Have you ever gone outside to enjoy your lovely patio or deck, only to find mold and mildew growing on it?
It’s not only ugly, but it can also be bad for your health and the health of your family. Mold and mildew can make it hard to breathe, trigger allergies, and even give you an infection. But don’t worry, my fellow nature lovers!
In this article, I’ll talk about the best ways to keep mold and mildew from taking over your outdoor surfaces. So grab a cup of coffee, kick back, and let’s dive into the world of preventing mold.
Mold and Mildew on Outdoor Surfaces
High amounts of moisture can cause mold and mildew to grow on different surfaces outside.
Even woods that don’t absorb water, like teak, are prone to mold and mildew growth on outdoor wood furniture.
Paper, cardboard, roof tiles, and wood are all things that mold can grow on.
Mold and mildew can also get food from dust, very small particles, and organic matter.
How to Remove Mold and Mildew from Outdoor Surfaces
Mold can be cleaned off of hard surfaces with household items, soap and water, or a bleach solution made with no more than 1 cup of home laundry bleach and 1 gallon of water.
Mold can also be stopped by scrubbing it off of hard surfaces with soap and water and then letting them dry fully.
Preventing Mold and Mildew Growth on Outdoor Surfaces
Fixing water problems as soon as possible will stop mold and mildew from growing on outdoor surfaces.
This includes fixing leaky roofs, windows, or pipes, as well as fixing damage after a flood.
Also, it’s important to dry everything fully and get rid of porous or absorbent things like ceiling tiles and carpet that get moldy.
What Causes Mold and Mildew Growth on Outdoor Surfaces?
Mold and mildew grow on outdoor objects when the weather is wet or damp, like when it rains or when there is a lot of humidity.
Mold and mildew also grow when there isn’t enough light.
Mold and mildew are fungi that grow in places where there is too much water, like where roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or basements have leaked or where there has been flooding.
Mold can grow on many building materials because they have the right nutrients for it to do so.
Mold grows especially well on wet cellulose materials, like paper and paper goods, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products.
Health Problems Caused by Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew can be bad for your health, causing allergic reactions, skin irritations, and in some cases, substances that could be harmful.
Regular Cleaning of Outdoor Surfaces
Outdoor areas need to be cleaned often so that mold and mildew don’t grow on them.
How often you clean will depend on how much mold, mildew, or moss is there and how often it comes back.
Places with a lot of mold may need more than one application.
On other occasions, this could be done once a year as part of a spring cleaning.
Eco-Friendly Ways to Clean Outdoor Surfaces
To clean outdoor areas, it’s important to find a way to get rid of mold and mildew that won’t hurt the environment or nearby plants by blasting them with strong chemicals.
Mold and mildew can be cleaned up with vinegar and Borax, which are both natural and can be used in a lot of different ways.
Mold and mildew can also be stopped by spraying a liquid solution of copper on the concrete pavers.
This solution will soak into the top surface of the pavers and stop mold and mildew from growing.
Health Effects and Signs of Mold and Mildew Growth
Exposure to damp and moldy places can cause a number of health problems, such as upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people, asthma symptoms in people with asthma, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis in people who are prone to that immune-mediated condition.
Some children may be more likely to get asthma if they were exposed to mold when they were young, according to some recent studies.
Mold that is actively growing harms the material it lives on, which weakens the structure.
Mold is linked to bad health effects in people, such as chemicals, gases, and tiny particles in the air that are released when molds break down materials.
Signs of Mold and Mildew Growth
Fungi like mold and mildew can grow on open surfaces.
Mildew has a powdery or fluffy appearance and is usually gray, white, or yellow, but it can turn brown over time.
It is flat and powdery, and it only grows on the top of things.
This makes it easier to clean than mold.
Mildew can make you sick in the same way that mold can, but it is not as dangerous.
Mildew can be stopped in its tracks with a little bleach.
Mold, on the other hand, is fuzzier and darker than mildew.
It can grow in a wide range of colors, from bright red to dark, swampy green.
Mold can look like a small spot of dirt, which makes it easy to ignore it until it’s too late.
Mold can destroy almost anything it grows on, and it can be expensive and time-consuming to get rid of.
Mold can lead to asthma attacks, allergies, and other health problems.
Mold growing in homes and buildings means there is a problem with water or wetness, which is the first problem to fix.
Preventing and Removing Mold and Mildew Growth
Mold can grow on wet or damp building materials and furniture, so it’s important to clean and dry them within 24–48 hours.
Mold growth can also be stopped by stopping condensation on cold surfaces like windows, pipes, outdoor walls, roofs, or floors.
Indoor mold growth can also be stopped by letting in more air, using air coolers and dehumidifiers, and using exhaust fans when cooking, doing dishes, or cleaning.
To kill mold on hard surfaces, you can use commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach mix made with no more than 1 cup (8 ounces) of bleach and 1 gallon of water.
Bleach should never be mixed with ammonia or other cleaners for the house.
Look for obvious mold and mildew growth, water stains, and musty smells to tell if mold and mildew are growing on outdoor surfaces.
Mold and mildew can grow anywhere there is enough water or a problem with water.
Mold and mildew are more likely to grow on surfaces that get wet or damp often.
This includes baths, shower stalls, bathroom tiles, shower curtains, window moldings, and surfaces on and around air conditioners.
Mold can be kept in check by cleaning regularly.
Small areas can be cleaned with soap and water, but a licensed contractor may be needed for bigger areas.
Cleaning Outdoor Surfaces Affected by Mold and Mildew
Before you start cleaning, it’s important to take some safety precautions to make sure the job is done well and safely.
First, make sure the power and gas are turned off and look for structural problems like sagging ceilings or floors.
Before you start cleaning up, call your insurance company and take pictures of the damaged area and your things.
The most important thing to do to stop mold damage is to dry out the area and get rid of anything that got wet.
Removing Mold and Mildew
Once the safety steps are in place, it’s time to get rid of the mold and mildew.
Scrub mold off of hard surfaces with soap and water, and then let them dry completely.
If mold grows on ceiling tiles or rugs, for example, they might have to be thrown away.
Mold can grow on porous materials or fill in their holes and cracks, making it hard or impossible to get rid of completely.
To avoid getting sick, it’s important to wear safety gear when cleaning moldy areas.
If you decide to hire a contractor to do the cleanup, make sure the contractor has experience cleaning up mold and check their referrals.
Fix pipe leaks and other water problems as soon as possible after cleaning to stop mold from coming back.
Make sure the mold cleanup is done before you move back into the room.
Mold can cause asthma attacks, irritated eyes and skin, and allergic reactions.
Several cleaning methods can be used to get rid of mold and mildew on outdoor surfaces.
Mold can be killed with vinegar and bleach on hard surfaces that don’t have pores.
A blend of water, soap, and a little bleach can be used to get rid of mold on outdoor furniture.
For cleaning plastic outdoor furniture, you can use a product made to get rid of mold or vinegar and water.
Before you use bleach on plastic furniture, you should check to see if it will change the color in a spot that won’t be seen.
Commercial Mildew Removers
Outdoor materials can be cleaned better with a cleaner that gets rid of mold and mildew, such as Iosso Mold & Mildew Stain Remover.
When mixed with water, the cleaner can be used to clean vinyl, sails, canvas, plastic, wood, carpet, metal, and painted surfaces.
A spray bottle with equal parts of water and white vinegar can be used to get rid of mold and mildew on outdoor clothing.
You should wash the affected areas well and scrub them gently with a soft-bristled brush.
The fabric should be left out in the sun to dry all the way.
There are also commercial products that can be used to get rid of mildew on outdoor areas.
RMR-86 Instant Mold & Mildew Stain cleaner is a mildew cleaner that is extra strong and can be used both indoors and outdoors.
When you use commercial mildew removers, it’s important to follow the safety and storage instructions given by the maker.
Lowe’s also sells a number of cleaners that get rid of mold that can be used outside.
Why Mold Inspection is Crucial for Cleaning Outdoor Surfaces
Hey there, if you’re looking to clean your outdoor surfaces, you might want to consider getting a mold inspection done first.
Mold can grow on any surface, especially in damp and humid conditions, and it can be harmful to your health.
Mold spores can cause respiratory problems, allergies, and even infections.
A mold inspection will help you identify any areas that are prone to mold growth, and you can take preventive measures to stop it from spreading.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, and a mold inspection can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
Moreover, cleaning outdoor surfaces without addressing the mold problem can be counterproductive.
You might end up spreading the mold spores around, making the problem worse.
So, before you start cleaning, make sure you get a mold inspection done.
It’s a small investment that can go a long way in keeping your outdoor surfaces clean and healthy.
For more information:
Outdoor Mold Inspection: Prevention, Cleaning & Risks
Pressure Washing and Safety Precautions
Benefits of Pressure Washing
Pressure washing is a good way to get rid of mold and mildew on surfaces outside.
A pressure washer uses a strong stream of water to blast away mold and other things that have built up on the surface.
Pressure washing can be used on pavement, siding, roofs, and driveways, among other things.
But it’s important to get the pressure just right for each surface so you don’t hurt it.
For mold or mildew, you can use less pressure and a layer of suds.
Pressure washing can get rid of mold and mildew, but it can also get rid of the tiny things that mold and mildew eat, like leaves, seeds, grass clippings, and flower petals.
To keep mold from coming back, it’s important to get rid of both the mold and the organic waste.
Some areas may be treated with a copper sulfate solution after being washed with pressure to stop mold and mildew from growing again.
Different Cleaning Techniques
Some pressure washing companies use a bleach mixture to kill mold and mildew germs when they remove mold from outside surfaces.
Soft washing is another way to clean.
It uses low-pressure washing and a mixture of algaecides, bleach, surfactants, and water to safely remove organic spots, mildew, and algae from the outside of a building.
Soft washing, power washing, and pressure washing are all similar, but they use different cleaning methods and products.
When cleaning moldy and mildewed objects outside, you need to be careful not to get mold spores or other harmful substances on your skin.
When cleaning moldy and mildewed objects outside, you should be careful about the following:
- Wear protective gloves (non-latex, vinyl, nitrile, or rubber) to avoid touching mold or moldy items with bare hands.
- Wear goggles that provide eye protection to avoid exposure to mold spores.
- Use an N-95 respirator that covers the nose and mouth to filter out 95 percent of airborne particulates.
- Avoid eating, drinking, and using tobacco products and cosmetics where mold remediation is taking place to prevent unnecessary contamination of food, beverage, cosmetics, and tobacco products by mold and other harmful substances within the work area.
- Ensure the mold cleanup is complete before reoccupying the area to avoid exposure to mold that can lead to asthma attacks, eye and skin irritation, and allergic reactions.
- Dry the surfaces quickly and thoroughly to discourage further mold growth.
It’s important to know that biocides shouldn’t be used for everyday mold cleanup.
Full containment is the best way to clean up a mold problem if it covers more than 100 square feet or if people will be exposed to it for a long time or in large amounts.
The main job of personal safety equipment is to limit how much mold a person is exposed to.
Preventing Mold and Mildew Growth
Mold and mildew are common problems that can grow on things like wood furniture, concrete steps, and siding that are outside.
These fungi grow best in places that are wet and humid, so it’s important to control moisture to stop their growth.
Here are some ways to keep mold and mildew from growing on things outside.
To stop mold and mildew from growing, the first step is to stop water from getting in.
Fix any leaks or water problems right away, and make sure everything is completely dry.
This will help stop mold and mildew from growing by getting rid of the damp places they need to grow.
Regularly Clean Outdoor Surfaces
Mold and mildew can also be stopped from growing on outdoor surfaces if they are cleaned regularly.
This is especially important in places where there is a lot of wetness, like in the shade or where it rains a lot.
Cleaning outdoor areas will help get rid of dirt and other things that can help mold and mildew grow.
Removing Mold and Mildew
If you see mold or mildew growing on outdoor objects, you should get rid of it right away.
Use a solution of detergent and water or bleach (no more than 1 cup of home laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water) to get rid of mold and mildew on hard surfaces.
Scrub the solution into the hard surfaces, and let them dry fully.
Spray the solution on the mold on wood furniture, wait an hour for it to dry, then wipe the surface with a damp cloth and dry the furniture.
Bleach can damage wood, so make sure to use a light solution and try it out on a small area first.
Preventing Mold and Mildew on Concrete Pavers
To stop mold and mildew from growing on concrete steps, spray them with a copper solution that will soak into the surface.
Copper is a natural pesticide that can stop mold and mildew from growing.
For siding, clean it often with a combination of cleanser and water, and then rinse it with plain water.
This will help get rid of any dirt or other things that can help mold and mildew grow.
Professional Cleaning Services
When to Call a Professional Cleaning Service?
If the moldy area is less than 10 square feet, you can do the job yourself by scrubbing the mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water and drying them fully.
But if the mold problem covers more than 10 square feet, you should call in the experts.
Large mold problems need special tools and knowledge that can only be provided by a qualified contractor.
Why Hire Professional Cleaning Services?
Professional cleaning services have the tools and know-how to safely deal with big mold problems.
They have the safety steps, harnesses, high-end pressure washers, and industrial cleaning solvents needed to clean your outside in a safe way.
They can also make your business look more professional and fresh.
Enhance the Curb Appeal of Your Property
If you’re getting ready to sell your business, a good cleaning of the outside can make a big difference in how it looks from the street.
A clean outside can make your business look friendlier and more professional, which can bring in more people and boost your income.
Final reflections and implications
Now you know the best ways to keep mold and mildew from taking over your outdoor areas. But before you leave, I want to say one last thing.
Mold and mold are not only ugly, but they can also make you sick. So, it’s important to keep them away by taking precautions. But what if I told you that cleaning isn’t the only way to stop mold?
What if I told you that taking care of your outdoor surfaces not only keeps mold and mildew from growing, but also helps make the world healthier? By keeping your outdoor areas clean and well-kept, you’re cutting down on the amount of harmful pollutants and toxins.
So, the next time you scrub your outdoor surfaces, remember that you’re not just preventing mold and mildew, you’re also helping to protect our world. It works out well for everyone.
In conclusion, preventing mold isn’t just about keeping your surfaces clean; it’s also about taking care of our surroundings. So, let’s all do what we can to keep our public areas clean and safe for future generations.
Looking for a new Pressure washer?
Choosing a gadget can be very difficult if you know nothing about the technology.
Some will pay for features they do not need while others may not consider what they really want.
So I created this quick, newbie guide to help you focus on what is really important to you:
The Best Pressure Washer (For You!)
What are some ways you can keep the outside of a house clean?
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Links and references
- Mold & Moisture Control Manual
- Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings (US Environmental Protection Agency publication)
- How to Perform Mold Inspections manual
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guide for building owners, managers, and occupants on preventing mold-related problems in the indoor workplace.
My article on the topic:
Mold & Mildew Removal: Tips for Cleaning Outdoor Surfaces
Memo for my own use: (Article status: essence)