Ideas for Removing Mold and Mildew from Your Fence
Mold and mildew are microscopic fungi that often grow on surfaces where conditions are right and organic mass (microscopic organic particles that contain cellulose like pollen or decaying plant debris) is available to consume. Mildew is a particular type of mold so for purposes of this topic, we’ll group these types of fungal growth under the generic term “mold.”
Mold requires a warmer, humid climate to thrive. Shady spots with high moisture content in the air are areas that are particularly vulnerable to growth. Organic particles can exist in water, so water that is sitting on the surface of the material and does not evaporate quickly can give mold a sustainable source of food and humidity to grow. This is the reason we encourage customers to open their shipment as soon as possible after orders arrive to reduce the risk of letting mold take hold.
If the area where your fence is installed is prone to providing an environment that’s friendly to mold growth, you will need to perform periodic maintenance to keep the problem under control. While you are removing the existing mold, take measures to clean up the space to remove the mold’s food sources and give the space as much circulation and sunlight as possible by cutting back overgrowth.
To get mold or mildew off your fence, you can employ a variety of methods. These organisms do not feed on Trex itself, but a build up of microscopic organic materials such as grass clippings or pollen can settle on the fence and this can attract mold which in turn attaches itself to the fence. The first thing to evaluate is what you can do to change the environment where the mold is growing to reduce or eliminate regrowth. That may mean trimming back bushes or cleaning up organic debris that has built up around the fence on a regular basis.
Once you’ve cleaned up the affected area, start with a simple step of cleaning the fence with soapy water and a scrub brush. Mold will grow into pores on the fence surface so scrubbing may take some efforts but you will want to do as thorough a cleaning job as possible to reduce the chance of mold coming back.
If this is not effective, there are more aggressive options. Before applying any potential solution, test a small area of your fence to see if it gets the mold off with acceptable results. Try a white vinegar solution to kill the mold. Fill a spray bottle with equal parts water and white vinegar to create a solution. Spray the solution on the fence and use a soft bristle brush to scrub in the vinegar. Let the solution sit on the fence for an hour. Since the acid in vinegar can be harmful to sensitive plants, consider protecting the space with plastic sheets around your fence before performing the cleaning. Hose off the solution and mold once you are done scrubbing.
The white vinegar solution is usually very effective but if it doesn’t produce the results you need, contact your local garden supply or home improvement stores and ask for help recommending a biocide that is specific to mold and mildew control. Follow the directions for application and safety.
For additional consideration, there are even stronger cleaners for particularly tough areas that have been affected by mold. These are usually products containing some level of sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and detergent. View Trex’s Mold Technical Bulletin for additional details on removing mold growth on your Trex products.
Looking for more ideas on cleaning your Trex Fence? View the Care & Cleaning Guide on our website for help on a variety of other maintenance needs.