LESLIE: John in Delaware, you’re on the line. What can we do for you?
JOHN: Alright, I have a aluminum siding and we put mulch around my house. And after about six months, we started seeing all these black little specks on the aluminum siding. And one of my neighbors had the same thing and they actually had to replace their siding. I immediately pulled out all my mulch and it stopped. And I wanted to find out how we can get rid of that.
TOM: That’s called artillery fungus and it’s a fungus that very frequently lives in mulch.
LESLIE: But you’re not going to see it in the mulch because it’s so small.
TOM: Right. And what happens is it gets up into the air and as the – as the fungi grow, they burst like little shots. And then that gets carried on the air and it sticks to the siding and it leaves the white dots. It’s very, very, very difficult to get rid of. You did the right thing in getting rid of the mulch because that stops the source of it. Removing it from the siding, you have to physically scrape it off – which could be done, in your case, with some steel wool; done very, very gently so you don’t take the paint off – or sometimes you can wash it off with a solution of Jomax, which is a household cleaner, and a pressure washer done very gently so you don’t, again, harm the siding.
LESLIE: And you might just have to, you now, physically scrape at each spot; and especially on the aluminum siding, if you find that – because sometimes when you get the fungus spot off itself, you’re going to find like a brown stain underneath.
LESLIE: You might just need to go back in with an oil-based paint and just sort of touch up. You know, get something that really matches as close as you can to the siding color. And you need to be careful because it can actually – the artillery fungus can jump to cars.
JOHN: Oh, really?
TOM: If you want to try a mulch that tends to be – tends to not contain artillery fungus, don’t use shredded wood. Use whole chips of wood; whole chips of bark. That tends to be much more successful than using the shredded mulches.
JOHN: Well, I appreciate that. I’ll try that solution.
TOM: You’re welcome, John. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.