Treating Hard Surface
The cold and damp winter months are not indicative of the ideal growing weather unless of course you are one of the following – algae, lichens, moss or liverworts which thrive on the hard surfaces located in damp shady areas courtesy of the more frequent mild wet winters here in the UK.
These microorganisms are a natural part of your garden ecosystem and in some cases, moss and lichens can even add a desirable weathered aged look to stone or timer aspects within your garden. Although harmless to hard surfaces (contrary to popular belief) a build-up of algae-like substances on paths and walkways can be hazardous making them dangerous and slippery so removal is recommended.
A popular non-chemical treatment for hard surfaces such as paths and walkways is to use a scraper or a pressure washer which will remove algae/algae like growths especially well from wooden paths and decking. It is recommended that a wood preserve should be applied to cleaned wooden areas such as fencing or decking and the use of teak oil on wooden garden furniture.
Care should be taken when using a pressure washer on areas which do not have good drainage as the excess water can exacerbate the damp conditions. For areas with poor drainage or awkward areas such as cobbles the Ego Multi-Tool Bristle Brush will make short work of clearing moss and leaf build-up leaving it like new without the excess moisture.
For maintaining clear paths and walkways, regularly sweep or use a leaf blower to remove debris along with the cutting back of overhanging vegetation as increasing airflow will help prevent build up and keep things clear. If you have an area that is hard to keep free of standing water, it may be beneficial to dig small channels/soakaways filled with coarse gravel either side of the path.
There are numerous chemical treatments/hard surface cleaners available on the market which will either clean problem areas or can be used to protect paths etc. from the potential build-up of unwanted micro-organisms which may present a slippery hazard. Below are just a few that are available to purchase widely and as with all chemicals, it is recommended that a small inconspicuous area is treated first to ensure there are no adverse reactions.
Patio Wizard is a mould and algae treatment that cleans all types of green growth without the need for scrubbing or washing off after application. Used regularly, Patio Wizard can keep paths looking like new as it won’t cause damage to pointing work. Safe and non-hazardous to pets and children made from biodegradable ingredients. Can be used on driveways, paved areas, fencing, sheds, greenhouses, perspex, polycarbonate and garden furniture.
Brick & Patio Cleaner is a fast-acting acid-based cleaner for brickwork, concrete and paving. Easy to use powerful 9.5% strength formula dissolves mortar and cement stains, efflorescence, ingrained dirt and most paints on mineral surfaces such as stone, brick and paving slabs. Due to being acid-based, Brick & Patio Cleaner should be used with caution as it can cause damage to plants and grass. Great for use on stubborn stains but is not recommended for routine cleaning.
Path & Patio Seal is a solvent free acrylic coating which is used to seal and protect paths, patios, natural stone, block paving, driveways and concrete from the damaging effects of water, sunlight, petrol/oil stains as well as organic growth. The milky solution, once dry will form a low sheen hardwearing film over the treated area which will be water repellent and slip resistant. Non harmful to plants and animals if used as directed.