Preparing Exterior Walls

DIY priorities for the house should be headed by the upkeep of its outside surfaces, as first impressions are important.  Time spent doing essential preparations will pay dividends in a professional look and feel, just as is the case with interiors.

One of the most common problems with exterior walls is the growth of mould.  The signs of this are black, yellow or green marks; the mould should be dealt with immediately, before it has a chance to eat into the wall and spread to other parts.

An approved fungicide needs to be applied, or alternatively you can use a solution of one part bleach and four parts water.  Fungicide should be applied to the affected area and left alone for 24 hours before washing it off with water; bleach can be rinsed off after 48 hours.

There is often a more severe underlying problem of which fungal deposits and mould are only the superficial outward signs, and this underlying malaise is often damp.  Check your damp proof courses first of all and also look for downpipes that are leaking, rendering that has become defective and any brickwork problems.

Efflorescence – persistent white patches – can be easily dealt with.  They are characteristic of new masonry and can be easily wiped off with a stiff brush.  If you find it on old masonry, however, it may indicate a damp problem, which will have to be tackled appropriately before any further DIY projects in the area can go ahead.

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