How to Remove and Prevent Mildew on your Home Exterior

Posted by Sam Sundeleaf on Thursday, May 27, 2021

Just like the common cold, nobody is immune to mildew growth on the siding of their home. Here in the Portland area, the dampness of the climate and the scarcity of sunshine can cause mildew to form on even the most elegant of homes.

The most likely places to spot mildew on Portland homes include behind bushes and shrubs, and on the north side of the house. It may appear as a slightly gray or green film, or even as a thick green scum. Mildew can grow on all kinds of building materials, including vinyl, brick, painted wood, and one of Portland's classic siding styles, cedar planks or shakes.

If you find mildew growing on your siding, what should you do about it?

Treating Mildew on the Exterior of Your House

Because mildew is a fungal growth, the spores must be killed as part of the treatment process. If the visible signs are simply washed away, the problem can quickly recur. 

There are many products available that will kill the mildew on the siding of your home, including ones that are safe to your family, your pets, and the environment. Ask your local painting company what product would be best for your specific circumstances.

Once the home has been sprayed and the mildew has been killed, it can be removed with the scrub-and-rinse method, or with a pressure washer.

Should I Use a Pressure Washer to Remove Mildew?

Pressure washers (also called power washers) are powerful cleaning tools, and they can be very effective at removing mildew. Unfortunately, they are so powerful that they also pose a risk of personal injury or property damage. Especially on homes with wood siding, a pressure washer can leave permanent etch markings in the wood. For these reasons, it is best to leave pressure washing to a professional house painting company.

The scrub-and-rinse method for mildew removal is more gentle, though it can take more time. Use a scrub brush with soft bristles and a long handle. Dip it in mildly soapy water and scrub the walls, starting from the top and working your way downwards. Use a garden hose to rinse, and watch the mildew melt away!

Preventing Mildew Growth on Your Siding

While no one is immune to mildew, just as is the case with the common cold, there are some things you can do to slow its growth or spread. 

  • Antimicrobial paint: Many premium exterior house paints include anti-fungal properties, such as mildewcide additives. This gives your home extra protection against the growth of unwanted mildew. Your exterior house painter can help you choose the best product for your Portland home.
  • Trimming landscaping: The more fresh air and sun exposure your siding gets, the less mildew growth there will be. Trim back your bushes, shrubs,and trees to allow airflow and sun exposure for your siding.
  • Annual washing: One of the best ways to keep your home looking fresh and beautiful year after year is with a paint maintenance plan, including annual pressure washing. 

Sundeleaf Painting

For more than 90 years, discerning homeowners in the Portland region have trusted Sundeleaf Painting with their high-end homes. We provide top-notch customer service and unbeatable quality in exterior house painting. Additionally, we offer pressure washing and concrete cleaning, interior painting, wood refinishing, and much more. 

To get a free estimate for your exterior house painting, use our online estimate request form, or contact our office by phone or email. We look forward to serving you!

Sundeleaf Painting, Inc.
2037 SE Ochoco Street
Portland, Oregon 97222
(503) 236-9797

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