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How To Treat Unsightly Mildew

Rustic Home > Basic Repair >How To Fix And Treat Unsightly Mildew and Stains
 
 
Attic Insulation (image from cdc.gov)      

The appearance of mildew or water stains on your walls is a sign that something is wrong. Merely painting over the stain won't make the problem go away, so you need to address the issue before you can make it disappear.

First, make sure that necessary repairs behind walls or roofs have been repaired. Moisture damage may be slow in accumulating, but when your bathroom wall caves in or you wake up one night to find a hole in your ceiling, you'll wish you had identified the problem and had it repaired long ago.

Only after the cause of the moisture has been repaired should you take steps to tackle covering or removing the damage caused by it. Mildew and mold stains are some of the toughest to remove, because if you don't do it right, they will reappear time and time again, no matter how much paint you've slathered on the wall or ceiling.

Spores cause mold and mildew, and they flourish on walls and floors. As water pulls chemicals from drywall, woods and paint, it leaves behind stains. While these stains are extremely difficult to remove, you can do it with a little bit of elbow grease, some patience and a few basic supplies.

You'll need:
Household bleach
TSP solution
Rubber gloves
Bucket
Sponges
Eye protection

Note: Before using any type of cleaner, whether store bought or home made, make sure that you have adequate ventilation. Some chemicals can cause respiratory distress in unventilated areas!

In a bucket, mix 3 parts of water to 1 part of household bleach. With a sponge, thoroughly saturate the stained area of the wall with the solution and repeat again in about 20 minutes, whether the stain has disappeared or not.

Rinse with a clean sponge. Allow area to dry completely, and then clean with TSP (trisodium phosphate) or an adequate substitute. Make sure to clean the area afterward, as paint won't bond well to wall if TSP remains.

Afterward, prime wall with an adequate, stain-blocking primer and paint as desired.

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