Green algae is an unsightly yet ordinary eyesore that can build up on your deck over time. If your deck is looking like a green after a long summer of humid weather or winter snowfall, read on to find out the best ways to clean it off and prevent regrowth.
Algae is a slimy, green film that quickly grows on wood in wet and dark conditions. Moss is also green and becomes in similar situations, but is fuzzy and soft to the touch. Mold is a fungus that seem on wood as greenish-black streaks. Besides, mold spores can pose a health risk to humans and pets when absorbed.
While algae, mold, and moss are different, they are all similarly harmful to your deck and should be treated correctly away.
Why It is Important to Remove Algae From Your Deck
Besides the fact that green algae are not a beautiful sight, it can also be dangerous. Moisture from the algae can seep into the wood, Resulting splinters and even structural damage if the issue is left unchecked. Algae is also unbelievably slippery – if your deck is covered with it, somebody could quickly get hurt, particularly if it is on your deck stairs.
Algae is harder to remove than your average strain – it will regrow in just a few weeks if it is not properly cleaned. It also spreads quickly, so it is crucial to remove any green spots you see correctly away.
What Factors Aid Algae Growth?
Knowing what situation causes algae to grow can assist you to prevent it from growing on your deck, patio, and wooden outdoor furniture.
Algae thrive in a dark, damp environment, but it does not grow overnight. That means with proper maintenance, it is comparatively simple to prevent your wood deck from turning green. The two main factors you will need to be aware of are moisture and debris.
- Debris: As pine needles, leaves, and other debris accumulate on your deck, they block sunlight from reaching the wood’s surface and create an perfect breeding ground for algae, mold, and mildew. Blow or sweep debris from your deck often.
- Shade: If your deck is clearly shaded by trees or your home, sweeping alone may not be enough. You will need to do an annual deep clean of your deck to keep algae and moss at bay.
- Moisture: When it rains, does water pool and sit on confident areas of your deck? While most decks have sufficient space between planks to allow for excess water to drain, your planks may be sealed, or some may be uneven. In the winter weather, sweep snow off your deck to keep the surface as dry as likely.
Cleaning Solutions That Remove Algae
When it comes to removal algae from your wooden deck, you have quite a few options. The most common you will hear is bleach, but bleaching your deck can alter its color and even destroy the metal fasteners keeping your deck together. For these reasons and more, bleach is not recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for algae and mold removal.
If you are looking for alternative algae cleaning solutions, here are a few suggestions:
- Moss and algae removal products: There are entirely a few different products on the market that are designed specific to remove moss and algae from decks. Many of these products allow you to “wet it and forget it,” but tend to be more high-priced than DIY cleaning solutions.
- Hydrogen peroxide: Other cleaner you probably already have in your home is hydrogen peroxide. However, it is essential to understand that hydrogen peroxide alone won’t kill algae growth. Contrary, it creates a foamy surface that helps lift the algae away from the surface, making it simple to scrub away.
- White distilled vinegar: White vinegar is a famous natural cleaner that can be used both inside and outside. Just combine one gallon of water with one cup of white vinegar and scrub the deck with the solution to remove algae, mildew, and mold.
- Pressure washing: If you do not want to use any products or chemicals on your deck, you can clean algae away with a pressure washer. Just be carefully not to use too much pressure – if you are not careful, you can damage the softwood.
How to Prevent Future Algae Growth
Unluckily, there is no magic spell to cast on your deck to prevent algae growth, but there are several measures that can be taken to slow or stop it.
The first is cleaning annually or biannually. Algae spread rapidly, so the longer you allow it to build up, the more it grows. This is why it is essential to have a regular cleaning schedule. It is also a good idea to seal your deck with a quality water repellant. Algae want moisture or standing water to grow, so keeping your deck dry is vital.