Mold on exterior siding is not only unsightly, but it can also cause health problems and damage to your home. Excessive moisture and humidity can create an attractive environment for mold growth on exterior products — even low-maintenance siding. In fact, no siding is impervious to mold, including brick, wood siding, cement siding, and vinyl siding.
What causes mold on siding?
Siding is designed to allow rainwater and other types of moisture to run off the exterior walls of your home, but even durable siding can be susceptible to unsightly mold growth under certain conditions. Excessive rain or continual contact with water can increase the moisture content on and under your siding, elevating the risk of mold. Since some molds need humidity to grow, warm and humid weather conditions can also contribute to a mold outbreak.
Vinyl siding is not completely maintenance free. As an exterior product, it can still accumulate dirt, grime, and stains. In shady, moist areas, mold and mildew can grow on siding by feeding on sugars, dust, dirt or other organic materials that are attached to the siding. With wood siding, mildew and algae can feed on the actual stains and sealers that are used to preserve the wood.
Shadier areas of your house are particularly susceptible to mold. Because these areas are the slowest to dry out, their moisture levels remain high. The sides of your home that are shaded by trees or shrubs or that don’t receive direct sunlight are at a greater risk of a mold outbreak.
What’s a homeowner to do?
Take steps to reduce the amount of moisture that comes in contact with your siding. Avoid aiming your lawn sprinklers directly at your house. Additionally, ensure that your gutters are clean and in good working order. Clogged or leaking gutters can cause rainwater to run down your exterior walls and can increase moisture levels on and under your siding.
Target the vegetation around your house that creates the shady spots that grow mold. Regularly trim your trees and shrubs away from your siding to minimize shaded areas that can encourage mold growth. This will ensure ample air circulation and prevent organic matter and water from depositing on your siding.
In addition, you should regularly hose down your siding to wash off organic matter. Keeping your siding clear of dirt and grime will allow it to repel water better and dry faster.
Call a professional
Since mold and mildew can spread quickly, cleaning existing mold from your siding is essential as soon as you see it appear on your home’s exterior. One of the best options for cleaning siding mold is pressure washing, best done by a professional. A professional service will diagnose and evaluate the problem, and will spray low-pressurized water – mixed with the mold-killing agent appropriate for the surface material – on exterior trouble spots.
Preventing mold on your siding begins by monitoring and reducing the conditions that encourage mold growth in the first place. Keep a watchful eye on your home’s siding for any signs of mold, and be prepared to take action to prevent a major outbreak. At DeMarks Building Maintenance Solutions, we can help you determine the right preventative maintenance and mold eradication efforts to keep your home exterior clean, attractive, and mold-free.