Mildew is not a big problem in the Calgary area because of our dry climate. Mildew is a fungus that grows best in a warm humid climate and is often found in shaded areas, but not limited to shaded areas. Mildew can appear in a variety of colors and prefers painted surfaces because of the nutrients that paints provide. These same nutrients float through the air and land on painted surfaces and become food. Mildew grows faster on flat surfaces than on glossy surfaces, and is attracted to linseed oil based products that contain no fungicide. Most paints and stains come already made with fungicide included. However, fungicide can be added to paints and stains that do not contain one. Mildew can be effectively cleaned with a 3 to 1 ratio of water to bleach. A much stronger solution may be necessary in extreme cases of neglect. Proper surface preparation and cleaning are crucial for mildew prevention; in addition to using top quality primer and acrylic latex finish paint. Acrylic latex finish paints are the most mildew resistant. Painting contractors who perform quality surface preparation and painting are a homeowner’s best ally in preventing the growth of mildew.