mildew
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MildewBlack, gray or brown spots or areas on the surface of paint or caulk.

Possible Causes:

  • Forms most often on areas that tend to be damp or receive little or no direct sunlight (e.g., bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms).

  • Use of an alkyd or oil-based paint or lower quality latex paint.

  • Failure to prime bare wood surface before applying the paint.

  • Painting over a substrate or coating on which mildew has not been removed.

Solution:

  • Test for mildew by applying a few drops of household bleach to the area; if it is bleached away, the discolourant is probably mildew. Remove all mildew from the surface by scrubbing with a diluted household bleach solution (one part bleach, three parts water), while wearing rubber gloves and eye protection. Rinse thoroughly. To protect against mildew, use a top quality latex paint, and clean when necessary with bleach/detergent solution. Consider installing an exhaust fan in high moisture areas.