When the exterior of your home is covered in moss or other organic material, it can hurt your curb appeal. With a little residential maintenance, it’s possible to cure the problem and prevent it from coming back again.
If you aren’t sure what exactly is covering the outside of your home, don’t fret. We’re here to teach you about the common contaminants you can find on the exterior of your home and how to clean them. Best of all, we will also explain how to prevent them from growing back again any time soon. We’ll cover algae, moss, oil, mold, and mildew.
What Are the Most Common Exterior Home Contaminants?
You may have found yourself asking, “What is the green stuff that grows on the siding of my home?” You are not alone. Many homeowners find green matter developing on the exterior after living in their home for a period of time. Learning what are the most common exterior contaminants can help you expedite your home improvement process.
- Algae: Dependent on photosynthesis to survive, algae grow in sunlight and enjoy moisture.
- Moss: Part of the plant kingdom, moss thrives just like the grass and weeds in your yard. It prefers shady, damp areas.
- Oil: From residential systems to stains, oil can result from many different home improvement or residential maintenance activities.
- Mold: Often compared to mildew, mold is a fungus. Typically found in moist, dark areas, mold can be incredibly harmful to your health.
- Mildew: As a fungus, this contaminant doesn’t need sunlight to live. Instead of photosynthesis, it feeds on nearby organic matter.
How Can I Recognize These Contaminants?
Once you understand the different types of contaminants affecting the outside of your house, you should know how to recognize them. Spotting exterior problems will help you perform the residential maintenance needed before they get worse.
- Algae: Typically, green in color, algae are often found on the areas of your home which are exposed to the sun. Algae don’t have a distinct texture and may appear to have a reddish color in certain climates.
- Moss: This rootless contaminant has a real structure with small leaflets but never flowers. Moss is usually green, but may also have a brown, yellow, or black color.
- Oil: Stains are a clear indicator that oil is present on the exterior of your home. Stains can range in color and typically appear darker or lighter than the exterior of the house.
- Mold: Mold often grows inside buildings, in warm, moist areas, but it can be found on the exterior as well. Colors include black, white, pink, green, and yellow. Mold can appear to be fluffy or soft.
- Mildew: Thriving in darker environments, mildew can commonly be found on the parts of exterior siding that don’t receive much sunlight. This slightly powdery contaminant is most often black, but may also show up as green, yellow, or brown.
You may be wondering, “Is black mold on the outside of my house dangerous?” Unlike mold on the inside of your home, exterior black mold doesn’t carry as many health risks. However, black mold should be dealt with quickly in order to prevent it from seeping into the building materials and putting your family at risk.
Learn how to safely and properly remove mold from your roof and deck, for a perfectly mold-free property.
How Do I Clean the Exterior of My Home?
Aside from oil stains, most exterior home contaminants can be cleaned completely without using chemicals.
- Before getting started, be sure to cover your face to avoid breathing in the contaminants, especially if you are removing mold. A standard dust mask from the hardware store works fine.
- Start with mild, soapy water and a soft scrubbing tool. Scrub and wash the areas affected.
- If the soap solution doesn’t work, it’s time to move on to pressure washing. With regular, clean water, the pressure washer should easily remove the containments from the siding of your home. Use a light setting. If the pressure is too strong, you may remove paint and other material from your home’s exterior.
For really tough cases, add a special detergent for algae or mold to the water in your power washing tank.
For oil stains, start with scrubbing the area from top to bottom with mild soapy water. Once the initial wash is complete, add your favorite general purpose cleaner to the bucket and begin scrubbing again. If a stain simply won’t go away, combine four parts water with one part of bleach in a separate bucket and use it to scrub the area. It’s very rare you will need to use power washing to get rid of a stain.
Get more helpful tips on How to Clean Different Types of Home Exteriors.
How Do I Prevent These Contaminants from Forming Again?
After you complete the cleaning process, you’ll likely wonder, “How do I prevent mold on the outside of my house?” It’s easy to keep these contaminants from returning by maintaining a regular cleaning schedule. Check problem areas often and clean them as needed to keep exterior contaminants from decreasing your curb appeal in the future.
BOOST YOUR HOME’S CURB APPEAL – TROTTA’S POWER WASHING
Maintaining a beautiful home has never been so easy. Trotta’s Power Washing is your partner for home improvement and maintenance projects. Our full range of residential services reduces the amount of time and energy you need to spend in order to keep your house looking nice. Call Trotta’s at (330) 915-3754 or request a free quote online.