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Cleaning Algae & Moss from Concrete, Brick and Stone Surfaces

When removing algae and moss from any stone edifice, including monuments, listed buildings, graves and tombestones or any type of concrete or brick facade, then you need to make sure that the products and techniques that you use don’t cause further damage to the surface.

You should never use cleaning or preservative products or treatments on important, cultural stonework without discussing the job with  a specialist first and seeking the advice of a conservation architect.  

Power washing is used by many cleaning companies to clean off algae and other organic matter from building surfaces.  However, power washing can cause major issues as the water jets tend to remove the sand between the building’s bricks, often lifting them out of place.   Care needs to be taken when cleaning these buildings and experienced operatives will know how to work at high angles to prevent damage to brickwork.

Gentler techniques such as steam cleaning are a better opton for historic and listed buildings.  Provided the algae or moss has been cleaned off with a suitable product first then a gentle, steam wash with using low powered pressure washers can be extremely effective.

Sand blasting should also be avoided at all costs as this is a harsh form of cleaning and can cause irreparable damage.  What’s more, if you blast the original glaze off a brick surface in cold weather conditions then the surface is more prone to absorbing water and in turn will grow more algae and moss.

Routine cleaning and maintenance should not be ignored.  If you keep the stone, brick or concrete surface of any building clean and treated, then  you will minimise the build up of algae and reduce the need for constant cleaning (which could in turn cause long term deterioration to the surface).

At APT-ICC we offer local authorities and conservation architects specialist advice and guidance in terms of which products should be used to get rid of algae and moss from historic and listed buildings including killing off the spoors; as well as which cleaning techniques are the most appropriate to avoid causing any long term damage.

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