Vinyl is the most popular siding option in the US. Ask any siding contractor. It has a lot of advantages which makes it the easy choice for a lot of homeowners.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t exempt it from falling victim to mold and mildew. Just like with other materials, it can also be a breeding ground for them.
Just like with other issues, prevention is better than cure. If you want to protect your investment (and siding installation can get really expensive), you need to protect your investment and this includes protecting it from harmful mold and mildew. This is why we’ll provide you with tips on preventing mold on vinyl siding in the future.
On this page:
- What is Mold?
- Dangers of Mold
- Mold vs Mildew
- What Causes Mold to Grow on Vinyl Siding?
- Vinyl Siding Mold Cleaner & Removal Products
- How to Remove Mold & Mildew from the Vinyl Siding on Your Home
- Removing Mold from Cedar Siding
- Preventing Mold on Vinyl Siding in the Future
- Vinyl Siding Mold Inhibitor
- Getting Help from Professional Mold Abatement Companies
Why should you prevent it from happening? Why should you remove it if it already happened? It’s because they come with dangers. We’ll list these dangers for you to convince yourself that this is an emergency issue.
What are they anyway? We’ll talk about mold and mildew and we’ll also differentiate them. This can help you determine what you’re dealing with.
So what causes mold to grow on vinyl siding? This is important information so that you can prevent it from happening in the future. It will also give you a good understanding as to why it happens.
There’s a good chance that you’re reading this article because it already happened. We’ll teach you how to remove mold and mildew from the vinyl siding on your home. We’ll also talk about the different vinyl siding mold cleaner and removal products available in the market, including mold inhibitors.
Cedar is a popular siding material. Read on if you have a cedar siding and you just stumbled upon this article. You can still benefit from reading this article even if you have another type of wood siding, too. In addition to this article being a comprehensive guide, we’ll also tell you how to remove mold from cedar siding.
If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance that you’re looking for information so that you can do it DIY. It may seem like a good idea now especially if you’re looking to save money. Well, we’re here to tell you that it’s not a good idea. We’ll show you both options and why it’s better to hire a professional.
Most DIYers prefer to do things DIY so they don’t have to pay for labor cost. This is understandable. What if we have a free service that allows you to receive and compare from affordable quotes from the best contractors in your area? By using our free service, you can find an affordable quote and it will make better sense to hire a professional.
What is Mold?
It’s a fungus made up of micro-organisms. You probably have this idea that it’s a bad guy. It’s generally a good guy because it plays an important role in nature. It’s responsible for the breakdown of dead plants, leaves and the likes. We’re actually exposed to it every day we go out. Exposure shouldn’t be a problem if it’s not prolonged and in huge amounts.
Dangers of Mold
It can be a bad guy if you’re exposed to it regularly and in huge amounts. The problem is it when it starts a colony inside your home where you spend a lot of your time. It has everything that it needs outdoors – the right temperature, food source and moisture. There’s a good chance that your home already has the first two. It’s when moisture is introduced into your home and that’s when mold starts to grow.
You should treat it as an emergency issue as soon as you spot mold because of the following dangers:
- It can get you sick.
Exposure to it can trigger a lot of sicknesses. Irritation is a nasty start and your skin, eyes, throat, nose and even your lungs can get irritated. It can get worse if you’re allergic to it in the first place. It can trigger a deadly allergy attack especially if you’re dealing with the black variety which can be toxic. It can also trigger an asthma attack – the severity of which is depending on how serious the sufferer’s asthma is.
In addition to those allergic to it and those with a compromised immune system, also at risk are children and the elderly.
- It can damage your home.
If you’ve seen walls that are heavily-infested, you know that these walls should be taken down and replaced. This is because mold damags whatever it’s infesting. One day it’s slowly eating away at a few square feet of walls. Soon, you’d be dealing with huge infestations at other parts of your home.
The worst case scenario is it damages your home’s foundation. Your home is only as strong as its foundation. If it’s compromised, then you’re in for a huge headache and repair bill.
- It can lower the resale value of your home.
You’ve invested a lot in your home. It doesn’t really make sense to allow its resale value to lower. You should be making a conscious effort to make it higher and not lower. This is not going to happen if there’s mold because potential home buyers are going to see it even from the outside and they’ll see a lot of dangers. As mentioned, it will also damage your home.
Mold vs Mildew
You already know about mold. What about mildew? They’re both fungi. They both like moist areas. Their main difference lies in their color. Mildew is often gray or white that is patched on moist areas. While you need professional help to remove mold, you can easily buy a mildew remover and remove it yourself using a brush.
What Causes Mold to Grow on Vinyl Siding?
Vinyl is a top choice because it comes with a lot of benefits. Unfortunately, it’s not perfect, and it shows in the fact that it can be prone to mold growth.
What causes it to grow? Here are the most common reasons:
- There’s dirt buildup.
There’s a reason why it’s recommended that you regularly clean your roof and siding. This is to lessen the dirt buildup. Dirt is a food source of mold and mildew.
- It’s near trees.
Pay close attention if your home is near a tree. This is because of dead leaves and sap from the trees that are also food sources.
Trees can also provide shade to your home. While this can be a good thing, it can lead to a bad thing when one side, say the north side, of your home doesn’t get sunlight at all. This puts that side in a constant state of darkness which is the preference of the fungi.
- There’s moisture.
As mentioned, moisture is the 3rd thing needed by the fungi to grow. The moisture could be because of poor maintenance. It could also be because of a leak.
Vinyl Siding Mold Cleaner & Removal Products
For a natural solution, a 70-30 water and vinegar mix is a trusted go-to cleaner for most cleaning tasks around the house. You can try that to try and clean the mold from the vinyl siding. You can also ask the siding manufacturer if you can use a pressure washer to wash off mold.
Dishwashing liquid is also another cleaner to try. It’s been known to work well with mold. You can also try using oxygen bleach. Just make sure to try it on a small area first to make sure that it won’t affect a bigger area.
You can also go full force and create a solution using a bucket of water, a cup of dishwashing liquid, half a cup of oxygen bleach and half a cup of trisodium phosphate. There are also over the counter products like Mr. Muscle.
However, it’s important to note that they’re not guaranteed to work. This is especially true with bigger infestations. It’s also not recommended to try and remove it on your own. You already know the dangers of exposing yourself to an infestation. This is why it’s recommended that you hire a professional even if there are vinyl siding mold cleaner and removal products that you can try. You can try them on smaller infestations, though.
How to Remove Mold & Mildew from the Vinyl Siding on Your Home
The first thing that you need to do is to check with the manufacturer of the vinyl siding if you can use a pressure washer on their product. This way, you’ll know if you can use one or you can only use good old-fashioned elbow grease.
Here’s how to do it:
- Prepare the mold cleaning solution. Refer to the list of removers above.
- Use a pressure washer to wet the siding. Make sure that you’ve checked with the manufacturer to make sure that you can use a power washer and that it won’t damage the siding. Set the pressure to 1200 psi at most and use the 40-degree attachment for the nozzle to lessen the risk of damage to yoru siding.
- Scrub the siding. Use a scrub brush that has natural but stiff fiber bristles. Scrub the mold using the cleaning solution while applying moderate pressure.
- Rinse with the power washer. Start from the top most part and work your way down.
Removing Mold from Cedar Siding
One of the drawbacks of wood is that it attracts fungi. Cedar siding is not an exemption. This is especially true if you have finished siding. This is because they feed on the natural oil in the wood.
Don’t make the mistake of using just any remover. Sure, cleaners like sodium hypochlorite and sodium percarbonate are proven to be very effective at removing the fungi. However they’re so effective that they’ll damaged the cedar wood as well.
The key here is to use a diluted solution. You can still use these cleaners, but use a more diluted solution than what’s recommended. Simply put, add a bit more water. You should also try it on a small and inconspicuous area to check first if the wood is going to react negatively or not.
This is basically a trial and error process. If it affects the wood, dilute the solution more. If it doesn’t remove the mold, use a stronger solution. Find that balance. You can start with mixing 5 parts of warm water with a part of the cleaning solution. Just make sure that it doesn’t have ammonia.
Here are some more tips:
- You can use a sponge mop or a sprayer. You can also use a brush as long as it has soft bristles to avoid damaging the wood.
- Keep the moldy areas wet with the cleaning solution for up to 15 minutes. Allow the solution to work its magic. It’s best to work on a cloudy day so that the solution wouldn’t evaporate.
- Do not scrub too hard. Let the solution do its job. Scrubbing too hard will just damage the wood.
- After 15 minutes, rinse using a garden hose. There’s no need for a high pressure washer. Make sure that the water is pointed downwards.
- Leave to dry for a few days. Refinish if necessary.
Preventing Mold on Vinyl Siding in the Future
There’s no point in removing mold on vinyl siding if you’re not going to put up measures in place to prevent it from happening again. Do you really want to go through the removal process again? It consumes a lot of time, effort and money. You wouldn’t want to go through this again and you can prevent that from happening by following these tips:
- Establish a regular checkup and cleaning schedule.
This is to make sure that you stop a buildup before it happens. With regular cleaning, you can get rid of things that will start a buildup. You can also take this chance to check out if there’s buildup already so you can get rid of it before it gets bigger.
You should also act fast. The moment that you see a buildup, take care of it no matter how small it is. It’s easier to deal with the problem while it’s still small.
- Allow natural light.
As mentioned, these fungi love dark and damp spaces. This is why you can often see them in the parts of your siding that don’t get sunlight. These parts are constantly in shade because of trees and shrubs.
You may want to trim these trees and shrubs. This way, natural light touches these parts to avoid creating a perfect breeding ground for mold.
- Get rid of climbing vines and moss.
These are popular with landscape artists. A lot of homeowners also encourage them because they think that they add a visual appeal. They’re right. Done by an experienced landscaper, they can really make your home look beautiful.
The problem is they can encourage the growth of fungi. It’s because they make the siding dark and damp. It becomes the perfect breeding ground.
- Take care of leaks and other sources of moisture.
Moisture is usually the missing link for fungi to grow in your home. If you stop it, then there’s a good chance that they wouldn’t grow. Moisture is unavoidable with siding since it’s outdoors. Don’t make matters worse by introducing more moisture.
Leaks are a notorious source of moisture that will eventually lead to mold. So make sure that you take care of all sources of leaks. You can start by checking out your gutter. It can get clogged and that will spill water onto your siding.
You should also watch out for your home’s sprinkler system. Keep it away from your home.
- Check your home’s ventilation and insulation.
Your home’s ventilation system has ducts. Moisture can build up in these ducts and it can also affect the siding. You should also make sure that they’re cleaned regularly to prevent a buildup.
It’s also good practice to make sure that the siding has good insulation. If you hired a good contractor for the installation, this should be taken care of. But still, check to make sure that the insulation is still top-notch.
If it has no or poor insulation, you may want to reinstall the siding and invest in proper insulation.
Vinyl Siding Mold Inhibitor
There are products that prevent mold from growing. They inhibit it from growing on vinyl siding. They’re called vinyl siding mold inhibitors. These are needed if you think you’re prone to mold growth. They’re also important after removing the problem in order to prevent a repeat in the future.
These are basically additives usually applied by means of spraying. This is sprayed on wood and other vulnerable areas to help prevent growth. The important thing is to make sure that it’s environment-friendly and non-toxic.
DIY vs Hiring a Professional
It might be tempting to do it DIY. After all, you can save a lot of money doing so. You don’t have to pay a professional to clean the siding for you and to get rid of mold. You’re thinking of the hundreds of dollars that you’ll save.
In addition, there are DIYers that take pride in the fact that they do things themselves. They get satisfaction knowing that they accomplished something themselves.
Experienced DIYers should be able to remove mold without the help of a professional. However, it’s always better to just hire a professional so you can enjoy these benefits:
- You can expect the best results.
Provided that you hire the best contractor that you can find, you can expect the best results because professionals are trained to do what you’re expecting them to do. They’ve had years of experience cleaning and removing mold. They’re actually doing this for a living. If they’ve been in business for a long time and they’ve been receiving good feedback, then it’s quite obvious that they’ve been doing an amazing job.
You’re basically ensuring the results that you’re looking for by hiring a professional. It sure beats a trial and error process that’s inevitable if you’re going to do it DIY.
It also helps that they know where to look. They do this regularly so it’s unlikely that they’re going to miss a spot. They know all the crevices that they have to check.
- You can remain safe.
As mentioned, mold and other fungi carry health risks with them. You’re basically exposing yourself to these risks if you’re going to insist on doing the cleaning and removal yourself. The risks are not worth it especially if you can hire a professional who knows how to do the job while protecting himself at the same time.
There’s also the fact that you may need to use a ladder. We’ve mentioned that you need to check the gutter to see if it’s clogged and that will require working with a ladder. You also have to use the ladder if you have a tall home. All it takes is one wrong step for you to come crashing down.
- You can save a lot of money.
Yes, you can save a lot of money even if you hire a professional. First of all, the results should be worth it. You’re paying for the good results that you’re expecting.
In addition, you can avoid costly mistakes. Can you imagine thinking that you did a great job, only to find out later on that you’ve damaged a big part of the siding?
In addition, this can take a long time if you’re not a professional. It can even take a few days to finish. This means taking days off from work which means lost income. Sure, you can do it over the weekends, but that’s time away from your family. We don’t know about you but that’s irreplaceable.
There’s also the fact that you can lower the value of your home. This is when you do so bad of a job that you end up making things worse.
Getting Help from Professional Mold Abatement Companies
It’s a good idea to let the professionals take charge of this project. There should be a lot of professional mold abatement companies in your area especially if mold is a problem in your area. The important thing is you hire the right company so you can expect the best results.
One problem is if you end up spending a lot of money to hire a company. This is the concern of a lot of homeowners looking to do this project DIY-style. This usually happens if you don’t ask around for the best quotes. Yes, it’s a good idea to shop around for the best deal. Ask around 4 of the best companies in your area for their best quotes and let them know that you’re shopping around for the best deal. That should give them the encouragement that they need to put together their best quote.
You can actually take advantage of a free service that makes this process easier and faster. You see a very basic form on this page. It’s a very powerful form that gives you access to our database of the best vinyl siding contractors in your area, including those that specialize on mold removal.
All you need to do is to complete the form and send it. These contractors will receive your details and with the understanding that their competitors are receiving your details, they will put together their best deals. All you need to do is to wait for them to get in touch with you as they offer their best deals.
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