One of the most common natural occurrences that plague decks are mold and mildew. Mold is the term that most people refer to when they see green algae, moss, lichen, and fungal growth. Mildew on decks is commonly seen as small black spots that can be imbedded in the wood or an old stain. Without getting too technical, mold is a good general term for explaining this nasty contaminant that is seen growing on decks all across the country. One deck may by more prone to mold than another deck depending on its location. Climate, region, shade, sun exposure, and humidity all play a part in mold and fungal growth. In fact, some deck stains are even more prone to mold than others.
Mold on decks can cause a variety of problems. Obviously, unsightly appearance is one major concern. There is nothing worse than a green deck floor that is suffering from mold issues. Mold can also be treacherous to walk on especially when wet. Mold and fungal growth are very slippery and have no place on deck flooring or steps. You might as well put out a “slippery when wet” sign to keep from getting sued. To be serious though it can be extremely dangerous. Some of the other not so commonly known problems with mold is wood rot and decay. Mold can only survive when it has enough moisture. This constant moisture wreaks havoc on a deck’s surface. The damage can be superficial or can go as far as to cause major structural damage.
Mold and mildew on decks will also eat through and deteriorate deck stains that are there to protect the wood. Mold on decks is not a unique situation, it is rather common so do not be worried if it has happened to your deck. The good news is that mold/mildew can be cleaned off of wood before it does harm. Most wooden decks should be cleaned and re-stained every 1-2 years as maintenance. Regular cleaning with a deck cleaner will help ensure that mold/mildew does not infiltrate your deck in any form. Another way to combat mold on decks is to apply a mold resistant deck stain or sealer. A deck stain that combines trans-oxide pigments or mildewcides will help you win the war with mold/mildew on decks.
Written By: Barry Maddox ~ Midwest Pro Wash