Black Spots on Your Home: Is It Really Mildew?

Mildew vs. Algae: Mildew growth on a log railing spindle...or is it algae? What is that black stuff growing on my house? Mildew, right? Well...maybe not.


For the past few decades, homeowners, contractors, and paint and stain manufacturers have automatically labeled black spots on paints and stains as “mildew,” but recent studies have shown that as much as 50% of these black growths are actually algae. (Yep, that same stuff that grows on rocks. Yuck.)

Mildew or algae on log railing

When researching log and wood home care and maintenance, many folks will ask specifically for a stain that resists mildew, and rightfully so – mildew resistance is important! But did you know that the fungicides added to paints and stains to resist mildew growth don’t completely prevent algae growth? For strong resistance to algae growth, an additional algaecide needs to be added to the paint or stain.

That’s why Sashco boosts Cascade® clear top coat and Transformation Stain® Log & Timber with an algaecide. Sashco is the only manufacturer of specialty log home stains that includes this important algae killer.

So, what’s the big deal? Let’s get educated.

Mold and mildew are fungi that thrive in moist environments with low light levels. A common area for mildew growth is under the protected eaves of a home, although it can occur in partially shaded areas, as well. (And most folks can find mildew growing in their shower, too.)

Algae are plants that thrive in moist environments and use sunlight for photosynthesis; they need sunlight to live. Algae comes in a variety of colors, from greens to yellows and browns. Dirt and dust often stick to algae, making it appear black. 

Left unchecked, both can force their way into the stain or paint, damaging it and shortening its lifespan. This means you have to re-paint or re-stain sooner and more often, which is time-consuming, budget-consuming, and back-pain inducing.

 

Algae growth on deck Algae growth on deck

 

3 Things You Can Do To Help Prevent Mildew and Algae Growth on Your Log Home:

  1. Clean regularly. Sashco’s CPR® oxygen bleach cleaner is a gentle, environmentally friendly product ideal for routine cleaning. It will remove unsightly dust and dirt, along with any mildew and algae. (Diluted chlorine bleach may also be used, but is a bit stronger than oxygen bleach, and is more hazardous to people, the environment, and your beloved Fido.)
  2. Choose a stain with an algaecide. Sashco’s Capture® stain and algaecide-boosted Cascade® and Transformation Log & Timber stain help keep algae at bay from the start.
  3. Maintain regularly. Routine maintenance of your stain or clear coat will reduce the growth of yuckiness on the surface of the stain, not to mention keep your log cabin looking beautiful.

 

Related:

How To Stain A Log Home

Keeping the Dream Alive: Sashco's Complete Guide to Log Home Finishing & Maintenance

Restoring the Dream: Sashco's Guide to Log Home Restoration

 

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