Shotgun Fungus is among the toughest challenges for homeowners and pressure washing companies.

Shotgun Fungus live in mulch and shoot the black dots onto exterior wallsHomeowners love to add mulch to flower beds this time of year. It makes the house look great. But beware, because not all mulch is the same. Pressure washing techs can clean nearly every tough stain on a house, sidewalk, roof, fence, etc…. One of the toughest stains to clean are the little black dots that show up days or weeks after mulch is put down. If you’ve seen these on your home, you’ve likely tried scraping them off with a fingernail until your fingers hurt. And finally, just short of tearing off a nail, gave up in frustration. The best advice is to prevent the fungus from attaching and then spreading.

What Are These Black Dots?

Artillery fungus or Shotgun Fungus on houses in the greater Hagerstown, MD area.“Shotgun” fungus — also known as Artillery Fungus — originates in mulch. Its name is from the Greek word for “spear thrower,” because of how the black spores are propelled from the ground onto the siding. The spores can launch up to 20 feet high. They will stick to any surface. The spores aren’t harmful, but are extremely difficult to remove.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to know which mulch is affected. It’s a common misconception that more expensive mulch will be fungus free, or that cheap mulch is more prone to having the fungus. Artillery fungus can infect any organic mulch, and under the right conditions, it will flourish and create a pesky problem. Artillery fungus thrives in cool, moist, shady areas. If you have the telltale black dots on your home, you will notice that they are located above mulched areas where the fungus has shot their spores. In Maryland, the fungus is actively shooting spores for approximately two weeks each year.

Inspection is Better than Cleaning

The obvious solution is found in the wise saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When adding mulch, routinely inspect your home’s exterior after putting it down. As soon as you see the black dots, remove it immediately. After that, you can replace it; remove it and allow it to “season” and put it back; and/or add mushroom compost to the mulch. None of these options has a complete guarantee, but the compost has been shown greatly reduce the fungus’ action.

Contact Complete Power Wash for Pressure Washing in the Hagerstown, MD area

Pressure washing sidewalk cleaning by Complete Power Washing in Hagerstown, MDCall 301.842.2290 or contact the CPW office today for a free pressure washing estimate. Click here to see images of the tech’s pressure washing work. They serve the greater Hagerstown area and most of Frederick County, MD. These cleaning pros also clean residences and commercial buildings in nearby Greencastle, PA and Martinsburg, WV.

CPW has the area’s top pressure washing experts in house washingroof cleaning and deck and patio cleaning. They also clean driveways, chimneys, gutters, church steeples and even remove graffiti.

The CPW staff uses the softwash technique of gentle water pressure and environmentally-friendly detergents. If your home is dirty — covered in black and green stains or the grime built up from years of neglect — call Complete Power Wash. Call soon to make sure your home is beautiful before family and friends arrive for summer gatherings.

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