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What is Moss and Algae?

Moss is a small, simple, green plant that grows in cool, moist places, often forming dense, velvety masses of vegetation. Individual plants as well as the masses are called moss. Mosses are related to liverworts and hornworts.

A green film or powdery deposit is typical of algae on paving, stonework and garden furniture. The dark green or blackish jelly-like growths that often appear in damper, cooler weather on paths and areas of tarmac are incorrectly known as blue-green or gelatinous algae, but are in fact a cyanobacteria called Nostoc. Several other plants, unrelated to the mosses, commonly are called “moss” because they grow in moss like clusters.

Contrary to popular belief these plants do not damage what they are growing on but can cause patios, decking, paths and steps to become incredibly slippery.

Moss growth and other plant organisms are a common problem on stone, concrete, and other surfaces that remain shaded and fairly moist throughout the day. It is important to remove moss, especially over walking paths as it can be quite slippery and poses a hazard.

Winter is traditionally the time when moss and algae growth is most significant, but buildup can occur during any wet period or in shady, humid areas. Algae and moss are always found in damp places as they need moisture for both growth and reproduction. Poorly drained and/or shady conditions also contribute to the growth.

Control

Where growths of algae and moss present no hazard gardeners and grounds maintenance teams are often encouraged to allow them to grow – as it adds to be biodiversity of the garden. But for areas where growths are a slip hazard or unpleasant sight removing them is a must.

How to remove algae and moss

Biological cleaning is the right way to deal with removing any moss and algae.

For best results spray a biological moss and algae remover, like our Pro 59 on the growths. Leave this for a few minutes – this will loosen the moss and algae as the biological product works to break down the plant. This makes the removal process a lot easier!

Next use a jet wash or stiff broom with wire bristles to remove the moss or algae.

Once clear, the microbes within the product continue to break down organic growths after cleaning to help keep areas clearer for longer than conventional chemicals.  As the solution is free from harsh abrasives or corrosive chemicals it is also the best way to remove moss and algae from wooden furniture, canvas, plastics, pathways and decking.

TIP: To help the product work and prevent re-growth, occasionally brush hard surfaces with a stiff broom.

Improving drainage in the surrounding area will also help deter growths. You can also place gravel around the edges of patios, paths and drives to absorb water and spread course sand over garden steps for a simple anti-slip solution.

However, do not use a chemical remover – they may claim to remove moss and algae from hard surfaces but may in turn damage other plant life. Cleaners based on hydrochloric acid or bleach have some effect but are not recommend near plants, people and animals and they may also discolour stone and wood.

If you are looking for a solution to treat and clear algae and moss then follow this link to find out about our biological algae and moss remover.