Mold is actually a generic term that includes fungi, algae, yeast and bacteria. Mold on decks is a health hazard as people breathe in the mold spores. It also makes the deck slippery and unattractive. Wooden decks require constant maintenance to preserve their beauty. Part of deck maintenance is removing and preventing mold.
Home owners deal with mold 2 ways. The first is during the pre-installation stage in a completely preventative approach. The second way is through regular maintenance of an existing deck.
Mold Preventive Measures during Installation
Wood is the most common material for building decks but it is also most susceptible to mold formation. If the location of your home is very likely to breed mold you may want to consider composite decking. Composite materials are specifically treated with mold inhibiting chemicals.
One of natural mold killers is the ultraviolet rays of sunlight. When you build your deck, ensure that it gets plenty of sunlight. Dark, dank and musty areas are ideal conditions for mold formation. Trees around your deck cut out sunlight. Have them removed if possible.
Have the deck slightly sloped away from the house but ever so slightly that it is hardly noticeable. The rule of thumb is about 1/8 in inclination for every 8 ft of deck. This will facilitate good drainage, less moisture build-up and reduced incidence of mold. Adequate drainage can also be ensured by having a gap of around 1/8 in the decking material and boards.
Mold Removal Measures on Existing Decks
However, if your deck has been built without these customary precautions, don’t worry! Here are a few tips for cleaning it.
Deck washes can provide the deep level of cleaning needed to remove mold. Apply and scrub deck wash onto the deck with a large handled brush. After about 20 minutes, rinse the deck wash off and watch the mold disappear.
Molds die at a temperature of 140 F, so if you steam clean at 250+ you will be successful in killing them off. But if stains persist, wet the patch, sprinkle a sodium precarbonate product and let it sit for around 6 hours. Rinse thoroughly and get a mold free deck.
After cleaning mold, apply a high quality stain sealant to protect your deck from future mold growth. Correctly prepped and stained decks don’t allow moisture to seep into the boards. The stain should create a barrier between the pores of the wood and harmful moisture.
Try out these options and enjoy your mold-free deck.