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Mold and Mildew Problems on Covered Porches

by Jim Neidner

Jim Neidner is a national award-winning
builder/remodeler and radio home host.


Q)  Jim, I have a homeowner (who is an engineer ) who says that the temperature differential between the inside attic and the exterior ceiling board is causing moisture to develop, resulting in mildew and mold forming on his porch ceiling. Do you have any suggestions to solve this problem?
John, a home builder.

A)  We do NOT recommend insulating any attic space, covered porches, garages or walls that are not air-conditioned. Moisture on covered porch ceilings does cause mold and mildew, however, it has nothing to do with the temperature differentials from the attic.

Most covered porches will have moisture problems which breed mold and mildew due to the fact moisture gets on the ceilings and can not dry out fast enough, especially during the rainy seasons.

One suggestion would be, if your homeowner has a ceiling fan on this covered porch, keep it running during the rainy season. If he does not have one, tell him to add one. This will help but still may not solve this problem.

Also make sure to avoid using oil base paints on any ceilings, siding or facial boards, only use enamel latex semi-gloss or flat paint for the best results to help prevent mold and mildew, also use a mold and mildew inhibitor added to the paint. Using mold and mildew inhibitors will help, however, it will not last forever. After a few years mold and mildew will return. Nothing really stops "outside" mold and mildew from coming back and attacking our siding, facial boards, and most of all covered porches.

Care and Maintenance is to wash the ceiling and all infected areas once a year with a 1/3 bleach* 2/3 water mix using a pump-up-sprayer. Wear eye protectors and keep the infected areas moist with this mixture for at least 15 minutes. (Also do a search for a product called: Wet & Forget.)

Again, most covered porches can not really dry out well enough and will continue to support mold and mildew and that's our climate.

CDC - Mold: Fact sheets from the CDC and EPA on mold cleanup, removal, remediation.

Mold Resources EPA: Introduction to molds; basic mold cleanup & removal from the EPA. Ten things you should know about mold...

Official Black Mold Removal Guide: Find all the information you need about black mold removal.

Effective Mold Removal Techniques and Tips: How to clean up and kill mold contamination and infestation.

Mold Removal Review: Mold removal resources and information on all types of mold  including black mold removal.

Mold Remediation / Removal: worthwhile or witch-hunt?

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