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Painting Mildew Areas
For mildewed walls or ceilings, proper painting requires killing mildew first, then using special paint. You can kill mildew with a strong detergent solution and laundry bleach. Add about 2 to 4 cups of bleach per gallon of detergent water. Read the label of the detergent carefully to make sure it's safe to mix bleach with your detergent.
After allowing the surface to dry, apply Bin primer to stained areas. Then paint with two coats of Zinsser brand Perma-White Bathroom Wall and Ceiling Paint.
Some homes develop mildew on eaves or overhangs, especially if they're in a shady area that's not well ventilated. The solution is to clean the surfaces, kill the mildew and repaint. This assumes the wood is still in good condition. If the wood is rotted or swollen, you need to replace it or cover it with siding.
For painting, wash the area with a commercial mildewcide. A good paint store will help you select cleaning and painting materials.
For heavy stains, scrub with a soft brush and rinse well. I like to use a brush attached to a long handle so I can reach farther and use my back and legs for the scrubbing.
You can also clean with a strong detergent like a TSP substitute and a few cups of laundry bleach per gallon of water. Whatever cleaner or chemical you use, follow all the label safety precautions and protect plant materials in the area by spraying the plants with water and covering them with plastic.
After the area is clean and the bleach or commercial cleaner has killed the mildew, allow the wood to dry for several days. Paint with a mildew-resistant paint or add mildewcide to the paint. Zinsser makes a great mildew-resistant exterior paint.
To prevent mildew from returning, improve the air circulation by trimming branches in mildew-prone areas. Routine washing with a product like Jomax will keep the surfaces clean and discourage mildew, which feeds on dirt.
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