Mildew is unsightly and disgusting, and whether you are in your retirement home or just building your first home the mildew has to go. 

Luckily, you can easily get rid of your mildew with some simple mildew removal techniques you can implement yourself. 

As a homeowner, if you see mildew on your siding or exterior walls, you don’t need to panic. At Design Tech Homes we’ve bumped into mildew many times – and now we’re here to help you take care of your mildew problem. 

Just follow these simple tips to get rid of the mildew and help prevent more mildew in the future.

At the bottom of this page, there is a downloadable infographic on cleaning and preventing mildew on wooden siding and walls.

How can I prevent mildew on my house?

Mildew is caused by humidity and moisture.  

You can control mildew by making sure your home’s exterior has plenty of airflow and can dry quickly when it becomes wet. 

What can you do to help prevent mildew?

  • Arrange landscaping so natural breezes can flow near the house and dry the siding if it becomes wet from rain or dew.  
  • Keep shrubs away from the walls to allow for better drying.  
  • Install gutters and downspouts, as well as a moderate roof overhang.
  • Give special attention to air movement patterns on northern exposures that don’t get much sunlight to assist in drying. 
  • On sidings which may have a tendency to absorb moisture from rain or dew, a semi-gloss, gloss latex, or oil paint with an appropriate primer is recommended.
  • When staining wood siding or leaving it to weather naturally, use a water-repellent wood finish (often combined with a wood preservative). You can get these products in hardware/paint stores. 

 

To remove mildew from wood siding, hardi-plan, or stucco, use the following solution:

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose laundry detergent
  • 1 quart household chlorine bleach (must be fresh)
  • 3 quarts warm water
  • An alkaline cleaner such as washing soda or a cleaner containing trisodium phosphate can be added for extra cleaning. Follow package directions or use ½ to 2/3 cup.

Begin by scrubbing the surface with a soft brush. Avoid splashing on shrubs and other plants. Rinse well when you are finished. 

Commercial mildew removers/cleaners are also available. 

Make sure you wear protective clothing — long sleeves, goggles, and rubber gloves.

These solutions also work if you want to remove mildew from wood. 

Repainting siding after removing mildew

If your siding needs to be repainted, choose a mildew-resistant paint. 

The most mildew-susceptible paints are latex paints, especially when you use them with a linseed oil base primer. Acrylic gloss and semi-gloss latex paints are less susceptible to mildew than flat latex. 

Exterior enamels are the least susceptible paints. Special paints are also available that contain a mildewcide.  

If you are confused, your local hardware store or paint supplier will be able to assist you in choosing the correct paint and primer to reduce mildew on your home and its effects.

To remove mildew from brick: 

Once a year, spray your brick off with a water hose and a spray nozzle. A solution of one cup of bleach mixed with a gallon of water used with a stiff brush works well to clean the brick. 

Don’t use wire brushes or synthetic brushes—they can discolor the brick.  Instead, use a natural fiber brush. Also, make sure you soak the brick well before washing it with the bleach solution. 

To remove mildew from stone:

To clean stone walls, fences or other structures, wash the walls with a mild soap solution. Rinse well with clean water.

Conclusion

Mildew is a pain in the neck, but thankfully you should be able to take care of it fairly easily. 

Read more homeowner tips and tricks here from Design Tech Homes. 

If you are looking for custom home construction in San Antonio, Houston, Waterfront areas, or other areas in the Houston & Central Texas area, then view some of our available floor plans or get a quote today!

If you want to learn more about building a home in Texas, read our new blog post:  14 things to know when building on your own land in Texas.

P.S. Click our infographic below to download!

Cleaning and Removing Mildew from Exterior Walls and Siding 1

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