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Black Spots on Vinyl Siding

 
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Midwestpro
Site Admin


Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 862
Location: Indiana

PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 5:59 pm    Post subject: Black Spots on Vinyl Siding Reply with quote

Recently more and more home owners have been complaining of tiny black spots appearing on their vinyl siding, down spouts, windows, and even their vehicles. These spots are often mistakenly identified as tar, scale insects, or insect excrement.

The dark spots are 1-2mm in diameter and slightly raised to globular. The black spots are masses of mature spores expelled from fruiting bodies of the fungus Sphaerobolus stellatus Tode. The fungus usually originates in wood-chip mulch that is used around shrubs, flowers and other plants. Wet, rotting mulch breeds small mushrooms that shoot off spores generally in spring and fall when temperatures range between 50 and 68 degrees. This fungus is more commonly referred to as shotgun fungus or artillery fungus because of the way it's discharged which is estimated to generate 1/10,000 hp and can shoot spores up to 20 feet.

"It's just like Super Glue," said Don Davis, professor of plant pathology at Pennsylvania State University's College of Agricultural Sciences. The fungus can be scraped off of glass using a razor blade but that doesn't work as well on vinyl siding. Some pressure washing contractors have reported minimal results using 200 degree water and 3000 psi but this can damage some types of vinyl.

If the fungus lands on wood siding and has the right amount of moisture it can continue to grow, feeding on the wood and causing long term damage. It does not harm vinyl siding or other surfaces, it's just unsightly to look at. Some people have tried to file a claim with their insurance companies and the results have differed. If your house is damaged by artillery fungus, check with the agent handling your homeowners insurance. Most policies do not cover damage from fungus or mildew, but some do.

The best advise to preventing future outbreaks is to change your mulch every year. Freshening up your old mulch with new is only a temporary fix, you should completely remove all your old mulch and bring in new every year. The ultimate fix is to use mulch substance products or to use rocks for landscaping.
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DavidT73



Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 10
Location: IL

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is great information, I will be changing my mulch every year.
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A-PLUS
Contractor


Joined: 21 Oct 2007
Posts: 132
Location: Myrtle Beach SC

PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David T
Another thing that will help, is to get something like the garden
weasel and mix up your mulch about once every 30 to 45 days. It keeps the gases from building up.
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dlvgolf



Joined: 18 Oct 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We found a solution that works!!. It's mouthwash and toothpaste. Though we replaced the toothpaste with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. It's an article published by Penn State University. Go to the bottom of the article under "Reader's Suggestions For Removal From Houses" #18.

After reading all over the internet about how the experts say you can't do anything about it, a 10th grader from Battlefield High School in Gainesville, Virginia came up with the answer.

There are hundreds of articles on-line saying you canít get the spots off. But, The kids method works! We did refine it a little by replacing the toothpaste with the Mr. Clean Magic eraser.
Itís a breezeÖ we wet a paper towel with mouthwash, wiped down the spots until they softened and wiped off (6-7 swipes did it) and went over the stain with the Magic eraser. The spots were completely gone.
I'll post the link to the article in my next post (system says can't put a link in first post)
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dlvgolf



Joined: 18 Oct 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the link to the above article.
You can find the details at http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/d/d/ddd2/.
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EPPSLLC



Joined: 24 Sep 2008
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 2:49 am    Post subject: hmm Reply with quote

I wander if this will work?
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plainpainter



Joined: 15 Sep 2008
Posts: 234

PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I removed artillery fungus from a white vinyl fence this past summer with a certain chem without the intention of doing so. I will be re-trying this for the '09 season to see if the results remain the same.
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Midwestpro
Site Admin


Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 862
Location: Indiana

PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's great news. Any idea how long the fungus had been there? Sometimes if you catch it while it's fresh you can get it off with a little effort.
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