What Causes Mildew To Grow On Your Deck? And Other Frequently Asked Questions

Posted on: 21 April 2016

Mildew can be a problem on wooden decks because it contributes to wood rot over time. Mildew is also indicative of moisture problems, which can also be very bad for your deck. If your wooden deck forms a layer of mildew, it's important to remove as much of the mildew as possible. The following FAQ about mildew and wooden decks can help you maintain your property.

What causes mildew to grow on your deck?

Mildew grows best in places that are wet and shady. If your deck is frequently in shadow and often wet, mildew will likely be a regular problem.

How can you remove mildew from your wooden deck?

To remove mildew from your deck, you'll need to wash your deck with a pressure washer and then scrub off the remaining mildew with a combination of oxygen bleach and water. If you like DIY projects, you can rent a pressure washer from your local hardware store or home improvement center. When using the pressure washer, hold the device at an angle to avoid damaging the wood of your deck. Once you're done, soak the wood in a solution of equal parts water and oxygen bleach, then spray the wood down with the pressure washer one more time. Do this on a day when it's bright and sunny outside so the deck will dry as quickly as possible.

If you don't want to do this project on your own, contact a residential pressure washing service. Working with professionals will ensure that your deck is cleaned properly and in a manner that is not damaging for the wood.

How can you prevent mildew from returning?

You can prevent mildew from returning to your deck by enabling more sunlight to reach the wood, because this will allow the deck to dry out. You can accomplish this by doing the following:

  • Cut down overhanging branches from nearby trees. Overhanging branches will cast your deck into shadow while also dripping rain onto the wood after storms. Cutting down the branches will cut back on these problems.
  • Move large objects from the deck. Large objects like big planters and grilling equipment will create more shadows on your deck. Objects with a large footprint can also trap moisture against the wood, which also encourages mildew to form. Remove large objects from your deck and put them elsewhere on your property.
  • Pressure wash your deck on a regular basis. If mildew forms on your wooden deck on a yearly basis, have it pressure washed annually. Frequent pressure washing may result in damage if it's not done properly, so use a professional pressure washing service to ensure that your deck is kept in good condition.

For more information about how you can protect your wood deck from mildew, contact a residential pressure washing service in your area.