remove algae from your holiday home

How to remove moss and algae at your holiday home

Last Updated on June 3, 2016 by admin

Old brick wall with moss and lichen

If you do not control or remove moss and algae it can creep up on you before you know it; so are you starting to notice green slime slowly moving up the garden path or clumps of moss protruding from the stonewalls of your holiday home?

We all know how visually unpleasant green algae and some types of moss are to the eye, but how can you control it?

We’ve put together some top tips on how to remove moss and algae at your holiday home, prevent your walls and paths becoming a slippery and ugly eyesore for your visitors, and protect your cottage from potential damage whilst doing it….

Annoying algae

Whether it’s on paths, patios, plant pots or garden furniture/fencing, Algae is one of the most diverse types of plants that can, unfortunately, appear anywhere and everywhere.

Despite playing an essential role in many ecosystems, for many cottage owners across the country it’s often seen as a pest. Not only is it unsightly, green algae can make pathways slippery when wet, creating a potential hazard for your holiday home guests and visitors.

How can you remove moss and algae?

There are two main forms of control, chemical and non chemical.

  • Chemical: Although many suggest using a hydrochloric acid based bleach or patio cleaners as a quick solution, this method can damage nearby plants and discolour some types of stone.
    • The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) suggests using a patio cleaner product based on benzalkonium chloride, acetic acid or nitrilo triacetic acid/trisodium salt. These can be purchased from most DIY stores or garden centres.
  • Non-chemical: Using a pressure washer is an effective way of instantly removing algae but will need to be carried out regularly in order to prevent it from returning.
    • Use an environmentally friendly-based product such as EcoChem, which is available at most DIY/garden centres. The fast-acting product claims to contain no harmful solvents, protects against algae for up to 6 months and will not discolour treated services. Not only is it safe for your holiday home, it’s not harmful to humans or animals either!

Tackling moss

Just like algae, moss can be found in wet, shaded areas such as lawns, cracks and crevices, and on the paths / walls of your holiday home.

Although some types of mosses can add character to a garden, others can be displeasing to the eye.

Moss can be controlled using similar chemical and non-chemical solutions to algae:

  • Chemical: There are a variety of moss killing products tailored for lawns, including ferrous sulphate based types, or others that are combined with fertiliser. Both of these can be found at most garden or DIY centres, and do ask for advice if you’re unsure which is best suited to your particular lawn.
    • To combat moss on hard surfaces such as paths and driveways, the RHS suggest using products that contain acetic acid, fatty acids or pelargonic acid.
  • Non-chemical: Pressure washing and wire brushing moss prone areas are effective ways of dislodging the plant and preventing re-growth.
  • If lawn moss is causing a particular issue, try using an organic lawn fertiliser like MO Bacter, which will help to control the plant and feed the lawn at the same time.

Tips for prevention

  • If you have any damp areas that are prone to algae or moss growth, try to improve drainage in the area by creating ducts along the edges of paths.
  • Laying a new path/ driveway? Consider permeable paving to prevent surface-run off and only pave areas that are essential. This not only reduces costs, it also prevents moss and algae build up in the future.
  • Allow the sun and wind to reach any sheltered areas by pruning overhanging plants or bushes.

For more information on how to remove moss and algae growth on decking, take a look at our ‘Essential Decking Maintenance’ blog post:

You may also find the following post on preventing slips and trips of interest:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

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