How to Prevent Algae Growth on a Brick Patio

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Algae is identified as green, slimy growth on brick patios.
Algae is identified as green, slimy growth on brick patios. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Brick patios are recognized for their durability, ease of maintenance and aesthetic appeal. However, in damp, shaded locations, brick patios can flourish with algae growth. Lack of sunlight from overhanging trees and dense vegetation encourage algae growth on brick patios. Algae ruin the appearance of brick patios, causing landscapes and gardens to appear dingy and neglected. Their slippery texture also makes patios dangerous to walk on. However, certain techniques can effectively rid algae from brick patios and prevent future growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Stiff push broom
  • 1 cup chlorine bleach
  • 1 gallon water
  • Plastic bucket
  • Garden hose
  • Nylon scrub brush
  • Towels
  • Pruning shears
  • 2-inch-wide, copper-coated sheet metal strips
  • High-strength construction adhesive

Sweep the patio with a stiff push broom to clear any debris and loosen existing algae.

Mix 1 cup of chlorine bleach with 1 gallon of water in a plastic bucket. Spray the bricks and nearby vegetation with water from a garden hose to protect them from bleach runoff.

Dip a nylon scrub brush in the diluted bleach solution. Scrub the bricks with the bleach solution to discourage algae growth on the patio.

Rinse the patio with water from the garden hose to wash away the bleach solution. Blot the bricks with towels until completely dry.

Trim back overhanging tree branches and vegetation using pruning shears. Expose the patio to plenty of direct sunlight to discourage algae growth.

Relocate any nearby sprinklers that disperse water onto the patio. Move the sprinklers further back to prevent moisture on the patio.

Regularly sweep the patio with a stiff push broom to remove organic debris algae can feed on, such as branches and leaves.

Lay 2-inch-wide strips of copper-coated sheet metal along the perimeter of the patio to further prevent algae growth. Adhere the metal strips to the bricks with high-strength construction adhesive. Apply the adhesive according to the manufacturer's directions on the product's label. The copper, which is toxic to algae, will leach out of the strips in small amounts and act as a preventative.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can substitute a commercial algaecide for the diluted bleach solution. Apply the algaecide according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Test the bleach solution on a small area of the patio to ensure no discoloration or damage occurs to the bricks.

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