We noticed lots of light greay spots of mildew on the trim around our front door for the last few months. We were out of town, now we’re back and it seems much worse. What should we do to clean it? Do the boards need to be replaced? If so, would this be done by a house painter? Is now a good time to paint the trim of our house? We live in Northern Virginia, where we do get snowy winters, if that matters. Should we wait until March? We’re new to home ownership, so I hope this isn’t an amateur question (but I’m not sure who to ask).
Here is a solution that I use with success to remove mildew from the exterior of a house: 2 tablespoons dish detergent
2/3 cup Trisodium Phosphate (TSP)
1 quart bleach
3 quarts water
I mix the ingredients in a pump-up garden sprayer and apply to the affected area, let it do its work for a couple of minutes then spray the wall with a garden hose to rense off the solution. It works great. A commercially prepared solution which works well also, but costs a lot more is Jomax, mfd. by Zinsser (http://WWW.Zinsser.com)
Trim replacement is not necessary as long as there is no rot associated with the mildew. As long as the surface is properly prepared (mildew removed) a couple of coats of mildew resistant house paint should do the trick. Even if you don’t use their cleaner, I would recommend Zinsser paints for this.