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Solution Can Help Rid Eaves of Mildew

March 07, 1992|JOHN MORELL

Question: Last spring I painted our exterior with an expensive paint, and now I find that mildew has collected under the eaves and also on free-standing posts where air circulation is good. How can I get it off without affecting the plants underneath the eaves and around the posts?

D.V.

Los Alamitos

Answer: "Try mixing up a solution made up of a bucket of water, a quart of household bleach and half a cup of trisodium phosphate (TSP)," says Charlie Kaczorowski of Tustin Paint Mart. "Wash down the wood with a sponge over the mildewed areas, then use a hose to rinse it off. To protect the plants, get some plastic dropcloths that you use in painting and cover the plants in the areas you're working. The air circulation in the area may not be as good as you think. Eaves are particularly susceptible to mildew in areas where there's a lot of shrubbery or where you run the sprinklers fairly often. You also see mildew problems on walls where a dryer vents and moist air rises to collect in the eaves. If it continues to be a problem, you may have to repaint the problem areas with a paint that has had 'mildewcide' added to it."

Q: We have a water leakage problem above a sliding glass door on the south side of our home that is damaging the interior drywall all along the door frame. When it rains, water runs out of a hole drilled in the aluminum door frame. The only reason I can think that this is happening is water is soaking in the stucco from outside, since I can find no water leaking through the roof. I coated the stucco with a water sealer, but that hasn't helped. Any ideas on where the water is coming from?

F.M.

Huntington Beach

A: "If the drywall around the door is damaged to the point where portions of it have to be replaced, you may want to use that opportunity to run some tests on the wall," says Pete Gorman of Rancho Lumber Co. in Westminster. "You could cut a hole in the damaged drywall, then put a hose on the roof above and turn it on. If you can see or feel moisture, then you know it's a problem in the roof. You may also want to check the rain gutter if one is running along the overhang.

"If that doesn't provide evidence of water, try hosing the stucco down and see if water is getting inside. Make sure you get water on and around each portion of the frame and window. This should let you know where it's coming from. If it's the stucco, you can use a water seal that's made specifically for masonry that might give you better results."

Q: We have a year-old barbecue that's painted gray and we found that after accidentally dripping some grease on the lid and not getting it off immediately, the grease has stain solidified in the heat. Is there any way to get this stain off? We've tried just about everything.

R.D.

Buena Park

A: "You can use a commercial degreaser that works like an automotive degreaser," says Dennis Katsis of Yorba Linda Patio & Hearth. "You spray it on and it loosens the grease and you can take it off with soap and water followed by a vinegar and water solution. The vinegar solution will eliminate the alkaline deposits that tend to build up around barbecue hardware."

Q: While working on a window over my bathtub, a hammer slipped and took a square-inch chip out of the porcelain. I understand there are touch-up products I can use to cover the chip, but where can I find one that will match a 30-year-old peach-colored tub?

A.S.

Los Alamitos

A: "You can check with some general paint or bath supply stores to see if they carry porcelain paint, but the problem you're going to have is finding that color," says Rick Haagsma of Faucets N' Fixtures in Orange. "Also, porcelain paint will eventually chip away from the metal so you'll always have a problem with that spot. Other than replacing the tub, you could have a professional porcelain repairman come out and blend the colors and paint the spot, which would probably last a little longer than if you did it yourself."

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