How To Remove Algae From Your Brick Patio

Monday 20th February 2023

Ellen Warren

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Algae on brick patio CONTENTS

 

As of this year, there are over 25 million homes in the UK and 87% of those have gardens. Overtime, a property may change to include a brick patio which are vulnerable to growths. This can lead to damage such as loose mortar, brickwork discolouration and slippery surfaces.

Even though algae is relatively harmless, it can become unsightly and will require a professional removal. At ICE Cleaning, we use a TORIK Stone Cleaning System as part of our brick cleaning services to restore your patio’s integrity and colour to its original state.

Our technicians can be on-site within a matter of hours in an emergency where they will assess the brickwork and work with you to remove the algae growth.

Read further to find out about the dangers of leaving algae on your patio.

What are algae and why do they grow on bricks?

Algae is a type of organism that thrives on oxygen and moisture, especially in homes by the coast or near woodlands.

You will often see algae growing on brick surfaces, especially on wall exteriors where they flourish beneath guttering or drainage. In sunny areas, they will quickly expand and cover the brick if left alone.

However, algae can also thrive and spread across your patio, if the brick is damp and exposed to sunlight. Brick is an uneven surface that is perfect place for algae to grow. The gaps and pores in your brick patio make it easy for the algae to spread, which can lead to damage to the brickwork.

There are a variety of coloured algae you may spot growing on your home, but the most common will be either green, yellow, black, or brown.

Are algae harmful?

Green algae are a harmless organism that will not cause any ill-effects if ingested accidentally by humans or animals. It can appear as a green film or powdery marks on any surface of brick or stone.

However, if left alone it can fester and cause your patio to become incredibly slippery and dangerous.

On patios or brick pathways, another type of algae can grow which appears dark green or black. It may look like a gelatinous substance, known as blue green algae.

This type of algae is caused by cyanobacteria, which can eventually break down and decay to release toxins. The odour of this bacteria will smell like rotting vegetables and can be toxic to humans and your pets if ingested.

What are the risks associated with algae?

Because algae easily grow in our climate, there's little that can be done to prevent their growth on exterior surfaces. These are the hazards that come with algae growth on your patio:

  • Slippery surfaces
  • Damaged and uneven brickwork
  • Possible flooding between bricks
  • Discolouration of bricks

Should you have the algae removed?

Even though algae are a very useful organism that encourages surrounding plant growth, it can quickly become a problem on a patio. Large algae can reproduce and release spores that sometimes become airborne and spread elsewhere.

The spores will boost growth on the brickwork of your home and even water surfaces. Ponds in your garden become a breeding ground, which can discourage submerged plants from growing and lowering the oxygen level for aquatic life.

Because of all of the combined factors, it is imperative that you call in specialist brick cleaners to wash the algae from your patio.

How to remove algae from your patio

You may feel equipped to handle cleaning the brickwork by yourself, but you will not be able to remove all the algae and may put yourself at risk. There are some dangers involved in doing it yourself:

  • Algae removal products contain dangerous chemicals that could cause illness.
  • You could put your brickwork at risk of further damage by using the wrong chemicals or tools.
  • These chemicals can contaminate your garden and ponds and kill the plant life.
  • You may be at risk of injury if the algae have become a slip hazard.

If the algae you see on your patio is dark and jelly-like, then it is crucial that you leave it alone and keep your pets away from it.

Touching these algae can release spores, which may only encourage the growths to return or spread elsewhere.

Get in touch

At ICE Cleaning, we use TORIK Stone Cleaning Systems as a part of our brick cleaning services. This cleaning tool removes all algae, lichen, moss, and mould with a 100% success rate on all brick and stone surfaces.

Our brick cleaning services and algae removal is available 24/7, 365 days of the year. Call us on 0208 066 0360 or email us at enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk for a free, no-obligation quote, and we will identify the issue and recommend the right procedure for you.

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