Goodbye Mildew and Mold, Hello Shiny Clean Porch!

Welcome to the 245th Metamorphosis Monday!

Recently I shared an update to the front porch area of my home when I added two boxwood topiaries on either side of the porch.

Boxwood Topiary in Container with a Pyramidal Shape

From a distance the porch looked pretty clean in the photos.

Boxwood Topiaries in Lattice Planter with Annuals for aTraditional Landscape

If you look closely though, you’ll see grayish streaks on the columns and the molding around the door. This spring and summer has been the wettest I’ve ever known in Georgia. We’ve had days and days of rain, breaking records for rainfall.

Boxwood-Topiaries-in-Lattice-Planter-with-Annuals-for-aTraditional-Landscape 2

All that constant moisture took its toll on the porch, leaving behind lots of mold and mildew. Yuck!

Mildew on Porch 1_wm

I think just about surface of the porch is covered in dirt or mildew from the all that rain.

Mildew on Porch 2_wm
Here’s a close up of some of those gray streaks on the columns. Though barely visible at a distance, as you approach the porch they become really obvious.

Mildew on Columns_wm

The lower parts of the columns were especially dirty. Hard to believe they are even white under all that dirt and mildew.

Columns Before Pressure Washing (1)_wm

I don’t even want to know what that is! Whatever it is, it can’t be good!

Columns Before Pressure Washing (2)_wm

Remember this photo I posted a couple of weeks ago when I shared some plans I have for the walkway where it connects to the porch steps? I had previously scrubbed the tops of the steps since they were becoming a hazard, but I hadn’t realized the risers were also covered in mildew and mossy looking stuff.

Brick Walkway Before Pictures 2_wm
Since my home is two stories high, I call in the professionals when it’s time to have the whole house pressure washed. But how nice would it be if I could handle cleaning the porch and decks since those often show mildew and mold faster than the brick or other areas of the house.

I ordered an A R Blue Clean electric pressure washer from True Value. Both the porch and decks have outlets close at hand so I knew I didn’t need a gas powered unit.

Pressure Washer from True Value_wm

When it arrived I followed the easy directions to add the tool caddy to the back of the unit. It’s just held on with a few screws. The pressure washer came with a couple of different spray nozzles, one better for wood surfaces and the other better for harder surfaces like concrete and brick.

Tool Caddy_wm

 

It also came with a garden hose adapter (shown in blue below) that helps connect a garden hose to the unit. It was easy to attach, just screws onto the garden hose on one end and snaps on to the pressure washer at the other end.

Pressure Washer Outlet Attached to Pressure Washer_wm

After connecting the narrow pressure washer hose to the pressure washer hose gun, I attached the detergent bottle I had filled with detergent especially designed to use in a pressure washer.

Detergent Bottle Attached to Pressure Washing Gun_wm

 

Before I got busy cleaning, I covered up the boxwood topiaires with plastic. The disposal bags they make for Christmas trees works well for that. Plastic drop cloths used when painting would work well for this too. You just don’t want to leave them on for too long since that wouldn’t be good for the plants.

Covering Boxwoods for Pressure Washing Porch_wm

 

I also covered up my newly painted red, front door. I didn’t want to risk getting cleaning chemical on it, especially since the paint is still pretty fresh.

Door Covered for Pressure Washing_wm

 

Next I sprayed down all the areas of the porch that needed cleaning with the detergent. I let it set a while on some areas where the porch was super dirty.

Column Wet with Detergent for Pressure Washing_wm

 

After about 5-10 minutes, I attached the nozzle designed for wood surfaces to the end of the hose gun and started pressure washing the detergent off the columns.

Pressure washing gun_wm

 

I think the porch is breathing a huge sigh of relief right now, no longer buried under all that dirt and mildew.

Porch Decorated for Fall_wm

 

I cleaned the columns, the molding around the doors and the risers of the steps.

Pressure Wash Porch

 

The porch hasn’t been painted in over 5 years so it’s almost time. But the pressure washing has bought me a little more time. Looks so much better!

Fall Color for the Porch

 

The cleaning solution can be mixed in different strengths. I started with a lower level and realized it wasn’t enough for the awful mildew I was dealing with. I also sprayed some cleaner I had that contained bleach onto the areas where the mildew was the heaviest. The pressure washer did the rest of the work.

Columns After Pressure Washing 2_wm

 

Clean, shiny columns.

Columns After Pressure Washing 4

 

The bottom part of the columns looks soooo much better!

Column After Pressure Washing 3_wm

 

Remember this area by the front door?

Mildew on Porch 2_wm

 

Here’s how it looked after a good pressure washing.

Molding After Pressure Washing

 

This area looks much better too.

Sidelights After Pressure Washing_wm

And those moldy risers? Much cleaner! I think I missed a few spots but overall it’s a thousand times better.

Steps After Pressure Wash

 

I’m going to hit the deck rails next…but not today. Today I’m just going to enjoy having a clean porch again!  You have to celebrate the small victories and today I conquered the mildew and mold! Now I can focus on the fun stuff–decorating!

While this was an outdoor project, mold and mildew can affect many areas of your home. If you’re seeing mold inside your home – for example on bathroom walls – visit StartRightStartHere.com for tips on removing it.

I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Looking forward to the Before and Afters linked for this Met Monday!

One on sidebar

 

If you are participating in Metamorphosis Monday, you will need to link up the “permalink” to your MM post and not your general blog address. To get your permalink, click on your post name, then just copy and paste the address that shows up in the address bar at the top of your blog, into the “url” box for InLinkz.

In order to link up, you’ll need to include a link in your MM post back to the party so the other participants will have an opportunity to receive visits from your wonderful blog readers.

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Only link up Before and After posts that are home, gardening, crafting, painting, sewing, cooking, DIY related.

Do not link up if you’re doing so to promote a website or product.

Do not link up a post that was just linked last week since a lot of readers will have already seen that post.

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Comments

  1. Wow, this worked great! I love your suggestion to cover your door and plants! I love a project with such fantastic results! Thanks for hosting another great link party.

  2. Susan, that’s a pretty impressive cleaning job! I’m sure it felt great to get all of the mold and mildew off of the porch.

  3. Wow Susan that cleaned very nicely- that was a big job! You’ve been quite the DIY gal outside this year!
    Every spring we use a 10% mix of water and bleach to clean stains on our cement driveway and algae on the patio. Algae can make things very slippery!

  4. Ah the power of a pressure washer…makes light work of dirty mildew except for all the water that spits back at you while you’re doing it ha ha! Looks great 🙂 thanks for hosting every week!

  5. I think you won’t have to paint anytime soon! WOW, the porch looks great.

    Your new planters are looking very healthy too. I remembered that you used Fafard Soil, it really is the best. The nursery that worked at for several years used Fafard for potting plants and they sell their plants up and down the east coast.

    Thanks for the tip about the pressure washer. It looks like a great tool.

    I joined your MM party today so thanks for hosting!

    • Thanks, Mary! I had never heard of Fafard until I planted the boxwoods, but you could just tell it was good stuff by how it looked and felt. It cost a bit more but since the boxwoods aren’t cheap, I didn’t want to skimp on the soil. Glad you joined the party!

  6. Thanks for hosting, Susan! Your front porch looks gorgeous! It’s amazing the difference the power washer made! Have a super week.
    Blessings,
    Nici

  7. I am so jealous of your clean entry Susan, I so need to do this! After the rainy summer we have had in the South, mildew and yuk is extra bad! Thanks for the push, I will start getting it tackled!

    • Jenna, you are not kidding! I still haven’t finished my cleaning job on my back porch. I’ve never seen such a summer of rain. I guess it was the combination of the heat and rain that created so much midew/mold.

  8. Susan,

    The porch looks amazing! I’m all for buying some time between paint jobs on the porch! 🙂 Seriously, it looks like new! And thanks for hosting your fabulous party for us each Monday morning. It kicks off my week!

    Linda

  9. I need to do this to the back of my house! It has white vinyl siding, but right now, it’s green! Your’s looks great. Mine…on the long to-do list. Take care – Dawn @ We Call It Junkin

  10. Everything looks so clean and fresh, Susan! I am loving all the changes that you have made! Have a great week!…hugs…Debbie

  11. You just might be inspiring me to clean my front porch! Thanks for hosting! Life to the full! Melissa

  12. Thank goodness for power washers! It works wonders on our garage and siding!

    Jeanine

  13. WOW!!!

    You did a wonderful job and this is GREAT to know about!!!

  14. I so love your front porch Susan….Looks wonderful after the pressure washing…Since we have so much brick, etc and was constantly renting power washers, we decided years ago to buy one and it has been the greatest investment…..Yes, the rainy weather we have had this summer has really caused lots of mildew buildup…Thanks for hosting and have a wonderful week Susan!!

  15. Your porch looks so fresh and clean. Love your Fall touches too! Thanks so much for hosting!
    Blessings,
    Cindy

  16. ~Susan~
    looks great, come do mine !! 🙂

    Paula
    In.

  17. My power washer is from True Value too. BUT, I never use it anymore. Just the Olympic Deck wash and the garden hose and it is done in minutes, and no noise pollution from the power washer! I have the same columns all around my porch, and yes, they can get dirty. Looks nice and clean!
    I have a red door too, and I am not loving it with the oranges of Fall. I am good with it for Cmas and July 4 th though!

  18. I love me some power washing! your entrance looks so white and bright now!

  19. Wow! What a difference that made! Your porch looks so pretty. Thanks for the great tips, and thank you for hosting. laurie

  20. Your front porch is gorgeous. I love the red door and the plants around it. Thanks for hosting the party. I love to pressure wash. You feel so accomplished when finished!

    Shannon ~ bohemianjunktion.com

  21. Oh wow, I’ve been waiting on this post and your results! Looks great, Susan. I tackled my columns and balusters myself, by hand (yes, that stuff at the base of the columns is totally gross! I ‘flossed’ mine with rags that I threw away!). We’re having our brick work professionally done this week – too afraid Mr. P. would get over-zealous with the pressure washer. Sequence of events had me working with a landscape team this past week to put the garden to bed first, so as to even get access to parts of the garden walls and to avoid killing plants! I’ll let you know how mine turns out, and how far scope creep gets (I want just the courtyard & front porch/walkway done, but Mr. P. wants to erase all the beautiful patina across all the garden walls – agh!!). Ours has been ten years!

  22. Great job, Susan. The porch is wearing a big smile now. And, it looks so pretty in Autumn finery.

    My husband pressures cleans our porches and deck, but the house gets done by a professional. It reaches four stories in some places, and it is way too much for us to handle. It was done a few weeks ago, so it is smiling now, too.

  23. The porch looks great! I need to do that to the bricks on both of our steps and our deck. I bet it would make a huge difference. Thanks so much for hosting.
    KC

  24. Lookin GOOD! franki

  25. Really such a difference, we always use our pressure washer especially in the spring! Thanks for hosting every week!

  26. Thank you for your ongoing inspiration. I have been putting off the power washing but seeing your beautiful porch I am energized. This is the perfect time in the South to conquer this chore with wonderful weather. Have a great day!

  27. You just amaze me, Susan, with the things that you tackle! You did a great job of wiping (or spraying) away that mold and mildew and making your front porch look beautiful. The mums are gorgeous, too! Thanks for hosting!

  28. Hi Susan,
    I’ve so enjoyed the changes in the front of your home and you did a great job on the porch. We moved to Florida 20 years ago and that’s when we learned about mold..yikes! Before retirement we had a company do the house but now Brad does it himself. He uses no detergent. He has a separate garden sprayer for this and fills it with ordinary household bleach. Sprays the area and then uses plain water in the pressure washer. Regardless of which way you clean the house, please be sure to wear safety goggles and a surgical mask. You’re right about the brick….ours is white (why did I choose that!?). Between that and the concrete driveway, it takes days compared to just hours for the house.

  29. Hi Susan ! So many wonderful links, here today. Every time I come back, I see another one I want to go and look at, closer !
    Don’t you love the pressure washer? What an amazing difference when you are done with it. We have a gas powered one and the type like you showed. I find the one you have, is plenty of force for most home projects.

  30. Your porch looks fabulous. I’m amazed at the difference power washing makes.

  31. your Porch is looking awesome…..I love my pressure washer too!!!!

  32. Wow — the porch woodwork looks sparkling and brand-newly-painted. I think you can hold off on the painting for awhile!
    Isn’t it amazing what a pressure washer can do?
    Cass

  33. Hi Susan. Your porch looks so great! Thanks so much for hosting this week.

    Kristi

  34. Thank you for hosting a great party. Your porch looks fabulously clean and welcoming! ~Ann

  35. Thanks you for hosting this super fun party. Happy Monday !!!
    🙂
    hugs x, Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

  36. Susan, your porch looks so shiny and clean! I’m sure you are glad to have one more thing checked off of your list. Thank you for hosting! Happy Fall! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  37. Love the celebrating the small victories. Those little ones become big ones. btw – I had a problem with the link to cleaning to bathroom. It link backed to todays post.

  38. Sandi Lee says:

    What a woman! I am beyond impressed!! Your trick or treaters will be “treated” to a spotless porch!!!

  39. Your porch looks so fresh and clean now! Power washers buy us all some extra time when it comes to repainting.
    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  40. Oh my god Susan, you are wonder woman!!! I am amazed at your ability to execute whaever job there needs to be done and to perfection, no matter what appliance you’ve used for it! Now it looks spotless and gorgeous, ready for any guests, even the Little Trick’o’treaters, lol! I love that power cleaner, I think I’m getting one too, I’ve seen them around here too. Thanks for sharing and hugs to you.
    FABBY

  41. Hi, Susan!
    The front door area looks fabulous – unbelievable how we don’t “see” the dirt, mold & grime until it’s clean again! Love the boxwoods & the other decos. You have got to go to Hobby Lobby & see the Christmas front door idea – it looks so much like your front entryway except the door is painted this awful green color & you can see how much nicer your RED door looks!!! You are one amazing woman – if you’re ever down my way in FL, stop by with your pressure washer – ha ha!
    ~Faith
    http://www.hobbylobby.com/Projects/Christmas/66/A-Christmas-Welcome

  42. I have those very same white columns. Unfortunately, they look just like your “before” pictures! I’ll have to pressure wash them now!

  43. pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

    Susan, some of those before and after photos are very dramatic. I’m sure it felt great to get it clean. 😀 I did the same in spring, but as you said, we got so much rain it actually needs it again. I love the instant results you get with power washers, it’s like using an eraser, it’s so effective.

    I’m glad you got that done and can get back to the fun stuff. 😉

  44. Susan, is there nothing you won’t tackle! You amaze me with your skills and courage and certainly do inspire other women to try new household task that normally the man of the house does or has it hired out to professionals. Guess they refer to it as “Going outside the box” now days.
    The mutual had the vinyl siding pressure washed earlier in the Spring and the solution they used stained my patio area and I keep thinking about registering a complaint but I should have done it earlier. Haven’t heard anybody else registering a complaint.

    That suff on your colum looked like bird splatter from above. We have herds of Canadian Geese that fly over every morning and night and you better not be out when they are flying ahead or don’t look up! I just hosed down some of the same off my siding yesterday or Saturday I think it was. It is better to hose it down when it’s fairly fresh..I didn’t get all of mine off so will have to try some type of cleaner or soap. Thanks for sharing this experience with us followers/fans.

  45. I don’t have any idea how you do so much! You seem to have a creative talent in every area. I’m trying to get back to blogging and tried to participate…nothing shows up. I hope I haven’t caused a problem! :/ IF posts are duplicated and show up later, would you mind deleting one? I do apologize for any confusion!

    xo
    Pat

    • Thanks, Pat! It may be a little confusing because I’m using the “random” feature at InLinkz that rotates around the links, so your link may be there but just moved up to the top now. A blogger I met at Haven was very upset about not always being able to be one of the first to sign up for the party, she felt like she didn’t get visits unless she was one of the first to sign up. So I changed to a random display for InLinkz so everyone gets a chance to be near the top. So the links rotate each time someone views the page.

  46. Well done! Our home needs a bit of sprucing and painting – we live on a ‘main drag’ so to speak where the exhaust + the mildew and mold combine to create that nasty black stuff…but, we’ll have to wait a little while. We have Yellow Jackets nesting in the front of the house! They’ve actually gotten into our bedroom – as he put it, Dearest was ‘shot’ while sleeping! They must go!!!
    Wonderful, informative post – I appreciated it!
    I hope you have a blessed week,
    Kathy

  47. Peggy Thal says:

    Looks great! Big difference. Our son just did ours just a few weeks ago. He just used Clorox it smells and looks so good. It is hard work and messy but the results are worth. I have done it myself many times. Just takes time. Great job!!

  48. Your porch looks amazing after a little elbow grease! Thank you for inspiring me to get started here. Our entire white house needs the pressure washer magic. I hope you have a fantastic week!
    <3Kim

  49. Ann pauley says:

    susan,
    u are amazing! is there anything you can’t do? i’d like to learn how to use one myself.
    ann

  50. Approximately what was the temperature that day? I live in Florida with a screened in pool. My home is in the direct path of sunrise (back of of my home) and sunset (front of my home), both porches area prefect breeding grounds for mold and mildew.

    Any advice, as most solutions dry up in seconds after spraying, I guess I should just give the house a pressure wash only on cloudy days.

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