Neglect this backyard cleaning task and you could 'decrease your home's value by 20%' say property experts
It’s hard to prevent moss and algae forming on your patio at this damp and chilly time of year, but well worth the effort, according to these experts
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We’re not saying you need to embark on an expensive outdoor paving makeover, but keeping your patio clean and free from moss and algae will not only ramp up the kerb appeal but improve your home’s value by up to fifth and help everyone who lives there stay healthy, according to property experts.
'The impact of moldy patios on a home’s value is definitely not a good one,' says real estate broker Gunner Davis, at Coldwell Banker (opens in new tab) in Tampa FL. 'On average, a moldy patio can decrease a home’s resale value by 20 per cent or more.'
Why a moldy patio can impact your home's resale value
Richard Harless, owner of and realtor at AZ Flat Fee (opens in new tab), believes patios and bathrooms are key features which can make or break a lucrative house sale.
'Buyers always want a house to look clean and well-kept,' he says. 'This is best reflected in two places: bathrooms and patios, because these two places are harder to clean and maintain than the rest of the house. Buyers actively look for problems to try and drive the price down, showing you how much of a role these play in determining the worth of your house.'
Tackle the problems
A well-maintained patio is a definite advantage to a home, but if problems are ignored they will soon escalate. As well as mold, which can be transported into the house on footwear, algae and moss forming on the surface of a patio can be unsightly. Other big no-nos include cracked patio slabs, especially if weeds start sprouting through the gaps, and uneven surfaces, which can also become a dangerous tripping hazard.
Gunner’s advice is to always use a sealant on your patio paving: 'Sealing offers the most effective protection for a patio from mold. There are both wood sealers and brick sealers. No matter what the patio floor is made of, a sealer can create a protective layer over it. Sealers create a layer over your wood or brick floor so that mold and mildew-causing fungi cannot penetrate the patio floor. You’ll find those sealer products in most home improvement stores.'
Cleaning and a quick fix
In winter-time especially, when cold weather is unfavorable for outdoor tasks, a quick fix to pep up a neglected patio is an easy and inexpensive top dressing of a layer of pea gravel, says Richard.
However, he advises against simply using a pressure washer when you’re looking for quick ways to clean a patio. 'Pressure washing roughens the surface of your patio and if done regularly, it is most definitely going to lead to regrowth of algae and moss which are a hassle,' he says.
'To avoid this, don't just use a pressure wash nozzle and give yourself a pat on the back. Instead, get a fungicide and germicide detergent patio cleaner and add it to the mix of a soap water solution to use with a stiff brush to make sure your patio stays clean.'
One of our favorite products for moldy patios that we've tested on Gardeningetc is the Wet & Forget Moss Mould Lichen & Algae Remover (available from Amazon) (opens in new tab).
So if you're looking to sell your home in 2023 and your patio has seen better days, giving it a good clean should be high on your to-do list if you want to achieve the best possible selling price.
Jayne Dowle is an award-winning gardening, homes and property writer who writes for publications including Sunday Times Home, Times Bricks & Mortar, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and The Spectator. She was awarded the Garden Journalist of the Year accolade at the Property Press Awards in 2021.
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