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.
From a distance the porch looked pretty clean in the photos.
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.
All that constant moisture took its toll on the porch, leaving behind lots of mold and mildew. Yuck!
I think just about surface of the porch is covered in dirt or mildew from the all that rain.
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.
The lower parts of the columns were especially dirty. Hard to believe they are even white under all that dirt and mildew.
I don’t even want to know what that is! Whatever it is, it can’t be good!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I think the porch is breathing a huge sigh of relief right now, no longer buried under all that dirt and mildew.
I cleaned the columns, the molding around the doors and the risers of the steps.
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!
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.
Clean, shiny columns.
The bottom part of the columns looks soooo much better!
Remember this area by the front door?
Here’s how it looked after a good pressure washing.
This area looks much better too.
And those moldy risers? Much cleaner! I think I missed a few spots but overall it’s a thousand times better.
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!
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