Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:52 pm
Algae are highly prized as a food. They are rich in nutrients and grow quickly. However, what is a nice change on the plates of many a modern restaurant is not a pleasant sight in the garden or on the balcony.
Algae and moss spread where there are hardly any suitable growing conditions for the lawn or other plants. The algae leave a distinct green color and disturb the appearance. It seems as if your garden is hardly maintained.
In addition, algae and moss run the risk of making the ground more slippery. In order for you and your guests to walk across the patio without any problems, you should remove the algae as soon as possible. Why they occur and which methods prove effective, you will learn in this guide.
The ideal breeding ground for algae
Algae prove to be very undemanding plants. They get along wonderfully with substrates that have few nutrients. Therefore, it is also possible for them to spread on paving stones or wood.
The only requirement for algae to grow is plenty of water. This applies not only to algae that are native to aquariums, but also to the variants that spread on the terrace or sidewalk.
If you want to permanently prevent algae from growing in a certain area, you should protect it from rain and moisture. A canopy is a good way to do this, so that precipitation no longer splashes unhindered onto your patio.
In addition to algae, moss often spreads in the lawn. With both weeds, it is true that they only have a chance when the lawn and the useful plants are doing less well. To prevent the spread of algae and moss, you should strengthen the lawn. For this purpose, it is advisable to apply a liquid fertilizer. This contains all the necessary nutrients and ensures that the lawn full of strength feels at home in the garden. Then algae or moss hardly get a chance to displace the lawn.
Washing soda for clean paving stones
If the algae have taken over the paving stones, you can remove the algae with simple means. If the infestation is only slight, the effort is limited.
First, remove the algae by hand. A spatula or joint scraper is suitable for this. Depending on the extent of the algae infestation, this may take some time. Proceed carefully to prevent the algae from spreading again.
If the algae are no longer present on the paving stones, then apply the mixture of soda ash and hot water. For mixing, you can use about 20 to 30 grams of soda for a 1 liter of water.
Pour the mixture onto the paving stones. Wait a few hours and any remaining algae should fall victim to the hot temperatures. For as resistant as they actually are, they are very sensitive to the hot water. Now you don’t have to use a spatula or grout scraper, but a simple sponge will do to remove the remains of the algae. Once all the algae is removed, the paving stone in all its glory reappears underneath.
Vinegar or salt
As simple home remedies, you will probably have vinegar or salt on hand. If you want to start removing algae immediately, you don’t have to go to the store and buy an expensive weed killer first.
Vinegar has established itself as a household cleaning agent. With its effectiveness, it is relatively easy to remove mold, lime or other impurities. The situation is similar with algae.
For the preliminary work you should nevertheless scrape off the algae. With this you have already done the roughest work and can now use the vinegar. Spray a the undiluted fruit or wine vinegar directly onto the paving stone. If you use a vinegar essence, you should only apply it diluted.
Also the application of salt does not get the algae. The algae absorb the salt, which then removes the liquid from the plants and they die.
However, both vinegar and salt have severe limitations. Both agents are incompatible with the soil and are actually not intended to be used in the garden. They not only contaminate the soil, but also the groundwater. Fines are imminent and the simple cleaning work can be expensive for you.
Rather rely on alternative means to remove the algae and do not risk having to pay a possible fine.
High pressure cleaner
Proceeding with a simple scraper is still possible for a few square meters. However, if you want to remove algae from a whole terrace, you need to use other means.
The high-pressure cleaner proves to be a useful helper in this case. With the power of water you remove not only the algae, but any dirt from the paving stones or the wooden floor. The application goes quickly and is hardly a big challenge. Therefore, the high-pressure cleaner has established itself as a popular device to get the terrace in shape.
In many specialized stores, the high-pressure cleaner can be borrowed for a day. Instead of buying the large device directly, it is a good idea to rent it if the pressure washer is only rarely used.
Caution is advised when using the device. Because the pressure can be so high that the stones roughen and the wooden floor splinters. Start with a low intensity first and see if it is enough to remove the algae. Develop your own feel for what pressure your floor can handle.
Grout brush and weed burner
Two other useful devices in the fight against algae turn out to be electric grout brushes and weed burners. The brushes are primarily designed to get into the spaces between the paving stones. If the algae have spread there, the technical tool is a great time saver.
Electric weeders are also effective in removing algae. The high temperatures cause the algae to die, after which you can easily wash it off the paving stone.
A power connection is necessary to operate these devices. With an extension cord, you should be able to easily reach all areas, allowing for extensive cleaning.
Preventing algae infestation
If the algae are found on the patio or in the garden, removing them requires some effort. It is more practical if the algae do not appear in the first place.
Algae need a firm hold to grow. This is best accomplished on rough surfaces. Lay a smooth stone on your patio to prevent algae from appearing there. Especially in very humid environments, this is an effective long-term measure.
In addition, it is important to minimize moisture. In addition to the roofing, you should also plan for a slope when laying the flooring. This will allow the water to drain away and waterlogging will not occur. Algae feel less comfortable on the dry floor and appear less often.
If the algae prefer to appear on the wall, there are special facade paints for this purpose. This contains nano-particles, which prevent the algae from adhering there. Thus, your wall is permanently protected from algae.
Simple and effective removal of algae
Algae spread everywhere where they find a moist soil. They hardly need any nutrients and even paving stones are a suitable substrate.
The greenish coating not only gives the impression that the ground is unkempt, it is also slippery and poses a hazard. To avoid any health risk, you should keep paths free of algae.
With the methods presented here, it is possible to remove the algae within a few hours. Make sure that the humidity is not too high and the algae will return less often.