Keeping your vinyl siding looking as pristine as the day it was installed takes plenty of work. Unfortunately, all of that hard work can be undone by mold and mildew growth. Both can leave behind greenish and brownish stains that make your vinyl siding look much older and more stressed than it actually is.
Prevention is the key when it comes to dealing with mold and mildew growth. The following offers a few preventative solutions you can use to prevent mold and mildew from taking hold of your siding.
Know Where Mold is Most Likely to Grow
Although it's possible to find mold and mildew on just about any surface, there are certain portions of your home that may be more susceptible to mildew than others. For instance, mold and mildew grow best in moist areas with plenty of shade, so areas of your home that are exposed to direct sunlight won't have as many problems with mildew. On the other hand, portions of your home that are constantly shaded or exposed to heavy amounts of moisture may face an ongoing battle with mildew.
By knowing which parts of your home are most susceptible to mildew and mold growth, you can take appropriate action to discourage such growth. That includes tracking down sources of excess moisture, such as a leaky outdoor faucet, busted water pipe, or a rain gutter in need of cleaning or repair.
Kill Mold and Mildew On-Sight
Think you see mildew growing on your vinyl siding? The sooner you get rid of it, the better. Not only can it spread further if left to its own devices, but it can also leave behind unsightly stains that prove difficult to remove the longer you leave it in place.
You have plenty of options for dealing with mildew. For instance, you can use ordinary white vinegar and water to neutralize and remove mildew from your vinyl siding. You'll need to add 3 parts vinegar to 7 parts distilled water in a bucket. Use a soft-bristle brush to scrub the solution into the siding and let it sit for 30 minutes. Afterwards, you can rinse the siding off with a garden hose.
If you need something that packs a harder punch, you can use diluted household laundry bleach to clean your siding. Simply mix a quart of household bleach, a 2/3-cup of powdered non-abrasive household cleaner and a 1/3-cup of your favorite powdered laundry detergent into a garden sprayer filled with water. Spray the solution onto the siding and let it sit for about 5 minutes, and then hose it down.
Use Mildew-Inhibiting Exterior Paint
If you ever decide to paint your vinyl siding, you can use that opportunity to add some extra protection by using a few coats of mildew-inhibiting exterior paint. These paints are usually formulated with a mildewcide that prevents mold and mildew from taking hold on painted surfaces.
If you're using paint that doesn't come with a mildewcide, you can add one to your paint. Standalone mildew-inhibiting agents usually come in pre-sized packages for easier addition to your paint. Simply pour the entire package into the paint can and stir thoroughly for a few minutes until the paint and mildewcide are equally distributed.
Keep in mind that some paints offer natural resistance against mold and mildew growth. For instance, paints containing zinc oxide offer better resistance against mildew than other paints. Zinc oxide has natural mildew-inhibiting qualities that make it effective in controlling growth.
Routine Inspections are Essential
Sadly, there's no way to put a permanent end to mold and mildew. The best way of dealing with the issue is through constant vigilance and proactive measures against mildew growth. For this reason, it's important to conduct regular inspections of your vinyl siding for any traces of mold or mildew. The sooner you spot the early stages of mildew growth, the sooner you'll be able to tackle the issue.
For more information, contact a company like Blue Springs Siding and Windows.