How to Clean a Patio and Remove Lichen and Black Spot
How to Clean a Patio and Remove Lichen and Black Spot. Let’s face it; cleaning the patio can be a rather frustrating job and this is especially the case when you put it off for a long period. It’s true, we all want a clean patio but the effort it takes is often enough not to bother.
At the same time, maybe you own or have access to a domestic jet washer?
This is undoubtedly the easiest way to clean a patio and as opposed to scrubbing black lichen until your arms fall off, you simply point and shoot with this wonderful machine!
But wait, what is black spot?
How to Remove Lichen and Black Spot from Your Patio
In case you might be asking yourself, black lichen refers to those awful black spots you see growing on your beautiful stonework in the garden.
You see, lichen is an organism and a very persistent one. When porous surfaces are left untreated or unwashed, these organisms appear as tiny spots, which eventually evolve into the stains you see on the patio. Now, this lichen doesn’t always grow or evolve on the patio; rather, this is sometimes carried from elsewhere on the wind. It’s no wonder you want your neighbour to take better care of their garden!
As you might have gathered, lichen tends to favour sandstone or block pavements, which makes it a real blight on the appearance of your patio.
Anyway, let’s take a closer look at how to remove this black lichen and how to clean the patio with a domestic jet washer:
How to Clean the Patio with a Domestic Jet Washer
For many people, baking soda, water and a sturdy wire brush is enough to clean a patio, but the truth is, this also requires a lot of elbow grease. In other words, it’s certainly possible to get the job done with these items but it also involves an awful lot of scrubbing!
On the other hand, some basic detergent and a domestic jet washer is not only enough to remove most stains and grime but also the easiest and quickest way to do so.
Needless to say, the overall process is largely the same. As a rule, the best practice is to create a solution of water and detergent, which can be used to breakdown the lichen, black spot and other grime on the patio. After leaving this solution to work for some time, you will need to either scrub the surface with a brush or blast the patio with a jet washer.
How to Remove Black Lichen in 5 Steps
- Firstly, remove all objects from the patio and immediate area. You want this area clean to have a clear run at the patio but also so that they don’t come in contact with the detergent.
- Next, you should sweep the patio and get rid of any surface grime or loose debris such as leaves and dirt.
- When you first connect the jet washer, allow water to run through the hose to ensure there are no air locks. You should also make sure that the hose is untangled and fully unwound.
- If there is no detergent chamber on the washer, you should apply some solution to the patio using a spray.
- However, before you start blasting the detergent into the middle of next week, allow this solution ten to fifteen minutes to break down the grime. As a rule, the more stained or worn the patio looks, the more time you should allow for the solution to work.
Note – Always make sure that the patio surface is wet before applying any detergent. Also, if this is your first time with the process, focus on cleaning a small section before applying this technique to the rest of your patio.
How to Clean the Patio with a Hired Jet Washer
The truth is, I’m a huge fan of the jet washer and use it often for many different jobs around the home. Whether the gutters and drains need some clearing or my driveway looks forgotten, the jet washer is used on a regular basis.
It’s also such an amazingly simple device and here’s why:
The jet washer is little more than a pump with an electric motor! You simply hook this washer up to a regular faucet and the electric motor pumps this water through a hose, which is controlled by a gun-like trigger.
It sounds like a fancy luxury to have around the home but the truth is, these are now quite affordable machines that many homeowners are keen to have stored away yet ready for action.
Now, you might not want to buy a jet washer and that’s fine. Quite often, you can hire a pressure washer at a nearby hardware store or your local garden supply centre. Depending on the size or frequency of the job, this might even be a better option.
Can I Use Chemicals to Clean my Patio and Which Ones?
While the power of a pressure washer is sometimes enough to remove black lichen, detergent and bleach can be very effective when it comes to getting rid of stains.
However, in the case of detergent, it’s important to remember that there are different detergents for different jobs. For example, some detergents are better suited to stone and others work better on wood.
As for bleach, you should avoid thick or clinging bleaches, for the chemicals they hold can cause damage to a patio. Personally, I recommend having a water to bleach ratio of 10:1 is used when creating a solution to clean a patio. This way, you can use a safe amount of bleach and leave the bulk of the work to a jet washer.
With that being said, it’s also true that abrasive materials including brillo pads and wire brushes can damage a patio. Needless to say, you can judge this as you go but honestly, this is just another reason to love the pressure washer!
Yes, you can use a jet washer to clean decking. In fact, I personally use a jet washer to clean a wide range of fixtures and decking is one of them.
As with cleaning a patio, the jet washer is incredibly quick and a lot more convenient than scrubbing with a brush or pad of some kind. Furthermore, it applies the perfect amount of pressure without causing any damage to the decking.
With this in mind, the water pressure can be too much for certain wooden surfaces and can sometimes erode spring fibres, which can discolour the decking. Again, if this is your first time to jet wash your decking, start on a very small area before applying the same process to the rest of the deck.
On the other hand, if you feel unsure or uncomfortable with giving this process a try, it makes sense to hire a professional to clean this decking for you.
Hiring a Professional
As already mentioned, not everyone wants to invest in a jet washer and scrubbing the patio for hours on end is most people’s idea of hell.
You should find that several service providers exist that can transform your weather beaten stonework into a shiny patio for which you feel proud.
To be honest, as much as you want to avoid the cost a new pressure washer, you might not like price on offer from most patio specialists. In other words, these specialists have a tendency to over charge when it comes to patio cleaning and produce some average results for the privilege.
But if patio specialists are to be avoided, what alternative do I suggest?
Well, I would personally contact a local window cleaner to enquire if they have a jet washer. In most cases, any reputable window cleaning service is likely to have patio cleaning experience and easy access to a pressure washer. What’s more, you’ll pay half the price of a “specialist” for the very same service.
On the other hand, you really need to ensure that this is, in fact, a reliable individual and it’s important to communicate your desired outcome and let them know that you expect that they will clean up afterward.
As you can see, it’s not rocket science and using a jet washer can help you avoid what is often a frustrating process. Either way, above is the best practice for removing black lichen from your patio, the only question now is; are you bothered enough to get started?
If you have any questions or comments, at Reach Wash Cleaning, we are always happy to provide guidance and assistance with getting rid of lichen and breathing life back into your patio!
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