How To Remove Moss, Mould and Lichen From Your Home’s Exterior

It’s a sad fact of life that metal rusts, wood goes rotten, paint flakes away – and practically every surface gets overrun by moss, mould or lichen.

Fortunately, you don’t have to put up with any of this. Even if your home’s exterior has already fallen prey to moss or lichen, there are steps you can take to eliminate them. They’re slightly different beasts, however (if moss can be called a beast), and each requires a targeted approach.

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Moss

Even the newest wall will seem dilapidated if it’s covered in moss. Mosses are a type of plant growth that thrives in damp, shady conditions. In New Zealand, they commonly affect the south-facing part of houses because that’s what receives the least sunlight. Mosses tend to be green, yellow, or green-brown in colour, and you can tell them apart from similar organisms by the fact that they’re soft and fuzzy to touch.

You can prevent or halt moss growth by removing the conditions they need to flourish. If you have trees or plants near your house, make sure they’re trimmed away from the wall so it can dry properly after rain.

Also check your roof and gutters periodically – especially at the end of autumn – and remove any debris you find. The aim is to get rid of any footholds where the moss can establish itself and spread.

Scrub or pressure-wash your walls regularly to get rid of the ugly marks associated with moss growth. Clean walls are the first step to being moss-free. In some cases you might want to consider using a chemical product, but it’s best to confirm this with a professional beforehand.

Mould

Mould is a particular nuisance, because it can easily penetrate inside your house and start growing there, posing a serious health risk to your family.

It grows on a wide variety of surfaces, and the best approach to getting rid of it depends heavily on which surface you’re dealing with. Drying and scrubbing, pressure-washing, or bleaching are sometimes sufficient – but in many cases these techniques can damage the surface itself.

Generally, to deal with serious external mould growth, it’s best to consult a professional with the skills and tools necessary to stop the mould from simply popping up again as soon as it’s removed.

Lichen

The bane of bricklayers and roofers everywhere, lichen is both predatory and stubborn. It’s a combination of algae and fungus, which feeds on broken-down particles of clay, brick, and stone. For this reason, it’s often found growing on things like roof tiles, shingles, brick driveways, and garden paths.

Unfortunately, it’s not just an unsightly stain on your property. Over time, lichen erodes the surface it’s living on. Simply ignoring it could mean expensive repairs and replacements in the future. A lichen-covered roof is such a liability that your insurance company may even increase your premium if they learn of it!

People use a variety of methods to get rid of lichen from their roof, but most of them are a bit misguided. It’s usually best to avoid scrubbing or sweeping, using chlorine bleach, or pressure-washing your roof, as these can all damage the surface itself. Metal strips on your roof can reduce lichen growth, but they’re terrible for the environment.

The experts at EP Services use a gentle, eco-friendly solution that effectively removes lichen without compromising your home’s materials.

If you’d prefer not to deal with moss or mould yourself, we can help. We’ll drive anywhere in the Auckland region to provide you with a free, no-obligation quote. So if you’d like to learn more about what we do, contact us today!

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