Battling Mold with Concrobium

This is post a sponsored post. Concrobium read our posts on cleaning the mold from Alice and learned we liked their product so they contacted us, asked us if we would like to sample any of their other products and in return, they asked us to share our experience. In the blog world, this is called  a Product in Kind post. All opinions are our own. 

As I mentioned, this is not the first time we have used a Concrobium product. I have written before about why we originally bought Concrobium in my Safe Cleaning post. You can see the bottle we bought in many of the demo posts (like this one of the bedroom demo, or the one of the kitchen demo), because any time I saw anything that looked like it could be mold, I grabbed the bottle and sprayed. Mold is not something to mess around with, and even though we wore masks, you can never be too safe. We also used the bottle of Mold Control on the exterior when we were cleaning the rock guards and propane tank case.

When I checked out the range of products that Concrobium had to offer I was immediately drawn to the Mold Stain Eraser with thoughts of Alice’s unopened Zip Dee awning. Also on their product list was a House and Deck Wash. When you live in a climate where your home has to withstand 4 seasons, your house gets dirty, so naturally I was intrigued at the idea of being able to get our home’s siding clean. The final product that we expressed interest in was the Moisture Grabbers. So much of the interior damage in Alice comes from wet getting in and being trapped. Moisture rotted the floors. Moisture caused the mold to grown on the window frames. Moisture kept the mice hydrated and made Alice the perfect place to make their nests.

Last week when I came home from a walk with Lucy our Conrobium products were on our door step next to Elise’s pink “Firebolt” that she had played Quidditch with that morning before school.

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Inside were all the products we had expressed interest in trying, and let me tell you how exciting this was… I have spent the past 4 weekends scraping away old caulk from Alice’s interior. The arrival of these packages meant that this next weekend we would put caulk scraping aside and we FINALLY unroll the awning for the very first time since we have owned Alice. We had never seen the awning before. We were told by Al that it was in good shape and we trusted him. But after uncovering more issues than Al had let on (like mold, rotting floors and mice), I was a bit skeptical. Tim still trusted Al, but I think that is because Tim doesn’t hate mice quite as much as I do, so his perspective of Al’s omission of the status of mice in the Airstream is a bit different from mine.

Anyway…. to me those packages next to Elise’s pink Firebolt  was like a shot of adrenaline. We had a real reason to sidestep the tedious, soul-crushing monotony of caulk scrapping and do something possibly fun… unroll the awning! Plus it’s the end of September in Minnesota, it was 80 degrees and the next time it will be warm enough for hose weather could be next spring. WINTER IS COMING.

This is what was inside those two packages.

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We opened up Alice’s awning for the first time, which was a bit trickier than we thought it would be (another post on that soon – Spoiler alert for the next post: Alice’s Awning is in really good condition! We finally got a break!). When we saw what good condition the awning was in, we gave a HUGE sigh of relieve because we did not want to add “awning parts/textiles” to Alice’s shopping list and then we cheered, high-fived (we are dorks) and we got to cleaning the awning.

While most of the mechanical parts were in decent condition, and there were no big tears in the awning itself, there was still quite a bit of build up and possible mold on the awning where it was exposed to the elements. It was only about 6-8 inches that was exposed and not covered but those 6-8 inches were gross.

I followed the directions on the Mold Stain Remover and hosed off the pull down strap and used that as our small “test area.” Tim mixed up a batch of the cleaner following the directions, then we sprayed down the strap.

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The directions say to wait a minimum two hours, so we did. The awning fabric held up and even looked a bit brighter but in all fairness that could have also been because it was wet, but we did zero scrubbing of any kind; this test area was just to see if it would discolor the fabric. Even without scrubbing a lot of the grossness washed away.

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Once we had confirmation that the awning could handle the Conrobium, we got to work on the it. Tim mixed up another batch *Note: for best results you are supposed to use the product within an hour of mixing so when you mix up a batch for a test area, don’t use a whole bottle. You will have to dump most of mixture. Learn from our mistake. Test batch should be a small batch!

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I sprayed all the excess dirt and grime off the awning so the product could really work its magic on the fabric. (Something I should have probably done on the test strip too) This was also the first time I had climbed up on Alice’s roof. Not near as scary as I thought it would be, but I wasn’t really relishing the strange looks from the neighbors passing by!

IMG_6969This is what the awning looked like from on top of Alice. You can really see the dirt build up.

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And even after a good hosing the dirt stain was still there.

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The directions say “do not rinse” but in our experience the mixture left a bit of white residue after about 4 hours of drying in the hot sun so we decided to spray it off. By this time the Concrobium had done its job, the dirt stains were gone and we wanted to be sure that the white residue didn’t bake on and create a problem that would lead to us having to take down the awning to scrub away the residue. Our worries were unnecessary though because as soon as Tim started to spray down the awning all the white washed away and a sparkling clean, cheery, blue striped awning was revealed.

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And this is how the awning looks now!

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And from up top!

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After we closed up the awning  I saw that there was more white residue just on the one strip of exposed fabric of when the awning is rolled up. We plan on giving that a quick spray down this weekend and then unrolling the awning to let it dry out.

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Concrobium also sent the House and Deck Wash and the Moisture Grabbers. The Moisture Grabbers we plan to use in Alice once we get the inner construction going. We will be doing a lot of the construction during winter. Winter in MN means snow and after we get the new subfloors installed we will try to keep the snow out as much as possible, I think I will make one of the kids’ chores be shoveling a walkway for us from the garage to the door to Alice. There is no way to keep out all the snow and moisture, so hopefully leaving the Moisture Grabber bags inside Alice while she is closed up will help with the condensation and other wetness that will inevitably be left when we are not in Alice working.

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I did squeeze in the opportunity to try the House and Deck wash in between the awning cleaning wait periods.

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I know you all don’t care so much about the house exterior cleaning but I wanted to show you a before, during and after. The difference that the spray made was significant.

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When the porch is cleared you can see the dirt and just how filthy the siding is. In the after spray you can see that all the dirt is gone but then there are seemingly new stains. Here is a closer look at those.

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The House and Deck Wash cleaned so well that it flushed out the little nail holes left from when they installed the siding. I wiped away the drippy rusty colored stains and the siding looked great. The house probably could have used another wash, but now that we know how easy it is and since we have the built up grime washed away, a fast spring clean will be all the siding needs to look new again.

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One thing I learned during this process that is Airstream related is that the House and Deck Wash is safe and even intended for use on aluminum. I had a moment of panic when I realized that as I was spraying the garage with the mixture, some of the spray got on Alice.

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Just like the busy squirrels that Lucy (our Golden mutt) and Astrid (our vicious cat) have been chasing around our yard, us human Minnesotans are feeling the crunch as the theme to Game of Thrones plays in our head WINTER IS COMING and it is time to prep the yard and house for the bitter cold and snow. It is so great to go into the fall and winter seasons knowing that the house is clean and will be ready for Spring and whatever life brings us. There is a good chance our house will be put up on the market, and having clean siding next to our “For Sale/For Rent” sign can only help.

I guess the truest testament of a product is if you would buy it again and if you would recommend it to a friend. In the case of the Concrobium products we have tried, the one we bought and the ones that were gifted to us, yes we would absolutely recommend them.

We safely cleaned away dirt, grime and most importantly, mold with little effort. It took time, it took a whole day of prep, spraying, waiting, an extra rinse and then waiting for the awning to dry. A day is a long time but it would have taken considerably more work to take apart the awning and scrub it clean by hand. We were able to use a product that is kid, pet and lawn safe and it got the job done.

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