If you’re the proud owner of decking and are frustrated at the build up of green algae that seems to keep spoiling its look, help is at hand. In this article, we want to propose a few ways to help you remove mold off your decking. The first thing to say about mold or green algae is that it’s a very common problem on decking and isn’t something to be overly worried about. The bad news is that there appears to be no way of stopping it happening. All of that said, there’s no getting away from the fact that mold and algae does spoil the look of your decking at the same time as making it slippery to walk on, so action must be taken to remove it!
No matter which method of cleaning you choose, you need to make sure your deck is clear of all furnishing and pots as well as surface dirt and debris. The best way to do this is to clear your decking entirely of furnishings and pots and sweep the deck thoroughly with a stiff brush, making sure you get right into the corners where mold and algae have a tendency to build up.
Thereafter, the first option is to buy an algae removing product from your decking supplier, which has been designed and developed with the sole purpose of removing mold from your decking. Available in “green” or “eco” (and some not so green options), essentially what these cleaners do is attack the moss, algae and lichens that cause your decking to look a bit tired. Many varieties of algae remover come in a concentrated format that you need to dilute, but if you’re unsure of this type of option, it’s best to choose a pre-mixed solution. Most decking suppliers will be able to recommend an algae removing product that is suited to your particular decking, so do take the opportunity to seek advice if you’re in any doubt. The way these products normally work is that you apply them to a clean surface and leave them to react with the algae or mold for a specified amount of time. Thereafter, it’s a case of rinsing the deck, or in some cases, brushing the product away with a stiff brush.
If you prefer a more homemade approach, then you’ll need to arm yourself with a garden hose or power washer (set on a gentle setting), a bucket, a sponge and an oxygen-based bleach and water solution. If you are worried about the effects of using bleach on your decking, check with either your decking supplier or any reputed supplier beforehand that a bleach-based solution won’t harm your finish.
What you need to do is cover the entire deck area with the bleach solution and leave it for about 15 minutes. During this time, the solution will start to break up the mold and algae that’s visible and will also be working away to kill off at any traces that have yet to appear. Once the bleach solution has had the chance to take effect, either power wash the solution away (on a gentle power setting) or simply hose it away. If you find you have stubborn patches that remain, you can repeat the process and, if necessary, scrub the remaining areas with a stiff brush, all the time being careful not to damage the surface of your deck.
TOP TIP: Be careful, no matter which type of product you use, to thoroughly hose the surrounding area (if planted) with clean water to help protect your plants from any negative effects of the chemicals.
If you find that neither of these approaches does the trick, then the worst-case scenario is that you’ll need to have your deck sanded and re-finished.