Removing Dangerous and Unsightly Mold
Mold is a common problem that homeowners deal with when spring rolls around. Everything is in full bloom including mold, algae, and moss. These growths love the porous surface of the brick. It’s something they can sink their roots into. Given the right conditions, your bricks could acquire slippery spots of moss and mold, ripe for a fall. Elderly people and children are most at risk for injury and even death when it comes to these falls. Naturally, you want to make sure your home’s exterior has curb appeal, including brick walkways and brick crawl space foundations. Cleaning these areas will not only keep your home in top shape, but it can also prevent a fall.
What Is Mold?
When you understand what mold is and how it grows, it’ll make it easier to get rid of it for good. Mold is a fungus with microscopic spores that colonize, leaving bluish or black stains. In the case of brick, you’ll see dark green and black stains. Mold eats dead organic material, so if you get rid of weed growth near bricks, you’ll most likely get rid of mold. Brick is an inorganic material, so brick itself won’t serve as food for mold. However, if there’s a dirt layer over the surface of the brick, it can lead to mold growth.
What Brick Surfaces Are Vulnerable to Moss and Mold?
Moss and mold love to grow and spread on brick walls, walkways, verandas, and stairs. Look out for areas of your walkway that tend to puddle with water for a prolonged period of time.
What Happens If You Ignore It?
Brick becomes vulnerable to cracks and upheaval due to moss and mold growth. To survive, mold needs water, a food source (organic material like weeds), oxygen, and warm temperatures.
Homemade Remedies for Killing Moss and Algae
There are some home remedies out there for killing moss and algae on brick, but be careful which ones you choose and what combinations you use. A simple bleach and water solution is the best bet for cleaning your bricks and killing moss and algae. Some people suggest using one gallon of bleach in three gallons of water or if you’re using it for a smaller surface: one quart of bleach to three quarts of water. Before you use this recipe or any other ones that involve bleach or other chemicals, be careful to keep the solution away from children, pets, and plants. Bleach will kill plants, but if you use it with care, it can be avoided.
Some people prefer to use Dawn dishwashing liquid with water rather than bleach. Whatever you choose, be sure NOT to mix chlorine bleach with any other cleaner containing ammonia because this can produce a dangerous gas that burns eyes, skins, and respiratory tracts leading to grave injury and even death. Also, never mix bleach with an acid like vinegar because this, too, can produce chlorine gas.
Mold and Mildew Remover
Some people prefer to buy commercial brands of mold and mildew remover. You can find these at your local hardware store or big box hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s.
Items you’ll need to remove mold by hand:
- Water hose
- Protective work gloves
- Scrubbing hand brush
- Towels or cloths (that you don’t mind throwing away)
- Mold and mildew stain remover (Home Depot and other hardware stores carry it)
Remember, if left untouched, moldy bricks can spread their stains to neighboring surfaces which increases season after season. Mold spores can travel in the air and land on nearby surfaces.
Make sure to prevent bleach-laced mold water from seeping into other parts of your yard. The bleach water can destroy plants.
Pressure Washing Bricks
Spring is a great time to have your masonry and brick walkways professionally cleaned and pressure washed. Not only does it give your bricks a fresh new look, but it prevents dangerous slips from happening. Also, you could be protecting your home from future mold infestation by stopping it. Arresting the mold on the bricks will prevent further spread to home brick and eventually siding. Pressure washing can damage bricks if too much pressure (PSI) is used. If washed carelessly or without knowledge of appropriate PSI, bricks can be weakened and damaged. It’s best to call a professional pressure washer to clean your brick surfaces safely and effectively.
NC Window Cleaning has decades of experience servicing homes and businesses in Fayetteville and surrounding areas. Take advantage of our Spring Cleaning Special and save 10% when you bundle exterior cleaning, roof cleaning, gutter cleaning, window washing, and driveway, sidewalk, & patio cleaning. Call today at (910) 273-4416 to learn more or simply contact us.