DIY Section

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Protecting Exterior Wood from Mold and Mildew

You pride yourself on the appearance of your home. When it was time to stain the exterior surfaces, you chose the perfect color and applied it carefully for pro-like results. But then, after a few rainy seasons, you notice that mold and mildew are making themselves ďat homeĒ on your wood. Itís time to fight back. Hereís how.


Protecting Exterior: minimize moisture Minimize moisture For mold and mildew no meal is complete without a beverage. Take away their water and these two wood threats will move on to greener pastures. Make a thorough survey of possible moisture sources and stop mold and mildew before they start. If the stain has lost its water-repellent properties, it may be time for a new coat. For a high level of protection against moisture and mildew, consider using a product like Cabot® Preservative Wood Finish.

Move plants off your deck Move plants off your deck If plants are hanging over your deck—or if you have flowerpots on your deck surface—youíre inviting mold and mildew to take root on your wood. Plant your shrubs and foliage where they cannot drip on woodwork.

Let the sun and air dry out your deck and siding Let the sun and air dry out your deck and siding Areas of moisture accumulation form when the surfaces of your deck, siding and fences are obstructed from sunlight. To help dry out those areas, move furniture (especially those with covers) to a different part of your deck, keep large objects from leaning up against your wood fences and siding, and donít plant shrubs too close to your home.

Re-route water away from your home Re-route water away from your home Make sure your roof has an effective gutter system and that your surrounding property has sufficient drainage. Shovel snow off flat surfaces, including roofs and decks, and periodically check the flashing and caulking around doors and windows.

Clean your surfaces Clean your surfaces Once or twice a year wash the surface of your wood with a soft scrub brush and soap and water.

Shovel snow off your deck Shovel snow off your deck As snow thaws and re-freezes it seeps into the wood and could cause cracking.

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