Staining is one of the most common maintenance problems you’ll run into on your building’s exterior. With a huge array of causes and treatments, stains are both ubiquitous in nature and varied in their solutions.

Biological staining, though, can require some different tactics than something like rust.

What Is a biological stain?

Simply put, a biological stain is a stain that comes from a natural cause. These stains are often caused by something growing—like algae in an area of standing water, or mildew in a spot where water has leaked through a wall.

These stains are often indicative of a deeper problem. It’s not something that you can just clean up and go on your way. You need to heed the warning signs that these stains are trying to show you and address the underlying issue.

Find the problem

Before you do anything, ascertain the cause of the stain. Maybe there’s some vegetation growing too close to the wall and the leaves are rubbing. Or maybe there’s standing water or water infiltration from nearby. What does the pattern look like? Sometimes you can tell where the stain is coming from by the direction. The stain’s color and the type of traffic around the area can be an indicator too.

Use these factors to search for the problem that caused the stain in the first place and deal with it. Otherwise it’s not even worth taking the time to clean it up—it’ll come back, and probably worse than before.

Check the surface

Just like the stain’s material matters for cleanup, so does the material used for the surface. Vinyl siding will require different cleaning than stucco. You don’t want to cause damage in the cleanup process. You’ll want to use the mildest possible cleaning method you can get away with on that particular surface.

Clean it up

Start by cleaning a small area, then checking to see what it looks like. If it’s clean and undamaged you can continue to the rest of the stain.

Once you’ve finished the cleaning let it dry completely and keep a sharp eye out for more staining in the future. If you’ve fixed the problem it will stay clean, but if you see it come back it’s time to go hunt for the underlying issue again.

Stains are often unsightly indicators of deeper problems. If you have staining you’re concerned about and want to call in a professional for help with diagnosis or cleanup, reach out to JK Industries. We’ll help you figure out what’s wrong.