Removing Stains on Wood Siding
The most common causes of stains on wood siding come from mildew, extractive stains, or cement and mortar. Mildew is a fungus that grows on the surface of wood and wood finishes. It usually doesn’t hurt the wood, but it does cause an unpleasant appearance on the surface. Mildew can be easily removed by scrubbing it off with a detergent mixed with bleach and then rinsing the area with a mixture of bleach and water. Whatever you do, DO NOT mix bleach with ammonia because the combination will produce toxic fatal gases.
Extractive stains can also be removed. A magical potion of one cup of trisodium phosphate, one cup of bleach, and one gallon of water should do the trick. This solution can be used to wash the stained area. The next step involves mixing four ounces of oxalic acid crystals with one gallon of warm water. Make sure to mix this in a plastic bucket! If the oxalic acid is mixed with metal it will cause substantial problems. Wash the stain a second time with this solution and then let it dry. Once the solution is completely dry you can rinse it off. Always wear goggles and gloves when handling oxalic acid because it can damage your skin and hurt your eyes.
Cement and mortar often cause stains on wood because of the lime included in the concrete and mortar mix. Unfortunately, these stains cannot be removed. Your best bet is to take any and all precautionary measures to prevent the mix from splattering on your wood siding.
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