You may opt to follow this treatment with a deck brightener solution.
Cleaning Mold And Mildew From A Travertine Pool Deck
Travertine is the ideal way to add color and texture to your pool deck. But, being in a damp environment, increases the risk of mold and mildew growth. To prevent this, I decided to research some of the best ways to keep a travertine pool deck clean.
To remove mildew or mold, youll need to wet the deck. Then, apply the cleaning solution. Using a soft-bristled brush, scrub the area. This will allow you to remove the mold. Lastly, use water to wash down the decking, removing the mold.
Keeping a travertine deck clean is easy. As long as you catch it early, it will only take a few minutes. Lets take a closer at how you can use these methods.
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What Factors Aid Algae Growth
Knowing what conditions cause algae to grow can help you prevent it from growing on your deck, patio, and wooden outdoor furniture.
Algae thrives in a dark, damp environment, but it doesnt grow overnight. That means with proper maintenance, its relatively easy to prevent your wood deck from turning green. The two main factors youll need to be mindful of are debris and moisture.
- Debris: As leaves, pine needles, and other debris accumulate on your deck, they block sunlight from reaching the woods surface and create an ideal breeding ground for algae, mold, and mildew. Sweep or blow debris from your deck often.
- Shade: If your deck is naturally shaded by trees or your home, sweeping alone may not be enough. Youll need to do an annual deep clean of your deck to keep algae and moss at bay.
- Moisture: When it rains, does water pool and sit on certain areas of your deck? While most decks have enough space between planks to allow for excess water to drain, your planks may be sealed or some may be uneven. In the winter, sweep snow off your deck to keep the surface as dry as possible.
What Kills Black Mold On Exterior Wood
How do you kill mold on wood? With a simple cleaning solution of dishwashing soap and warm water. Add a teaspoon of soap to a spray bottle filled with water and shake it up. Spray the affected area and use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub away the mold, sponging up any excess liquid as you clean.
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How Do You Get Mold Off A Composite Deck
4/5If you need to remove mold and mildew from your Trex Deck, it’s a fairly simple process.
Mix wood, spores and water and you get black spots. You can clean them off, but the spots come back because the mold and mildew spores are constantly floating down onto the and you have a nearly constant supply of water.
Similarly, can you clean a composite deck with vinegar? When cleaning your , make sure you only use oxygen bleach and not chlorine bleach, which can compromise the structural integrity of your wood . Vinegar – Safe for both composite and wood , mix a half-cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to¼ a cup of baking soda with 1 gallon of water.
In this regard, can you use bleach on composite decking?
Most manufacturers will warn you that Bleach will fade colored composites especially when used in direct sunlight. Regular use of Chlorine Bleach can eventually lead to premature chipping, splintering, and cracking that can affect the structural integrity of your composite deck.
Is it OK to pressure wash composite deck?
Is Deck Mold Dangerous
by MG Construction & Decks | Jun 17, 2021
Mold is a living organism. It depends on other organisms for food and survival. Mold exists in different colors such as black, white, purple, green, and orange. Black mold is commonly found on wood decks. When mold grows on deck, it may cause problems including serious health hazards. This article explains the dangers of mold and how to remove mold from wood decks.
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How To Remove Mold From Stained Or Painted Wood
Although mold grows most easily on bare wood, old stain or paint that is beginning to fail can allow black mold to take root and grow. To clean mold from a stained or painted wood surface, use regular household dishwashing detergent and warm water.
Three or four tablespoons per gallon are enough to do the trick. Apply the solution and scrub until clean. Avoid using bleach to clean stained or painted wood as it can cause discoloration.
A pressure washer isnt a good option with painted decks as the pressure washer can easily strip the paint. Once the area is clean, apply vinegar to kill any black mold roots and as a preventative to stop new mold growth.
How To Clean Mold Mildew From Composite Decking
While mold and mildew will not harm your composite decking, they can be unsightly and may be slippery in wet conditions. Trex recommends periodically cleaning your composite decking to keep it looking great for years to come.
First, youll want to start with a deck cleaning solution. Trex recommends using warm, soapy water when cleaning mildew and mold from your composite deck. If a commercial solution is desired, Trex recommends either Olympic Deck Wash or Expert Chemical Composite Deck Cleaner & Enhancer. Chlorine bleach may cause the color to fade on your decking, so we prefer to stick with the products Trex recommends.
To wash the deck:
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Can Black Mold Damage My Deck
Black mold isnt just unsightly. If left unchecked, it can and will eventually destroy a deck as black mold is usually accompanied by wood-eating fungus.
Mold breaks down the wood fiber, leading to rot and decay. Rot will ultimately impact the structural integrity of the deck, requiring parts of the deck to be replaced.
How To Clean Mold From Outdoor Travertine Pavers
Once you have noticed mold on your pavers, its important to take action before it starts to spread. If the mold should get firmly established, it can bring a range of health concerns.
The mold spores can cause breathing difficulties. They can also make the deck slipperier, increasing the chances that you will lose your footing. Thankfully, as long as you spot it early, it should be easy to get rid of.
First, you will need to wet the pavers. This will ensure that the mold spores wont get airborne. As an added safety measure, you might want to wear gloves while you are cleaning.
Next, youll need to make the cleaning solution. Youll just need to mix a bucket of warm water with dishwasher fluid. Then, you will be able to scrub the area. Do this until the mold spores have been removed. To avoid damaging the travertine its best to use a soft-bristled brush.
Once you have removed the mold, youll need to use the hose to wash it away. Sometimes, though, you might find that there are still some stains on your tiles.
Ifthis is the case, you can try sprinkling some talcum powder around the tiles. Leave it to dry and absorb the stains, then you can sweep it away. To finish, wash away the whole area.
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What Is Green Algae
And how do you tell it apart from moss, mold, and mildew?
Algae is a slimy, green film that grows on wood in wet, dark conditions. Moss is also green and grows in similar conditions, but is soft and fuzzy to the touch. Mold is a fungus that appears on wood as greenish-black streaks. Untreated, mold spores can pose a health risk to people and pets when inhaled.
While algae, moss, and mold are different, they are all equally harmful to your deck and should be treated right away.
Is Black Mold Dangerous
Black mold can cause serious respiratory and even pulmonary health problems in people and pets, which is why most homes are inspected for mold before being sold.
Health concerns associated with black mold are more of an issue when black mold forms inside homes where the mold spores become concentrated in the air and can more easily be inhaled by residents.
While this isnt as big of a concern outdoors where there is ample ventilation, it still presents a health hazard. In addition to spewing mold spores into the air, black mold can also make a deck very slick, making it dangerous to walk on. This is especially hazardous if the black mold is allowed to grow on deck stairs.
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Removing Black Mold With Pressure Washer:
Many choose to deal with a pressure washer for faster removal of mold and mildew. A pressure washer is a powerful tool that comes with a wider range of pressure. It can create a pressure of water of about 2,000psi or more. However, to deal with mold problems on deck wood pressure of about 1500psi would be enough.
Whereas for usual deck cleaning you need pressure around 800psi to 1000psi, for mold cleaning 2000 will create excess pressure. Again, a nozzle with a 40 to 60-degree wide angle will also be required. Make sure you do not choose a nozzle with a narrow tip.
Using the nozzle, spray the wood deck systematically. Make sure you are spraying from up to two feet away. Spraying too close to the deck can damage the wood. If the mold infestation is highly significant then first apply a cleaner with a soap dispensing pressure washer.
Starting from the deck inside the corner, wash the place systematically. When you are done pressure washing all over the deck wood rinse the deck using a garden hose. Clean off the soap from the deck so that it doesnt become slippery.
For your information, using the pressure washer on softwood requires only pressure of about 500 to 600psi. More pressure will decay the softwoods including cedar, pine, and all. Likewise, you also need to be careful with the hardwood as well.
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Removing Mold From Wood With Baking Soda
As a natural cleaner, baking soda is strong enough to kill mold but gentle enough to use around pets and children. Baking soda does a lot more than kill active mold spores it also absorbs moisture, which can help prevent future mold growth.
- Spray bottle
To clean antique wood furniture and eliminate mold at the same time, fill up a plastic spray bottle with warm water and add one tablespoon of baking soda. Shake to dissolve the baking soda. Spray the moldy area with baking soda cleaning solution and rub with an old rag or scrub well with a scrub brush.
This should effectively remove all mold from the surface of the wood. Rinse wood clean with water to remove traces of residual mold and cleaning solution. Respray wood surfaces with the cleanser and allow it to dry. This second coat will kill any leftover mold and prevent its return.
Conditioning the wood after cleaning will preserve it and bring out the natural shine.
What Kills Mold Instantly
In such cases, a solution of diluted bleach provides the fastest way to kill mold on walls or flooring. Prepare the solution by adding one cup of bleach into a bucket that contains about a gallon of warm water. Then proceed to scrub the mold vigorously with a stiff-bristled brush youve dipped in the bleach solution.
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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.