What’s scarier than Halloween? How about stubborn fall stains on your home exterior? If you’ve never experienced one of these scenarios before, it can be hard to imagine your festive décor leaving behind unsightly marks. Still, we’ve seen it too many times to count. Save some time scrubbing and stressing this autumn. By following these tips from Schaefer Exteriors:
Leaf Stains on Concrete
Did you know that leaves stain concrete? The same organic compounds that give trees their beautiful fall colors can rub off on cement—one of concrete’s primary ingredients. While not impossible to remove, it can definitely be difficult. And the longer you allow wet leaves to sit on top of your driveways, walkways, and/or sidewalks, the more prominent those stains will become. If you can’t remove leaves right away, you do have some options for stain removal.
Fortunately, you can buy powdered detergents that specifically target organic compounds. When applied to damp concrete—with the help of a little elbow grease—you should be able to scrub out these stains. Leaving a clean, stain-free exterior surface behind. If that doesn’t work, you may have to repeat this process using stronger tools. Like a power washer and bleach. Just be cautious and avoid injuring yourself as you work to remove these fall stains.
Pumpkins & Wood Don’t Mix
From a decorating standpoint, they look great together. They make a festive blend of rustic elements that screams, “FALL!” However, if you forget to put something between your pumpkins (or gourds) and your wooden surfaces, you’ll find unsightly stains left behind. The easiest way to prevent this is to put some type of plastic or metal protector between your live décor and your wooden deck, porch, patio, and/or siding.
Otherwise pumpkins can decompose directly onto the wood, leaving moldy marks behind. Did you know you could remove this with a small amount of toothpaste? Of course, it’s not a practical approach for large areas. But if you’re just dealing with fall stains from a pumpkin or two, you can dampen the area and apply a dab toothpaste in circular motions. To blend the recently cleaned area with the rest of your home exterior, we recommend one of these homemade furniture polishes. At Schaefer Exteriors, we also have the option to repair or replace small sections—if the damage becomes too extensive.
Prevent Mold & Mildew Outside
Generally speaking, mold and mildew are the enemies of all home exterior experts. Not only do they cause unsightly stains. But also, they can weaken the structural integrity of certain elements if left unchecked. Fall creates the perfect conditions for these two substances to flourish. Between the excess shade, cooler temperatures, and lingering humidity, your siding can easily develop mold, mildew, or both.
If you notice gray or greenish stains popping up, you should ask yourself one question: “When was the last time I cleaned my house?” Even low-maintenance materials like vinyl or fiber cement siding still require basic care. For small patches, you may just be able to target mold/mildew stains with hand washing. You can even make your own detergent with a blend of vinegar and water, or try one of Bob Vila’s stronger suggestions.
But once the mold and mildew spread, you’ll need to call in the professionals. Look up local power washing companies while the temperatures are still warm enough for this service. Then, call the experts at Schaefer Exteriors who can evaluate the extent of the damage caused by these fall stains. We can recommend siding solutions that will prevent them from coming back. Our team will be happy to assist you in protecting your home exterior this fall!