“Many years ago, I had a wood ceiling installed on my outdoor rear lanai. We then had it stained so we could see the gaining in the wood. We love the look, however there is black all over the ceiling. We pay to have it cleaned, then the black comes back within a month. What is causing this and how can I get it to stop? Do we have a leak in the roof that is causing this problem? We are not opposed to having the ceiling repainted if it stops the black from coming back.” - Customer
This question was proposed to me several months ago when I was meeting with a potential Southwest Florida painting client to paint the exterior of their home. The one thing I noticed about this ceiling is when they stained the wood they used an oil-based stain on the wood. There is nothing wrong with using an oil-based product on a wood ceiling, especially if it gives you the look you are looking for, and you can always seal it with an oil-based spar varnish.
The only drawback to using an oil-based product outside in Florida is that it attracts mold and mildew to the surface. In the summer time you could easily be washing your ceiling with a bleach and water solution once a month.
In the first picture of this ceiling, you can see the black all over the ceiling. That is the mildew growing on the surface.
However, in the second picture after we cleaned the ceiling with a bleach and water solution, you can see the mildew is completely gone.
This is a simple solution to this problem; however if you would like to solve the problem and do less maintenance on your ceiling read our next follow-up blog.
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