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BEFORE MILDEW TAKES HOLD IN DAMP CONDITIONS, ATTACK THE MOLD ON OUTDOOR CUSHIONS.

FIVE SUGGESTIONS TO MAKE USE OF COMMON HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS WHEN ERADICATING THE SPORE. THE BEST WAY TO STOP MILDEW FROM SPREADING IS TO ATTACK IT AT THE CORE.

Suppose this year has taught us anything other than improving our self-decontamination habits using the basic techniques of a good old fashioned, germ-killing hand washing. In that case, be on the lookout for warning signs BEFORE the spread gets out of our control. Now, I am not THAT old that I was taught to do laundry by pounding the dirt away with rocks, cold stream water and pre-chewed plant extracts but there IS something to say about the natural thought process of cleaning with common sense. Your five senses. By being able to compare each of YOUR senses to the five tips to be covered in this article.

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THE SOUND OF….MOLD?

1) Does mold have a sound?

No…of course not. Not one that is recognizable to the human ear yet but by using your hearing you’ll know IN ADVANCE when you can expect to be prepared to possible mildew outbreaks in your area. The weather forecast can tune you in to when to relocate or cover your outdoor cushions, lessening the chances of exposure to spores. Given that the prices of owning your own outdoor style reflect the importance of putting aside time to maintain your outdoor furniture as well as your indoor furnishings; when you hear about an impending storm, get on the alert and either remove the cushions OR tilt them up within their frames and cover the chair entirely. This should become a nightly routine anyway to preserve the integrity of your investment. The key is to remove the protective sheathing asap the next day. You do not want any condensation build up to create, well…..mildew. Self-defeatist. In for two or three sunny days in a row? Lucky you. Plan to make this a good time to :

  • Remove cushion covers, if possible.
  • Launder and dry in accordance to the manufacturers tag specifications.
  • Use the cleaning, freshening power of the sun to optimize the process.

Sound good? Let’s find out what else we can sniff out.

IS IT ALLERGIES, A COLD OR AN EARLY SIGN OF MOLD? SOMETIMES ONLY THE NOSE KNOWS.

2) I can smell it, and now I am sneezing, wheezing, coughing and running after my drippy sinuses and rheumy, red eyes. I’ve NEVER had outdoor allergies before, could this be a warning of a spore?

Moist…. definitely. The danger in mold and mildew is it’s affinity to attack the upper respiratory system while wreaking havoc among those who suffer through pre-existing conditions. Like people that suffer from allergies, asthma, COPD, pneumonia, sensitivity to flu, colds, coughs, and associated symptoms such as certain rashes, gland swelling, fevers etc. Mold has a distinct odor that can best be described as rank, wet dirty socks, damp dog, earthy, fermented, fertilized overripe mushrooms. How…..appealing. But you’ve chosen that sunny day, remember? So, what do you do:

  • Take an allergy pill, get out into that sunny day and let’s get to work on sniffing out the problem.
  • STILL invisible, but you KNOW it’s there, you’ve washed the covers but the lingering tinge wafts through the foam padding itself.
  • TRY liberally sprinkling baking soda, oxy crystals or borax type powder granules or even a handful of clean, unused **ahem** cat litter onto the foam cushioning. Rub in with your fingers, massaging and squeezing and let it rest in direct sunlight for about an hour. While waiting, double check the covers, look for abnormal stretches, tears or stubborn stains and fading. Might as well get rid of those at the same time. Brush off the powders and give a whiff….still there and just as odiferous?
  • Break out the big guns and spray with a wet mixture of equal parts lemon juice, vinegar, and warm water. Add a few drops of Dawn liquid and spray to almost saturate, dabbing with flat palms on a dry clean cloth. A bit of elbow grease and more dry time should blast away most pre-visible mildew and mold growth.

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AHA! THERES THE PROOF. THE CLUSTERS OF SPOT MOLD. BEHOLD & BE BOLD!

3) I can see the speckle of black dots and a streaky path of dark mossy green. HELP! It’s out of control!

Not at all. There is still plenty of time. We just need to up the ante. Water hose and pressure nozzle, OTC environmentally friendly professional mold removal spray, that good old sunshine and either a clean driveway, tarp or even a throw away dollar store toddler blow up swimming pool. Basically, an outdoor hand washing machine suitable for the size and material of the cushions.

  • Presoak the cushions in cold water spray and a few more drizzles of detergent. Using a broom or a clean rake to keep them swooshing around, pour in the recommended amount of OTC spray specifically formulated for outdoor furniture and hand “wash”.
  • Rinse and squeeze.
  • Repeat until all signs of mildew are gone.
  • Empty out the wash water and either keep the kiddies pool for this reason or toss and buy another when needed. Rinse away traces of dirty soap water and waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaait for the dry time. More than likely, this will take an overnight as you’ve saturated and soaked the heavy upholstery foam.

TOUCH: DID A DODGE A THRUST WITH A COUNTER-PARRY TOUCHE?

4) It’s a new day…I’ve erased all sight and smell of the mildew…BUT…it’s still DAMP!

  • Run a wet-dry vac over the wet-spots.
  • Try for another day out in the sun
  • Consider using a professional water extraction/steam clean service as most will offer this.
  • All you’re out is a couple of afternoons out in the sun, a few bucks IF that, and worse case scenario? A call to a local service pro and whatever their price may be.

APPETITE FOR SUCCESS.

5) You did it. 5 ways to rid that mildew from the beauty of your life. 5 ways to scold the mold from the major investments of your exterior landscaping. Now, as you, your family and even guests and family gatherers can be confident that social distancing can be maintained, even as an uncertain tomorrow continues to loom. Enjoy the fifth! Umm….no bleu cheese dip for me, thank you for offering.



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