How To Remove Algae From Brick

Friday 17th February 2023

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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 Algae on brickwork CONTENTS

During the colder, wetter months, algae can begin growing on the outside of your property. You must have the unsightly green and black stains removed by professional brick and stone cleaners, or they could lower its value.

Here at ICE Cleaning, we offer brick cleaning and algae removal services. Our technicians can use industry-leading equipment, including the TORIK stone cleaning system, to get rid of algae, moss, mould, and grime, and restore your brickwork to its original condition.

Read on to find out how to clean algae from your brickwork.

What are algae?

Algae are a group of organisms that photosynthesise like plants, but do not have the roots, stems, leaves, or reproductive systems of plants.

They are normally found in bodies of water, but can grow on any damp surface, such as wet bricks, paving stones, glass, metal, plastic, and wood.

Cool conditions are also required for growth, so they usually live on surfaces that receive little sunlight, like brickwork that is north-facing or shaded by vegetation. They grow best on porous materials as they tend to stay damp for a long time and the algae can take hold.

Properties that are in coastal areas, near woodland, or by bodies of water are the most susceptible to algae.  

Lots of other organisms grow on brickwork, including moss, lichens, and mould, and they all tend to get confused for one another. You can tell if algae are on your property if the substance is a green, black, or red texture-less substance that feels slimy.

Why you must have algae removed

Algae may not appear to be a big problem, but they can make paving slabs, patios, or any other walkways slippery, putting people at risk of falling. They may also make properties look neglected or unattractive.

Although algae cannot damage brickwork, they normally grow alongside organisms like moss, which grow roots underneath the bricks and cause the mortar to crack. To keep your bricks clean and damage-free, you should have them regularly cleaned by professionals.

This will remove any harmful bacteria and keep your masonry in better condition for longer, too. Fresh and clean looking bricks can even add value to your property.

How to clean brickwork

Cleaning bricks is a long, tough process that requires specialist equipment, dangerous chemicals, and lots of elbow grease.

First, dirt will be cleared off the brickwork and any damage repaired. The vegetation that is shading the algae will then be cut back. Finally, a treatment will be applied to kill the algae and later rinsed off.

Only professional brick cleaners should attempt this as they can get rid of all the algae quickly and keep your brickwork in good condition. You can find out more about how to maintain your brickwork in this blog.

Why you should not do it yourself

  • Lots of algae removal products contain chemicals that are dangerous to be exposed to. Professionals will have experience mixing and using cleaning chemicals, and the personal protective equipment to keep themselves safe during the clean.
  • It is likely you will have limited knowledge of brick cleaning and might use the wrong techniques for your masonry, such as pressure washing, which can damage the surface. It also might make the bricks damper, so the algae might grow back.
  • The algae may be covering your entire house, including in high-up, difficult to reach spots. Our technicians can work at height, and safely and effectively remove all the algae.
  • Some cleaning products could damage your plants if it spills onto them.

How to prevent algae growing on bricks

To ensure your brickwork stays clean and algae-free, you must take steps to keep your bricks dry and in plenty of sunlight.

  • Fix leaks in your gutters and drainpipes when they occur.
  • Ensure that water drains away from your home with gutter systems, swales, and catch basins, for example.
  • Have any plants that are blocking sunlight to the brickwork cut back. This should enable better ventilation to help dry bricks, as well.

Get in touch

Regular brick cleaning and algae removal is essential to keeping your property neat, clean, and safe. Our technicians can provide their services wherever you are in the UK, and are available any time of the day or night, 365 days a year.

Contact our friendly team at 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk to book our technicians for our algae removal services.

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Sydney Bowell

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