Wooden fences are a popular choice for many homeowners because they offer privacy in gardens and can be customised to match the look of a home. However, one downside of wooden fences is that they can turn green over time. This is caused by a build-up of algae or sometimes moss on the surface of the wood. While it may not be harmful to the fence, it can look horrendous. Luckily, William Mitchell of Sutton Manor Nursery has shared how to deal with this naturally.
He said: “There are many reasons why homeowners would want to get rid of algae from fences. Firstly, it can be unappealing and take away from the overall look of the property.
“Over time, it can also cause the fence to deteriorate, requiring it to be replaced. Additionally, it can also encourage the accumulation of dirt within the algae growth. For these reasons, many property owners decide to remove algae from their fences.”
Algae are a large group of organisms that thrive in warm, damp and shady environments. They grow by sending microscopic spores into the air. Algae on a fence can appear as green, slimy patches.
In some cases, the algae may not only look unsightly but it may also have a musty or earthy smell.
If the growth is extensive, it can make the fence feel damp to the touch. In addition to discolouration, algae can also cause the wood to deteriorate more quickly.
The expert explained that there are several methods people can use to remove algae from fences, with pressure washing being a common method.
However, some choose not to use a pressure washer due to their high costs, as well as potential “damage or discolouration” to the fence being caused.
Therefore, many people look for natural methods to remove algae instead. Perhaps the best solutions come from products households already have sitting in their kitchen cupboards.
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William said: “The two best natural options for effective algae removal are white vinegar or baking soda.
“Both vinegar and baking soda are extremely popular choices for general cleaning and disinfecting purposes, from worktops to laundry and more. Just make sure if you choose to use vinegar, that you use white vinegar in your solution.”
To remove algae from a fence using vinegar, ensure a small amount is mixed with some water before spraying the mixture onto the algae. After 30 minutes to an hour, households can scrub the algae off to reveal a “freshly cleaned” fence.
White vinegar is a great option for cleaning a wooden fence as it is safe for most wood types and can help to keep the fence looking nice and fresh.
White vinegar can also help with removing stains and oil from wood if that’s an issue for gardeners.
To remove algae using baking soda, follow the same steps as above, mixing a small amount of baking soda with water.
Again, households should wait about 30 minutes to an hour before scrubbing the algae off of the fence.
To prevent a garden fence from accumulating algae growth again, it is recommended to use a sealant.
Sealing a fence with a quality sealant will help to reduce greening by preventing the growth of algae and other organisms that can cause the fence to turn green.
The sealant creates a barrier that these organisms cannot penetrate, keeping a fence looking clean and new.
For those looking to change their fence panels, cedar and redwood are two types of wood that are naturally resistant to rot and decay, making them ideal for outdoor use.
These woods also contain oils that act as a natural repellent to insects, helping to keep the fence looking new for longer.
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