How to Prevent Mold on a Deck

Mold is a generic term that can refer to any number of fungi, algae, rusts, yeasts, or bacteria. Mold may also be called mildew. It is caused by microorganisms that float through the air daily. Mold can be first identified on a deck when the spores that float in the air land on the deck, find a suitable living environment, and produce more spores, changing colors as they do so. Mold on a deck can be unsightly and cause health risks when it becomes slippery or when people breathe in the mold spores. Moldy decks can also detract from the look and the value of a house. Learn how to prevent mold on a deck to protect the investment made in your deck, preserve the beauty of the deck, and to protect the health of your family.

Steps

  1. Image titled Prevent Mold on a Deck Step 1
    1
    Understand what causes mold to grow on a deck so you can avoid deck mold.
    • Mold thrives in dampness.
      Image titled Prevent Mold on a Deck Step 1Bullet1
    • Mold needs food, such as pollen and dirt, to survive.
      Image titled Prevent Mold on a Deck Step 1Bullet2
    • Mold enjoys temperate weather, although mold spores can stay dormant through extreme weather situations, such as drought or frost.
      Image titled Prevent Mold on a Deck Step 1Bullet3
    • Mold likes shady areas away from direct sun.
      Image titled Prevent Mold on a Deck Step 1Bullet4
  2. Image titled Prevent Mold on a Deck Step 2
    2
    Build your deck, and keep in mind that you're preventing deck mold from occurring.
    • Build with a composite material that has mold inhibitors in its construction. Wood is very agreeable to mold spores, and decks built out of wood often suffer from mold problems.
      Image titled Prevent Mold on a Deck Step 2Bullet1
    • Ultraviolet rays from sunlight will kill mold spores, so you may want to build a deck where there is adequate sunlight. You may also want to cut back as many trees around the deck area as possible.
      Image titled Prevent Mold on a Deck Step 2Bullet2
    • Slope the deck away from the house so that it drains well. Slope should be 1/8 inch (.32 cm) for every 8 feet (2.44 m) of deck.
      Image titled Prevent Mold on a Deck Step 2Bullet3
    • Gap the decking material at least 1/8 inch (.32 cm) for adequate draining.
      Image titled Prevent Mold on a Deck Step 2Bullet4
  3. Image titled Prevent Mold on a Deck Step 3
    3
    Sweep regularly to remove mold spores from a deck. Sweeping will also remove food needed for the spores to grow, such as pollen or dirt, as well as any dormant spores.
  4. Image titled Prevent Mold on a Deck Step 4
    4
    Regularly power wash your deck with a strong sprayer to prevent deck mold spores.

Tips

  • For additional protection against mold, it is always recommended to apply a mold/moisture barrier after it has been properly cleaned and dried. This important step will protect your deck from future mold growth year-round.

Warnings

  • Do not put plants on your deck. Mold spores thrive with the frequent watering and feeding that potted plants obtain, and they may easily spread to your deck.
  • Never paint over mold to hide it as mold feeds on paint. Paint that advertises it is a mildewcide is not strong enough to thoroughly kill mold spores.
  • Do not use mulch near a deck. Mold and mildew spores are abundant in mulch and will quickly spread onto a deck.
  • Do not allow the over spray of lawn fertilizer to land on a deck. Mold spores feed on it.
  • Do not store firewood on or near a deck. Mold spores are abundant on firewood and may easily move to a deck.
  • Do not allow gutters to drain onto the deck.

Article Info

Categories: Walls Fences and Decks