Cleaning Mildew

So far, this has been one of the busiest summers on record for us, not so much for the size and scope of painting projects we had to deal with, but rather for the number of projects we have successfully completed.

As expected in most areas of Westchester, New York and Fairfield County, Connecticut, mildew has been one of the main challenges for exterior painting companies to deal with. This year we had four separate projects where the entire exterior painted surface was covered with black mildew. This problem was especially exacerbated where oil based paint or primer was previously used. In mildew prone areas such as homes that are surrounded by trees and vegetation, oil paint is a recipe for disaster.

Why you should not use oil based paint

It’s been said that oil-based paint is food for mildew. To mitigate the problem, we had to power-wash the surface with cleaning solutions. Next, we had to apply a coat of mildew sealer/blocker. Finally, we painted with a high quality 100% acrylic paint or stain. We have been using mildew sealer for the past five years with great success. Not only does it prevent any remaining mildew from growing and resurfacing again but it also acts as a great bridge primer to facilitate the switch from oil to acrylic paint or stain.

I just don’t understand why many painters still insist on using oil-based paint! The paint and coating industry have come a long way since the days of oil paint superiority. Acrylic paint products and especially those with low or zero VOC are much better for our environment and outperform their oil counterparts in nine out of ten characteristics.

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Power washed, mildew removed, sealed, and painted
Power washed, mildew blocked, and painted