How to remove mold from exterior paint

Written by lauren thompson
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Mold on the exterior of a home can be visible as unsightly green or black spots near the ground and around places where foliage may obscure sunlight. Dark, damp places with poor air circulation are breeding grounds for mould and mildew, even on the exterior of the home. Cutting back foliage and improving the conditions in damp, dark areas can help keep the home free from mould in the future.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Vinegar
  • Garden hose
  • Nylon scrubbing pad
  • Washcloth/rag

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    Preparing the Area

  1. 1

    Put on a respirator or mask. Mold spores can become airborne and cause damage to the lungs and allergic reactions.

  2. 2

    Spray the area with a garden hose to dampen the mould. Allow to dry for 30 minutes or so, so that the area is damp but not soaked. Damp areas of mould are easier to work clean without launching the spores airborne.

  3. 3

    Cut back foliage and remove obstacles to help prevent the mould from growing back. Remove any foliage you intend to keep, because vinegar can injure plants.

    Cleaning the Mold

  1. 1

    Mix 3/4-cup of vinegar with 1/4-cup of water. Test spraying and cleaning with vinegar in an inconspicuous area of exterior paint to ensure that it does not damage the paint. Leave the vinegar in the test place for 10 to 15 minutes.

  2. 2

    Rinse the test spot thoroughly. If the vinegar causes damage to the paint, use plain water and a scrub brush to clean the mould. Be careful not to scratch the paint and cause flaking. If the test spot is not harmed, it is safe to proceed with using vinegar to remove mould from the rest of the exterior.

  3. 3

    Spray the affected area liberally with the vinegar and water solution. Saturate the area with vinegar, being careful to avoid grass and decorative foliage. Allow the vinegar solution to sit for 10 to 15 minutes to dissolve the mould.

  4. 4

    Lightly scrub the mould from the paint. Use light circular patterns while scrubbing, taking care to not score the paint or cause flaking or peeling. A washcloth can be handy in wiping away the sludge that is produced by scrubbing off the mould.

  5. 5

    Wash the entire exterior with a garden hose, taking care to remove all traces of mould and vinegar from the walls and ground below. Wash from top to bottom to fully rinse the mould spores from the foundation and walls.

Tips and warnings

  • Plants that allow better aeration of the area may be put to better purpose near the exterior of the home.

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