Three cost-effective ways to prevent mould on outdoor living spaces

Winter is prime time for mouldy garden furniture (Picture: Getty Images)

Rainy weather, moist air and a lack of sunlight are ripe grounds for black mould to develop, even outside.

If you don’t keep on top of it, mould can build up all of your garden furniture and on your walls and patios in winter. 

No one wants to be scrubbing their patio tiles in the rain, we know, but getting rid of black mould from your garden will be worth it – and not just for aesthetic reasons. 

‘Mould spores aren’t healthy for anyone to inhale, but they’re a particular health risk to people with mould allergies or respiratory diseases like asthma or COPD,’ explains Dr Daniel Atkinson, clinical lead at Treated.com

‘When you inhale airborne mould spores, your immune system identifies the threat and releases chemicals that cause inflammation and swelling in your airway – and this causes an exacerbation of allergy and asthma symptoms. 

‘The longer you’re exposed to these spores, the harder your asthma will become to manage.’

shovel leaning against mouldy, damp garden fence

Mould tends to grow in damp, cluttered areas (Picture: Getty Images)

‘Mould tends to thrive in damp or untidy outdoor spaces, for example in and amongst damp wood or untreated timber, or in gathered-up garden debris such as piles of leaves or compost,’ explains Dr Daniel.

He tells Metro.co.uk that if mould settles around a vent or inlet into your home, the spores could enter your home. 

You can use dish soap, white vinegar or mould spray (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

While there are ways you can prevent mould from forming in your garden, such as redoing your whole patio with limestone or sandstone tiling, not everyone has the time – or funds – for that. 

Use dish soap and water

The most cost-effective way to rid your garden of mould is to simply mix together dish soap and warm water and apply it to your furniture or tiles, explains paving specialist and director of Infinite Paving Rowan Cripps.

‘Let it sit for a while until the dirt becomes loose and easy to remove, before then mopping the tiling and rinsing it with fresh water. 

‘Don’t be afraid to continue this process if it requires further cleaning.’

Use white vinegar

White vinegar, says Rowan, is an eco-friendly way to remove algae from outdoor tiles and other furniture in a practical and effective way. 

‘Simply spray it onto the algae and let it sit for less than an hour,’ he says.

‘Once it has penetrated the spot, the acidity will break down the algae, then scrub the surface with a stiff-bristle brush.

‘Then, rinse with water and let it dry.’

However, if you’re using vinegar to clean stone tiles with a high lime content, it’s important to know that it could leave them damaged. 

‘I’d recommend trying this in a hidden spot to test its effectiveness first,’ Rowan advises. 

Use mould remover 

Finally, a specific algae and mould remover can do the trick in just 48 hours.

‘It can also prevent it from reappearing over the next several months,’ says Rowan.

‘The toxins included in these formulas can kill algae and mould without damaging your outdoor flooring.’

Simply follow the instructions on the packaging of your mould remover and Bob’s your uncle. 



How to prevent mould in the garden

Dr Daniel Atkinson explains how to prevent mould from forming in your garden:

  • Keep your garden or outdoor spaces tidy so there are fewer spaces for the mould to settle
  • Keep your drainage system clear – that means keeping gutters clear and free of debris, and making sure drains in outdoor spaces don’t become blocked
  • Clean any areas where mould appears with warm water and detergent
  • If you’re removing mould from any indoor or outdoor spaces, make sure to wear an N95 mask as well as gloves
  • If you’ve got a leaking gutter or pipe, make sure to get it mended as soon as possible
  • Turn over the air in your house regularly by making sure it’s well-ventilated, so spores are less likely to settle
  • There are also dehumidifiers you can get that remove mould spores from the air, and can help if you’re drying out an affected indoor space

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