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Cleaning Mold From Vinyl Siding

Category Mold
House siding of all types can provide a good place for mold growth under certain conditions. This is a guide about cleaning mold from vinyl siding.
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June 14, 2017

In another post, I mentioned having used equal parts household chlorine bleach and white vinegar to remove green mold growing on the vinyl siding facade on the north side of my home. It is quite effective. But, I've found something much better.

While the bleach/vinegar solution does a good job, using it is not necessarily a good idea. It does release a noxious gas and should be used only in well ventilated areas. While I suffered no ill effects from cleaning my vinyl with it, I have no idea what impact its use might have on the environment.

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I keep a small spray bottle filled with 3% (10 volume) hydrogen peroxide by the kitchen sink. I spray the faucet, faucet base, and handle with this peroxide after cleaning the sink. I wait a minute and then rinse.

Mold has a tendency to grow on the faucet, particularly around the base. If a heavy film is allowed to accumulate, you will see a lot of foaming when peroxide is sprayed on it. It kills the mold, and the foaming/boiling action dislodges the mold so it can easily be rinsed away. By spraying the faucet daily, there is no chance of mold buildup and new growth, too small to be seen, is quickly eradicated.

Peroxide is deadly to living tissue. (It should never be used full strength on open wounds). It occurred to me that the mold on the vinyl consisted of living organisms and should respond to being treated with peroxide.

I poured a half cup of peroxide into a small glass bowl and added a couple drops dish detergent as a surfactant. With a wide (4 inch) paint brush, I painted a thin film of the solution on the vinyl. I waited 5 minutes and then sprayed the treated area with a garden hose at full force. With no scrubbing, the treated area was clean.

While my way would be ideal as a spot treatment, I see no reason why large areas couldn't be cleaned by applying the solution with a hose end sprayer. I would suggest applying all safety precautions regarding your person and foundation shrubbery, etc.

This idea just came to me 'out of the blue'. I'm sure I'm not the first to think of it, but I am sure I will soon be putting it to use. The north side of my home is getting greener by the day. I want a green lawn, not a green house (maybe wedgewood blue, but not mold green).

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June 16, 20170 found this helpful

I will be needing to do something similar in the near future so I will think about using this method.

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Now you need to write another article describing the best way to clean the siding - for best results - where do you start - top or bottom? How large an area before stopping and rinsing? Common sense is good but does not always prevail in doing jobs like this.
Now I know we can probably find some information about this on the Internet but you do such a good job with explaining procedures that I believe many could benefit from your knowledge and experience. (Maybe I'm being lazy and asking for too much. )

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June 16, 20170 found this helpful

Like to know what source you found that peroxide "(It should never be used full strength on open wounds)" ?

Aso, why not add peroxide & soap to hose applicator with water mixed to remove mold?

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June 16, 20170 found this helpful

Well, you're right, Betty. This post is not a 'How To'. Its purpose is solely to inform the readers of my discovery. One I happen to think is very good. But since a couple of questions did arise, I will briefly address them.

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I can't give an amount of time the solution should stay on the vinyl before rinsing because I don't know how long it remains active. And I don't think the timing is critical. The solution might stay active for up to an hour, (providing it isn't allowed to dry). But if the desired results are obtained in 5 minutes, there would be no need to leave it on much longer.

How large an area you cover at one time could vary. It may depend on how energetic you feel, and it could depend on the level of humidity as the solution would stop working (for the most part),when it dried. You might get best results by rinsing the solution before it dries. So, noting when it is beginning to dry would be a good guide as to when to stop applying it and start rinsing a given area.

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Another factor to consider is the amount of mold build up. Some areas could require a second application of the solution. I think common sense would prevail in this rather simple chore.

As for where to start.... the bottom. Just as when cleaning an interior painted wall or an area of tile, best results are obtained when starting at the bottom.

I know the peroxide does a very good job. But since I just discovered this, there are a lot of unanswered questions. Example: If I apply the solution with a hose end sprayer, would I be able to set the sprayer setting to where the solution would not be diluted with water to the point its effectiveness would be significantly reduced. I do hope I could. This way, the job would take minutes rather than a couple hours when applying the solution with a brush to an entire side of a house.

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Thanks, Betty

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June 16, 20170 found this helpful

I know for a fact that peroxide can kill living tissue. With this knowledge, I don't need a source of information. But since you asked, there must be hundreds of sites on the Internet that will advise against using full strength peroxide on an open wound.

In 2 seconds I found this:

Hydrogen peroxide is corrosive to skin, eyes, and mucous membranes at high concentrations (>10%); lower concentrations may cause irritation. Symptoms become more severe as the concentration of hydrogen peroxide increases.Oct 21, 2014
ATSDR - Medical Management Guidelines (MMGs): Hydrogen Peroxide
https://www.ats  d=304&tid=55

As for using the solution from a hose end sprayer, I think I covered that.

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