Lately our focus has been almost exclusively on our interior projects, mainly framing in our new ground floor layout, but I wanted to take advantage of the warmer weather this weekend to give our exterior some much needed attention.
The rear of our home faces southwest, which makes for some breathtaking sunset views. But, this also means that the front of the home faces north, and gets little to no direct sun exposure. The shady front yard, (previously) overgrown foliage, porous brick, and decades of homeowner neglect resulted in a bunch of mold and mildew growth on part of the front of the house. I got sick of looking at it, and, since we’re prepping to paint the brick soon anyway, I thought removing the mold and mildew from the brick would be a useful way to spend my Sunday.
A few months ago I tried spritzing a vinegar and water solution on a test section of mildewy brick on a whim, but that seemed to have no effect on the growth. After digging around online briefly, I saw that Mold Armor E-Z Housewash had received pretty decent reviews, so I decided to give it a try. I’m going to let the before and after photos speak for themselves before I add in my two cents about project. Note that none of these images were edited or manipulated in any way (although the “before” photos were taken with an iPhone!)
BEFORE (photos taken in late May)
The difference is incredible, right?
Although I certainly noticed the stains before, I was used to them, and this wall was by far the worst spot. Yick. And now it’s almost hard to get used to how much brighter and cleaner it looks… but I guess spending almost your entire life on the same block will do that, huh? The change is even more striking in person. The dark red/orange spots under the window aren’t stains, by the way, just wet brick from all my rinsing.
As for the Mold Armor E-Z Housewash, two thumbs way up. These mold and mildew stains were set deep in the brick, but after spraying on the detergent, letting it sit for 5-10 minutes, and rinsing it off — all with our garden hose — most of the dingy grime was gone. I did have to hold the hose jet closer to the brick in the darker, moldier areas, where the stains were more stubborn, which meant that I had to cope with some serious backspray. There were some areas up near the peak and down by the soil that were so stubborn that I finally decided to quit flooding our lawn and take a wire brush to them. The bricks brightened up instantly with such a minimal amount of brushing, that I ended up repeating that all over.
All told, it took me a few hours to remove the mold and mildew from this brick wall. On to the rest of the exterior! [Read part 2 here]
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