Mold and mildew are types of fungi that grow in areas exposed to moisture. Together, they do more than just diminish your deck’s appearance and can cause serious damage over time. Have you noticed damp, discolored spots on your deck? If so, New Jersey Siding & Windows, Inc. explains how to identify mold and mildew on your deck and what you can do to eliminate them.
Identifying Mold and Mildew
In many cases, mold and mildew grow in plain sight, especially where water collects or shadows fall. Even if you don’t see mold and mildew, it could be growing in areas that are hard to reach. Mildew is identified by its fuzzy appearance and white or gray color. Mold, on the other hand, tends to look like a slimy growth and can be green or black. The presence of either on your deck is unsightly, and both mold and mildew can spread quickly.
The Dangers of Doing Nothing
Allowing mold and mildew to grow on your deck carries significant consequences. For example, surfaces where mold gathers often become slippery, resulting in slips and falls. Mold and mildew in your deck can also weaken its structure over time, resulting in splintered, cracked, and faded boards. Extreme cases may even cause wood rot, requiring the replacement of affected boards.
Mold and mildew can also have health consequences for your family and guests. Even brief exposure can result in skin irritation, while inhaling mold and mildew contributes to respiratory problems, including wheezing, coughing, sneezing, and bloody noses. Because of this, you should remove mold and mildew as soon as they appear. However, use caution if you encounter black mold. This mold is especially dangerous and must be treated by experts.
Removing Mold and Mildew in Your Deck
Mold and mildew can be removed quickly and easily from your deck with immediate results. Best results are achieved on hot, sunny days when the sun will quickly dry your deck after cleaning.
The first step is to give your deck a thorough cleaning with a pressure washer and light detergent. Be careful to use the right amount of pressure to avoid damaging the deck’s boards, and rinse away all soap until the water runs clear.
You can also use a bucket and scrub brush to clean your deck. Choose a deck cleaning solution, baking soda, or vinegar, or mix one-third cup of laundry detergent with one gallon of water. You’ll want to avoid chlorine bleach, as it will only kill surface mold and can be harmful to grass and plants. Always use gloves and eye protection when removing mold.
Avoiding Future Mold and Mildew
Once your deck is clean, it’s important to keep it that way. Follow the steps below to reduce the risk of future mold and mildew and avoid extended maintenance:
- Frequently sweep your deck, removing leaves and debris
- Use a putty knife to clear debris between deck boards to improve water drainage
- Keep your deck dry and in direct sunlight when possible
New Jerseys’ Decking Experts
Taking proper care of your deck will keep it safe and looking great far into the future. But if your deck is no longer structurally sound or needs more improvement than a quick scrub can provide, it may be time to consider a replacement. To learn more about our decking services, contact the deck builders from New Jersey Siding & Windows, Inc. or call 973-895-1113 to speak with a member of our team and request an estimate.