How to Clean Mildew From Rafters

As anyone who has ever been in a damp basement or a moldy bathroom can attest, mildew thrives in environments that are warm, dark and moist.

Fortunately most mildew can be destroyed and removed using basic household products. Mildew in the rafters is a common problem as rafters are high up and thus not subject to regular cleanings. If you do discover mildew in your rafters, it is important to follow up any mildew removal tactics with regular cleanings in order to prevent the return of the mildew. Mildew that continues to grow may be feeding off of residue, so you must be vigilant in keeping the area in the rafters clean and dry.

Fill a basin with 3/4 of a cup of bleach and a gallon of water. Mix thoroughly using a paint mixing stick

Fill another bucket with warm, clean water.

Put on rubber gloves, and dip a sponge into the bleach solution taking care not to get the solution on your skin or near your eyes or hair.

Scrub the wooden rafters with the sponge until the mildew stains are gone.

Immediately rinse the rafters with the warm water in the other bucket, taking special care to remove all of the bleach solution. Any remaining bleach can be a breeding ground for mold spores so be very careful to make sure that the bleach has been completely rinsed.

Dry the rafters thoroughly with a soft cloth, getting all moisture off of them to avoid causing any damage to rafters.

Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and spray liberally over the surface of the rafters. There is no need to dry the vinegar, it will evaporate on its own and act as a deodorant and a disinfectant, inhibiting the future growth of mold and mildew.

Things You Will Need

  • Household bleach
  • 2 buckets or basins
  • Warm water
  • White vinegar
  • Sponges
  • Clean dry cloths
  • paint mixing stick
  • rubber gloves

Tips

  • Consider investing in a de-humidifer to limit the amount of moisture your rafters are exposed to.
  • Several cleanings may be required before the mildew is eliminated. Be sure to clean regularly following the full removal of the existing mildew.

About the Author

Ashley Friedman graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Social Sciences. She has experience writing copy for the websites of creative professionals, and regularly contributes to several blogs covering popular culture, travel, food, and social action.