Clean Mold From a Wood Deck
LESLIE: Cindy in Virginia needs some help getting her deck ready for the season. What can we do for you?
CINDY: Yes. I painted my deck white. It was previously stained. And it keeps getting this blackish mold or substance on it and I’ve tried Krud Kutter and siding cleaner and soap and water and it just will not keep it off of there. Can you tell me what it is or what I can do about it?
TOM: This is a wood deck?
CINDY: It is.
TOM: Have you used a deck cleaner?
CINDY: I have and it still keeps coming back.
TOM: Did you use one that had oxygenated bleach in it?
LESLIE: Or even just bleach and water or OxiClean?
CINDY: I’ve tried OxiClean as well. Yes.
TOM: And so it doesn’t lighten it up at all? There’s a product out …
CINDY: It lightens it but it just keeps coming back.
CINDY: I mean just like it covers it up for a day or two and then it comes right back.
TOM: It comes back in a day or two?
CINDY: Well, it seems like a day or two; maybe it’s a little longer. (Leslie chuckles)
TOM: Seems like a day or two. Could be a month or two but it seems like a day or two. Well, let’s talk about the area that this deck is in. Is it very shady?
CINDY: We have a tree hanging over the deck.
TOM: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Well, that’s clearly contributing to it. Because you get tree droppings and you also have the shade. The shade blocks the sun and the sun is the best mildicide out there.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and the deck is an organic material, so everything that’s on there – you get the shade, you get the moisture, you get the wood deck and all of a sudden you’ve got mold or mildew growth right there.
CINDY: Well, I get the morning sun but the afternoon and evening, it’s definitely shaded.
LESLIE: Hmm. I would, if I were you, Cindy, I would try to really work at it with some bleach and water and – you know, a good amount of elbow grease. But I think what you’re going to see is if you mix up some bleach and water – maybe 50/50; pour it on the area; let it sit for like ten or so minutes – do this in the morning time when you’ve got the sun on that area – and you’ll see that that’s going to really cut down on that mold and get rid of it.
And then once it’s gone, I would – I mean it’s always going to come back if you don’t try to get some sun on it for a larger portion of the day. Is there an area of the tree that you can trim back? Can you do something to get more sunlight on this? And then once you’ve killed off whatever is there – I mean I don’t know how long ago you painted it – maybe it’s time to prime and paint again so that you’re sealing in whatever is there that you’ve cleaned and killed and then starting from scratch, if you will, and getting some more sunlight on it; that should help you right there.
CINDY: OK, I’ll give that a try.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.