How Mold on Vinyl Siding is Dangerous to Your Home
No one wants to have mold on their vinyl siding. It is harmful to friends, family, and pets, and doesn’t look good or smell good. Mold can be hard to spot, especially if you aren’t regularly inspecting or maintaining all areas of your home. Mold tends to grow in dark moist places such as basements, bath and sink areas, and on the exterior of your home near your roof and gutters. Identifying the areas where the mold is most likely to grow will be the key to keeping your home mold free.
How Mold Gets on Vinyl Siding
Mold flourishes in moist areas that don’t get much sunlight. This is why it grows more on the north side of your home since it is shaded for most of the day. Since mold is a fungus, it feeds on organic material such as dirt and dust. If there is dirt and debris on your siding, you are essentially inviting mold to grow. Warm temperatures and humidity also play a role, so southern states have a lot of molds. For example, we serve the Charlotte area, where there is a lot of humidity and temperatures get as high as the mid-’90s in the summer months. You will see a lot of homes in that area with mold, mildew, and algae growing on the siding, roof, or both.
If you live around a lot of trees, there will be more shade and more organic material to help mold thrive. Gutters also add to the equation because they collect leaves, dirt, acorns, and all sorts of other things that mold can feed on. If your gutters get clogged they hold a lot of water and are almost guaranteed to have mold in them. When gutters have mold, it can spread to other areas of your home including your roof, fascia boards, and siding.
Mold can also get underneath or behind the panels on your vinyl siding. One of the main causes is too much water pressure being used to clean the siding. This is why it is important to only clean the siding of your home with soft washing because it uses lower water pressure. High-pressure water either gets pushed behind the panel or it damages the siding making it easy for water to get inside. If water gets behind your panels, it can be devastating because you can’t see behind them. You may never know you have a problem until something catastrophic happens.
What Happens When Mold Gets on Your House
First of all, mold doesn’t look good on the side of your home. More importantly, the dark color of mold attracts heat to the vinyl siding which can cause it to deteriorate and erode the paint. If the mold has been there too long before you clean it off, you may see some permanent discoloration in the areas with the most growth.
The biggest problem with mold is not what it does to the exterior of your vinyl siding. As long as the mold is only on the outside, you should be fine as long as you can eliminate it completely. The real problem is if the mold gets behind your siding because then the structure of your home becomes exposed. Mold feeds on wood, drywall, and insulation. As it feeds on these materials, it reproduces releasing spores through your ventilation system. This is extremely harmful to anyone living in the home and can lead to severe illness and respiratory issues. Once mold makes its way inside the home, it is basically impossible to get rid of. You will most likely have to replace all of the structures affected by the mold.
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How To Get Mold Off of Vinyl Siding
To get mold off your vinyl siding, you will need to apply a product that sanitizes the surface 100%. There are products available at local home and garden stores that appear to get rid of mold, mildew, algae and anything else on your home’s exterior, but all it does is knock off the surface layer. Bleach based products are going to be your best option for eliminating mold completely.
If you use a bleach based product, you have to be careful. If you have landscaping close to your home, you will need to take extra precautions. The plants could die from absorbing too much of the bleach if you don’t make sure to dilute the bleach as it falls from the siding or the roof. As long as you spray all the plants before, during, and after treating the siding with bleach you will be fine. This is especially true since vinyl siding typically only requires a 2-3% mix for most cleanings. Even at such a low concentration, it is better to be safe and go ahead and spray your landscaping with water.
How to Prevent Mold From Getting on Your Vinyl Siding
The best way to prevent mold from getting on your vinyl siding is to use a preventative treatment once or twice a year. There are products you can buy that prevent mold from growing for six months or a year. Simply apply the product your siding and you shouldn’t have any issues as long as you follow the instructions correctly. Another option is to have a professional exterior cleaning company come out and do a house wash once per year. This will cost more than a DIY job, but you can be sure the job is done right. Homeowners who handle the job themselves typically use a product from Lowe’s or Home Depot which is not as effective as the products used by cleaning companies. A professional is also more likely to identify further issues that could save you a great deal of money down the road such as rotten wood or mold behind your panels.
Everyone has to deal with mold growing in or around their home at some point. You will either have to be proactive with preventative maintenance, or you will have to deal with mold once it starts to grow. It is almost impossible to avoid it completely because it travels through the air and you can’t really detect it until it has grown enough to cause problems. To protect yourself, inspect the outside of your home regularly. When you walk out to the car or around the house to take the dog out, look at your house from time to time to make sure everything looks good. Have an exterior cleaning company come out and give you a quote on what it would cost to do a yearly house wash. Making sure mold does not invade your house is vital, and worth investing in.
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