Complete Guide to Diagnosing & Curing Stains on or in buildings
STAINS on & in BUILDINGS, CAUSES & CURES - home. CONTENTS: List of types of stains found on building exteriors or interiors, with links to stain diagnosis, stain removal, and stain prevention articles. How to clean, remove, and prevent stains on building materials and cultural artifacts. Photographs of Algae, lichens, moss, mold help identify these substances in nature and on buildings. We provide photos and text to help distinguish among algae, lichens, moss and mold growths on any surface.
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Guide to diagnosing, removing, preventing stains on building exteriors or interiors:
This article describes the types of stains found on building surfaces and on cultural artifacts. We provide photographs and advice on identifying, cleaning, and preventing algae, moss, lichens, or fungal growth that occurs on roofs, walls, siding, trim, interiors, and on stone surfaces such as buildings, gravestones, sidewalks, stone walls, and in nature. We include links to references useful in the identification of algae, moss, lichens, and mold.
The Guide to Types of Stains on Building Surfaces:
This website tells readers how to identify, evaluate, remove or prevent stains on building surfaces.
In the following guide to building and cultural artifact stains and growths on surfaces, we list types of stains by stain color & appearance, by building location or material, and by stain cause.
We distinguish among the following stuff that may stain or be found growing building roofs, walls, or other surfaces, with extra focus on asphalt shingle roofs as well as other roofing materials such as wood shingles, wood shakes, roll roofing, and even slate or tile roofs.
Some of these types of roof, wall, siding, stone, or interior stains or discoloration are only cosmetic in nature, while others may indicate growths that are likely to reduce the roof covering life. A more detailed, illustrated version of the exterior building stain list below is
at STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS.
Algae-causedblack or green stains on roof or other building surfaces - Some photos of black algae stains are at Black ALGAE STAINS on Asphalt Shingles.
For details on roof algae
see ALGAE STAINS on ROOFS,
Black or other colored stains on roof surfaces may be caused by soot from chimneys, both wood-fired and oil-fired devices. Black or other colored stains may also appear on roof surfaces from nearby industrial activities.
See SOOT STAINING
Extractive bleeding from hardboard and similar wood-product boards can be a cosmetic problem in or on buildings or in art works if it is not properly prepared and sealed before painting, as we investigated for an art conservator -
see ARTWORK MOLD CONTAMINATION for details.
White stains on roof surfaces may be from wash-down of pigments in paint on surfaces above the roof such as a gable end or dormer wall; white or less-black roof surfaces may also be found below copper or aluminum flashing whose salts run down the roof surface in wet weather, preventing algae or moss growth and leaving a white area on an otherwise stained roof surface. Our article
at ALGAE, FUNGUS, LICHENS, MOSS on SHINGLES includes a photograph of this condition on a wood shingle roof.
Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
bleach damaged building siding by making it uneven in colour
(May 12, 2014) Robert Walters said:
my house is clear stained. it hasn't been recoated in quite awhile. i washed it with a bleach water solution but the clapboards are colored unevenly. is there anything i can do to have the surface be uniform in color before i clear coat it again.
I suspect that the bleach remained on some surface areas more than others, thus bleaching those areas to a lighter color. That may happen because of uneven wash absorption into the siding or because of inconsistencies in wash-down of the bleach solution.
At this point, telling you to apply a close-match stain to the whole wall may still not give good results, because if some old clear coat remains the new stain won't absorb evenly either.
I'd like to see some sharp photos of the situation (use the CONTACT US link at page top or bottom);
You may decide to test a pigmented stain to see if it will bond to the surface and even out the colors.
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Questions & answers or comments about building stain cause, diagnosis, cure & prevention on building exteriors or interiors
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
Guides to identifying mosses, lichens, algae Graphic Guide Ontario Mosses (some of which appear widely dispersed by climate and geographic area, not just in Ontario) which offers a graphic guide to mosses. worldofmosses.com/ggom/index.html
Also see the sources listed at worldofmosses.com/ggom/ggomBibliography.html
Also see the Journal Folia Geobotanica, Springer, Netherlands ISSN1211-9520 (Print) 1874-9348 (Online) IssueVolume 11, Number 2 / June, 1976 DOI10.1007/BF02854759 Pages217-22
The Ecology of Algae, F.E. Round, Cambridge University Press, 1984 ISBN-10: 0521269067 ISBN-13: 978-0521269063 (Available at Amazon.com) After an introduction outlining the chemical and physical characteristics of the environment, the book goes on to look at the actual habitats in which algae occur. The communities of the individual habitats such as open water, sediments, rocky shores, coral reefs, hot springs, sea ice, soil, etc., are then discussed with special phenomena highlighted, for example rhythmic activity, nitrogen fixation and buoyancy. There are also chapters on seasonal cycles of algal growth, energy flow, geographical dispersion, palaeo-ecology and contribution to sediments. The importance of algae in symbiotic relationships and their considerable significance to animal grazers in aquatic food chains are also discussed. The final chapter deals with the relationships of algae to eutrophication and pollution of water. This is an important aspect, which can only be understood through an appreciation of algal ecology.
Lichens of North America, Irwin M. Brodo, Yale University Press, 2001, ISBN-10: 0300082495, # ISBN-13: 978-0300082494 (Available at Amazon.com)
Quoting from Library Journal: Lichens are a combination of a fungus and an alga but have a unique structure and appearance quite different from either. Existing worldwide and growing on a variety of surfaces, including rocks, soil, and trees, they may appear leafy, shrubby, mossy, crusty, or jellylike and are seen in a wide range of colors, from brilliant oranges, yellows, and reds to dull grays and browns. This huge new book, written by a world authority on lichens and emeritus research scientist at the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, provides information on about 1500 of the roughly 3600 recognized North American lichens. Part 1 introduces lichens in 14 clearly written chapters that discuss their biology, ecology, geography, environmental roles, and collection. Part 2, the heart of the book, is a guide that offers identification keys to groups, genera, and species and their descriptions, with accompanying photographs and North American distribution maps. The more than 900 truly beautiful, full-color photos were taken by the Sharnoffs, nature photographers whose work has been widely published in National Geographic, Smithsonian, and elsewhere. Of value to professionals and amateurs alike, this book is certain to be a classic reference for decades to come. Highly recommended for academic and research libraries and for public libraries where interest warrants; libraries needing only a brief yet informative introduction to lichens should consider William Purvis's inexpensive Lichens (Smithsonian Institution, 2000). William H. Wiese, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames
Cultural Heritage and Aerobiology, Methods and Measurement Techniques for Biodeterioration Monitoring, Paolo Mandrioli, Guilia Caneva, and Cristina Sabbioni, Eds., Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003 ISBN 1-4020-1622-0 See our book review of this reference. The conservation of art objects relies on expert inspection, testing, and diagnosis of environmental contaminants and factors that affect the deterioration of artworks, such as mold, moisture, temperature, acid rain, and both indoor and outdoor air quality components. This text reviews these important art conservation concerns and describes methods for the inspection, testing, and monitoring of environmental conditions wherever artworks and other cultural artifacts are located.
Thanks to Patrick Walsh for discussing cleaning methods for gravestones & tombs May 2010
Shingle Shield™ are zinc strips that are inserted under the shingle tabs of individual shingles to reduce moss, lichens, and algae growth on asphalt roofing - see shingleshield.com
StainhandleR are zinc strips that are inserted under the shingle tabs of individual shingles to reduce moss, lichens, and algae growth on asphalt roofing- see stainhandler.com
Zinc-Shield® - zincshield.com and Z-stop™ zinc roofing strips - z-stop.com, are roll-out zinc strips intended for installation near the ridge of a roof to reduce moss, lichens, and algae growth on roofs
04/09: thanks to William M. Norman, P.E., S.E., Keeler-Webb Associates, 486 Gradle Drive, Carmel, IN 46032 for opening discussion regarding the legitimacy of extractive bleeding as a term to apply to asphalt roofing material. Mr. Norman suggests that many (not all) black stains on asphalt roofing may be due to algal growth. We will report progress in this discussion as updates to this web article.
How to Recognize & Control Sooty Molds, USDA publication on the recognition and control of black sooty molds, including on buildings.
This publication is also available in printed form from the U.S. Government Printing Office, 1992 657-152 HT-69 1992. The original article was authored by Kenneth K.Kessler, Jr., Principal Plant Pathologist, U.S. Forest Service, in the Department of Agriculture of the United States. Copies are also available from North Central Distribution Center, Forest Products Laboratory, One Gifford Pinchot Dr., Madison WI 53705-2398.
"Microbes Eating Away at Pieces of History", Vina Venkataraman, The New York Times, 27 June 2008 p. F3.
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
Paint and Surface Coatings, Theory and Practice [purchase at Amazon.com], R. Lambourne & T.A. Strivens, Ed., Woodhead Publishing Ltd., William Andrew Publishing, 1999 ISBN 1-85573-348 X & 1-884207-73-1 [This is perhaps the leading reference on modern paints and coatings, but is a difficult text to obtain, and is a bit short on field investigation methods - DF]
Analysis of Modern Paints, Thomas J.S. Learner, Research in Conservation, 2004 ISBN 0-89236-779-2 [Chemistry of modern paints, overview of analytical methods, pyrolysis-gas chromatography signatures of basic modern paints and their constituents, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy for paint analysis, direct temperature-resolved mass spectrometry, and analysis in practice - technical reference useful for forensic paint science, focused on art works -DF]
Seeing Through Paintings, Physical Examination in Art Historical Studies, Andrea Kirsh, Rustin S. Levenson, Materials in Fine Arts, 2000 ISBN 99-051835 [ forensic science, technical reference, focused on art works - DF]
Sealants, Durability of Building Sealants (RILEM Proceedings), J.C. Beech, A.T. Wolf, Spon Press; illustrated edition (1995), ISBN-10: 0419210709, ISBN-13: 978-0419210702 This book presents the papers given at the RILEM Seminar held at the Building Research Establishment, Garston, UK in October 1994. The book provides an opportunity for researchers to review up-to-date progress towards the achievement of the objectives of the standardisation of laboratory techniques of sealants in the variety of service conditions to which they are exposed.
Soiling and Cleaning of Building Facades (RILEM Report), L.G.W. Verhoef (Editor), Routledge; 1 edition (November 3, 1988), ISBN-10: 0412306700, USBN-13: 978-0412306709 The report of a comprehensive investigation by RILEM which examines all aspects of the cleaning of facades, subject to soiling by both biological and non-biological agencies. The contributors are international authorities working in this field giving essential advice to all those who need to know how to approach the problems connected with the soiling and cleaning of building facades.
Staining, Prevention of Premature Staining in New buildings, Phil Parnham, Taylor & Francis; 1996, ISBN-10: 0419171304, ISBN-13: 978-0419171300 The appearance of ugly staining early in a buildings life, ruins an otherwise pleasing appearance, tarnishes the image of the owners and gives rise to costly refurbishment works. In this book Phil Parnham raises a number of questions that should be considered whenever a new building is being designed or built. These are: * why has staining become so prominent; * what causes premature staining; which parts of new buildings are likely to be affected; * how can it be avoided? By using a number of highly illustrated case studies, the author answers these questions and ends by suggesting measures that should be taken by all design and construction professionals to prevent premature staining.
Paint Handbook: testing, selection, application, troubleshooting, surface preparation, etc., Guy E. Weismantel, Ed., McGraw Hill Book Company, 1981, ISBN-10: 0070690618, ISBN-13: 978-0070690615, [Excellent but a bit obsolete paint theory and practice, also a bit light on field investigation methods, out of print, available used-DF] How to select and apply the right paint or coating for any surface. The first major reference to help you choose the correct paint or other finish to do the job best on a particular surface exposed to a particular environment. Experts in the field give full advice on testing surface preparation, application, corrosion prevention, and troubleshooting. The handbook covers wood, metal, composites, and masonry, as well as marine applications and roof coatings. A ``must'' working tool for contractors, architects, engineers, specification writers, and paint dealers.
Paint and Surface Coatings, Theory and Practice, R. Lambourne & T.A. Strivens, Ed., Woodhead Publishing Ltd., William Andrew Publishing, 1999 ISBN 1-85573-348 X & 1-884207-73-1 [This is perhaps the leading reference on modern paints and coatings, but is a difficult text to obtain, and is a bit short on field investigation methods - DF] Provides a comprehensive reference source for all those in the paint industry, paint manufacturers and raw materials suppliers, undergraduate and postgraduate students, and industrial paint users. R. Lambourne was in the Research Department at ICI Paints Division and the Industrial Colloid Advisory Group, Birstol University, UK.
Understanding Ventilation, John Bower, The Healthy House Institute, ISBN 0-9637156-5-8, 1995 [General building science-DF - ** Particularly useful text. Mr. Bower has retired from the field but his book continues to be important]
"Moisture Control in buildings: Putting Building Science in Green Building," Alex Wilson, Environmental Building News, Vol. 12. No. 5. [Good tutorial, "Moisture 101" outlining the physics of moisture movement in buildings and a good but incomplete list of general suggestions for moisture control - inadequate attention given to exterior conditions such as roof and surface drainage defects which are among the most-common sources of building moisture and water entry.--DJF]
Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., 120 Carlton Street Suite 407, Toronto ON M5A 4K2. Tel: (416) 964-9415 1-800-268-7070 Email: email@example.com. The firm provides professional home inspection services & home inspection education & publications. Alan Carson is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material.
The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Illustrated Home purchased as a single order Enter INSPECTAILL in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
TECHNICAL REFERENCE GUIDE to manufacturer's model and serial number information for heating and cooling equipment, useful for determining the age of heating boilers, furnaces, water heaters is provided by Carson Dunlop, Associates, Toronto - Carson Dunlop Weldon & Associates Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Technical Reference Guide purchased as a single order. Just enter INSPECTATRG in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
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