Thursday, February 23, 2017

Back to business

As I recovered from the heatwave, which finally broke, I suddenly came down with a cold/flu. Sarah got it first (most likely from school) and then we all did. It was one of those colds, that was very forgiving with the regular symptoms – but knocked your energy levels out, for about a week.

Today, was the first time, I've been able to get back to business in a serious way! So I rolled up my sleeves, and set to work on the verandah again.


Something is growing on the concrete


Our verandah is 1.8 metres in width, all around the house. At certain times of the year, some areas don't see any sun. I've never cleaned the concrete, so it has moss and mould growing in certain places.

There's a deadline I have to work to, to tackle this problem. Well before winter, I hope. Because once we head into the colder months again, when the sun sinks lower in the sky, I won't get a chance to dry the verandah I'm cleaning. So it was imperative to get my cleaning supplies out, as soon as possible.


Minus the hose for water supply


Concentrated bleach, water and a squirt of dish-washing liquid, went into a bucket. First, I wet the concrete down with water, then scrubbed my cleaning solution in with a stiff bristled broom. I also have a small, hand-held brush (with stiff bristles) for getting up close to the brickwork and around the posts.

The moss is proving to be difficult to remove, so a straight mix of concentrated bleach and dish liquid is best applied to those more mossy areas. Never apply the concentrated mix for the whole verandah, because you'll waste a lot of water, just trying to get the suds out!

I have nearly 60 metres of verandah to get through! Thankfully, the moss only gathers on the edges, where the soil touches.


Creating better conditions for circulation


I managed to muster enough energy yesterday, to clear around the verandah with a mattock. Part of the problem with mould growing, is a lack of air circulation. Weeds grow over the concrete, and when the sun goes into winter hibernation - whulla - moss!

I've definitely got my work cut out for me, getting it under control again. It would have been best to manage it, from the get-go. Once I finish our verandah renovation, I'll have some tips to share about maintenance for concrete areas. I know concrete is tough stuff, but there are things we can do to make it easier to clean on a regular basis.


All clean


This is what the verandah looks like, once it's been cleaned. What a difference, removing the mould makes. I wish I could have done it sooner, but in reality, our verandah has served as a much needed storage area too.

I like having a wrap-around verandah. It's one of the things I always wanted, if we built our own home. The reason I like it, is the all-weather protection it provides to the brickwork and windows. We'd have to get serious horizontal hail, to do any damage to the windows. It also means if one of our gutters starts to overflow in a storm, we have the protection of the verandah, to get out and empty the leaf catchers on the downpipes.

The downside is the maintenance. There's a lot of ground to keep clean. Which is why I'll be happy, when I finish this renovation, to have an easier time of it.


17 comments:

  1. It's great that you're feeling better, Chris. It's a big job to wash down houses and concrete. We have a problem on the South-Westerly face of our home where a black mould can take hold and it needs to be thoroughly washed down. On the North-Easterly side, no mould grows. Meg

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    1. Yes, we get the black mould too. I've read you kill it with bleach standing on it for 15 minutes. It has not managed to remove the mould however. At least it will stop it growing. So the sooner we can jump on these jobs, the better. It's our south facing verandah that copes most of the black mould. Because during winter, it doesn't get any sun at all.

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  2. This is a timely reminder for me to move the pot plants and get the pressure cleaner out of the shed and get the veranda clean.

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    1. Nice that you have a pressure cleaner. I have an attachment that goes on the end of a regular hose, but draws the water through a fine hole. It's good at getting stuff off, but not as good as a pressure cleaner, I imagine. :)

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  3. Glad to hear you are all feeling better, it is so nice to be feeling normal again after the dreadful heat,it gets to the point where you just feel a bit nauseous most of the time.
    What a good job over and done with, lucky you could eradicate the problem. I was armed with supplies to clean mould or mildew from my South facing stucco front fence. ....when I got up close it was some kind of tiny lichen !! Trip to Bunnings for advice as it will have to go.
    Don't you just hate it when you are all reved up and ready for a rotten job and then you come to a standstill and it has to be postponed.

    You are right about the wrap around verandahs, one of my pet peeves is having to race around to close windows when it rains or shut everything up when you leave the house.

    Hope your chookie girls didn't feel the heat too much and will be back laying well soon, it seems everyone's took a break or slowed down,there may be a herbal tonic to help them recover.

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    1. Ah, yes, I know that feeling! All ready to go on a big job, and then realise I need just one tiny thing. Luckily I have enough little jobs to fill in the gaps, before I get to the hardware store again.

      We've got a lovely local hardware store called, Withcott Hardware and Rural. They're so helpful with advice, and they've used almost everything they sell. So they can tell you if what you want, is up to the task. They've helped me numerous times. Bunnings is such a long hike for us, so I'm glad we have our little local store.

      Thankfully, all our hens survived the heatwave. I consider myself fortunate. :)

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  4. Sorry to hear you have been unwell, Chris. Isn't it lovely to get back to our normal summer weather once again and to feel motivated to actually get something done.

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    1. It's lovely to be able to move around, and have OPTIONS again. Like, I'm considering waking up Griffin again, and I can cook a lot of quiche with our excess eggs. Really didn't want to switch the oven on, during that heatwave.

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  5. No fun being sick; glad you've come through it and that it's cooler up there.

    How would it go if you sprayed the verandah (in the troublesome spots) regularly, with a weak solution of bleach? I do my shower that way. A 1 litre spray bottle and a squirt of bleach (probably equates to a tablespoon) and spray tiles, grout and floor (easy to get it into corners) once a fortnight. The chlorine in the bleach really eats up organic matter. It might keep the mould on the concrete from getting going and save all that back-breaking scrubbing.

    Just a thought.

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    1. Thanks for the tip. I always have a hard time with mould growing in our shower cubicle too. I'll give it a try. I'll also consider it for the verandah. Back-breaking is something I like to avoid, wherever possible. :)

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  6. That's a problem for everyone, I now leave the shower door ajar about 10 cms, no mould or mildew and the cat likes the 'catch' water dish from the shower warm up.

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    1. I always wondered if the mould was caused by enclosed shower cubicles. I wasn't sure if we just didn't have enough air ventilation in the room. We do run the extractor for about 5 minutes after we've showered though.

      When I think about it further, we never got the same kind of mould growth, in the old shower over bathtub, set-ups in former houses. We would shake out the curtain and then hang it over the rail. So the moisture was allowed to dry out. Makes sense. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  7. Glad to hear you're feeling better but what a first job to tackle after convalescing! I know how good it is to get a big cleaning job done, though.

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    1. After being out of sorts for over a week, I was desperate to do something when I actually could, lol.

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  8. Glad you are feeling better Chris. Mould is the 'pits'! I use Oil of Cloves which seems to kill it. I hope we all get some of this 'promised' rain. Happy cleaning!

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    1. My mum swears by oil of cloves, to kill mould as well. It's expensive to buy for the area I have to cover. But great for spot mould growing in the bathroom.

      Not rain here for us yet, but I'm taking advantage of the dry to get some painting done outside!

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