Lichen removal is not a one-time procedure. It takes several tries and a lot of patience.
What’s the solution?
Recognising the first sign of the black spot on your patio or roof and taking measures to stop them immediately.
When the first spot lichen first appears, it is only a shallow growth. You can remove it with high-pressure washing or a jet wash.
But as lichen spreads, power washing is useless. Even if you are successful in killing it with chemical sprays, the black spots remain. Also, tilework, bricking, and delicate stones cannot take the blast from high-pressure washing. The same applies to wire and metal brushes.
And lichen and black spot material requires harsh scrubbing and scraping to remove as it has a tough, crusty exterior. It is a time-intensive process that requires skill and patience because of the risk to the stone surface or paint.
Bleach and water are also popular homemade remedies for lichen and black spot removal. Though you can’t be sure about how much of the lichen it will remove. Some of it almost always remains, but you can lighten the black spots and stop their growth with repetitive bleach treatments.
Just mix equal parts of bleach and water and spray it on the stone. Leave it for a couple of hours and wash. Always do a test patch before applying so that you don’t damage your patio or block paving.
Another option is to use a sodium hypochlorite patio cleaner. It is a stronger version of bleach and must be handled carefully. It can harm the surrounding greenery and furnishings, hence cover them beforehand. Sodium hypochlorite must also be diluted before use. Wear a mask and protective gear before spraying. Leave it for several hours and scrub with a stiff brush. Wash it off with a power hose to get the lichen off.
You will still need to repeat this process several times to get most of the lichen out.
There is a wide range of outdoor cleaners available in the market for lichen and black spot removal. Wet and Forget cleaners are a particular favourite in the UK. Screwfix patio cleaner and Prokleen Black spot remover are also popular choices.
But even outdoor DIY cleaning products for lichen and moss removal need to be used a minimum of three times to get the growth out.
And they are costly. You must have spraying equipment, protective gear, and know how to use a pressure washer.
Especially on roofs, where lichen, along with moss on roof tiles, dirt, and mould, can become a nightmare to clean.
- Use a high-pressure power washer on stones
- Always test sodium hypochlorite cleaners before spraying as they can leech colour off surfaces
- Be wary when using acid-based cleaners as they can permanently damage stones
- Allow bleach and cleaning products to dry on surfaces
- Clean when expecting rain as it won’t allow the lichen removal solutions to work.
Hiring cleaning companies for lichen and black spot removal is essential for maintaining your roofs, patios, and drives. Lichen is an invasive growth that is inevitable with the English weather.
Protect your investment and maintain your pride and joy with specialised lichen and black spot removal services.