Monday, December 22, 2008

Should new wood be treated for mildew?In climates where its warm and humid for any length of time (like the southeast), then yes. If new wood has begun to show signs of aging (graying off) in other areas, its wise to treat for latent mildew spores.
Can mildew form on the interior of homes and buildings?Yes! Areas of high nutrients and humidity include kitchens, baths and basements. These are areas of high humidity and oftentimes low air circulation which are ideal for the growth of mildew. Use the same chlorine and water solution to remove interior staining and then let dry before painting.What paint is recommended for painting mildewed areas?After the surface is completely clean and free of algae and mildew, use a mildew resistant paint formulated for your area of the country. It will be formulated with the optimal amount of mildewcides and fungicides for your area, there is no need to add additional mildewcides.If the area is prone to mildew, what's the best way to keep it from forming?Even under the best of conditions and after using a mildew resistant paint, it is a good idea to pressure wash the exterior with a chlorine solution every other year. This will keep the painted surfaces looking fresh for the life of the paint.Why is routine house cleaning recommended?Keeping soil, dirt and mildew from permanently staining a house or building will increase the life from two to five years.How long should the paint last?That's a good question, but not necessarily the right one. Perhaps the more correct questions is: "How long will paint look good?" These are two very different issues. Top of the line exterior paints can last in excess of 10 to 15 years depending on location and weathering conditions. But the real issue is how good will the building look over time?
What's the best way to keep the exterior of buildings looking good?The normal oxidation and aging of paint will enable dirt to stick to the paint, especially on surfaces like rough-sawn siding or stucco. It is this dirtying and aging process that can make a paint film appear to be worn when, in fact, there are many more years of life to it. The ultimate answer to extending paint life is to give the building an occasional bath. We recommend pressure washing with mo more than 1500 PSI of water and a small amount of chlorine (a cup per gallon of water) to kill surface mildew, mold and fungus every other year. There is no need to "blast" the surface, just wash it with more pressure than a garden hose provides to knock off the surface dirt, cobwebs, insect nests and other airborne pollutants.
It stands to reason that you wouldn't leave a new car in a driveway for 4, 5 or 6 years without washing it. So it is with a home or building. The regular pressure cleaning and chlorination of the building can extend the good appearance of the job up to 50%. Remember, any balcony or roof run down, and other contaminants that discolor or disfigure the paint is not a defect in the paint system, but is a natural occurrence that can be removed with occasional cleaning and maintenance.


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