Fighting Mildew

By The Old House Web

Q: What's a good way to remove mildew from outdoor surfaces? It'sgrowing on our porch ceiling and on our side of a neighbor's woodenfence.

A: Bleach water might work, but I would go ahead and make a strongercleaning solution so the job gets done the first time. Here's thebest mixture I've come across, which comes from a housing specialistat Clemson University:

  • 1 quart liquid chlorine bleach
  • 1/3 cup powdered laundry detergent
  • 2/3 cup of a strong household cleaner that containstrisodiumphosphate
  • 3 quarts of warm water

Scrub surfaces with a brush and this mixture. Rinse well with cleanwater and let the surface dry thoroughly.

This is a strong solution, so be sure to wear rubber gloves and don'tlet it splash in your eyes. You might also cover grass and shrubswith a plastic sheet to avoid damage.

Whatever you do, don't mix any ammonia or ammonia-based cleaners withthe bleach. Mixing ammonia and bleach causes chemical reaction,producing dangerous fumes.

While you have the solution handy, you might also check on theunderside of awnings, soffits, and carport ceilings for any othermildew.

Source: Ohio State University Extension

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