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Tools & method for removing mildew from exterior clapboards


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  • Tools & method for removing mildew from exterior clapboards

    I have a light tan colored house, with lots of trees and shade, so mildew comes with the territory.

    I'm looking for a better method to wash the mildew off the second floor. It is a real hassle to move the ladder around and be able to reach all of the wall surface. There are big bushes in front of the wall, so the angle of the ladder to the house is getting way too big.

    I don't have to do it too often, so I'm looking for a cheap way to do this for the second floor. I also don't want to use/rent a power washer for a number of reasons. I'm happy to scrub it. However, I'd much rather do it all from the ground level. It's the second floor that is a problem.

    Current Process
    Long extension ladder, garden hose, bucket of solution/soap/stuff, brush. Reach way over on ladder, almost fall off to get to all the wall surfaces.

    Attempt #1 with a pole
    To do the second floor, I bought an extension pole from the big box store, put a brush on the end, but at full extension, but the pole is too flimsy. I need to scrub pretty vigorously and the pole will not work. The house is stained and my scrubbing is not causing any noticeable wear. The second problem is how to get the soap up there to begin with. I dip the brush into the bucket right now and watch the soap drip off on the way up. Not a happy camper.

    I have considered:

    Alternative #1
    A beefier extension pole that can be fitted to a garden hose and soap reservoir, with a brush on the end. I understand this will be a lot heavier. Rinsing is easy, just pickup the garden hose and blast.

    Alternative #2. Just get a beefier pole with a brush on the end, and get a second pole with a sponge/mop to spread the soapy water with. Do this all from the ground.

    Alternative #3, Maybe I'm over-thinking this. How about a variation on #2 - put the brush on a sawed-off handle (so I can reach further than I can today), then get a second sawed off handle with a mop/sponge on the end of it, dip it into the bucket of soapy water.

    Honestly, I'd rather not do this from a ladder, I don't mind the scrubbing part.

    Confused? me too!
    Last edited by billski; 05-22-2013, 01:12 PM.

  • #2
    another option

    I'm going to try the "hose blaster", which is a nozzle with a soap reservoir. It was a soap shutoff, so that will minimize the amount of things I have to haul up, down and drop. I'll still do the ladder thing.


    • #3

      since the discoloration is mildew, not mold, I'd opt to spraying it with clorox bleach.