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Lichens are among the most stubborn deposits that can grow on pavers. The fungi, bacteria and algae that live together symbiotically can only be removed with great effort and many people use the chemical club for this purpose. However, you do not have to rely on chemicals immediately, because there are suitable home remedies with which you can easily combat lichen. Although the application takes some time, it is effective against the plaque.
Before you use the liquid home remedies, you should first equip yourself with the right tools. The coating does not simply disappear through the use of the means, you have to do it yourself. It is therefore recommended that you have one of the following items available:
Wire brushes are handy and come in different strengths. This makes them ideal for fighting ringworm, as different brush sizes can be used more effectively for the area being treated. Brushes are above all for small areas recommended, as these can be used precisely. When choosing the right wire brush, you should make sure that the bristles are close together to work more effectively against the lichen. A disadvantage of the wire brush is that it takes a lot of effort because you are working directly on the floor.
The wire whisk is a controversial device when it comes to removing braids. The reason for this is the fact that the robust wire bristles rough up the floor and therefore promote the formation of lichen on smooth floors or wood. Since paving stones have a rough surface from the ground up, using a wire brush is unproblematic and is particularly useful for one persistent infestation on. The wire brush should have the following characteristics to be effective against the lichen:
- Bristles should be consistent so they don't snap or bend instantly
- the stem should be at least 2.5 cm in diameter
- a broom made of wood is more stable than one made of plastic because more pressure can be built up during use
The big advantage of the wire broom compared to the brush is the possibility to brush it yourself large areas to be treated in less time. In addition, you do not have to work on the floor and can easily scrub while standing. However, wire brushes are more suitable for small areas because you can use them more precisely.
Soft bristle brush
Such brushes are good for braids that don't stick too much. Some lichens, especially the white ones, cannot be removed with conventional brushes. However, they lend themselves to lichens in colors other than white. These do not stick too much and can easily be removed with the brushes without wire bristles. This should just be big enough. Alternatively, choose a classic mop. The best thing about this variant: the surface is less roughened.
The decision should be made depending on the size of the area to be treated. If you plan to clean 20 m² with a wire brush, you can expect a busy hour. Once you have decided on one of these tools, you should use one of the following four home remedies to deal with the ringworm.
tip: If you don't mind the sight of the lichens, you could theoretically leave them alone. Lichens are an indicator of clean air, so they are not as common in cities as they are in the countryside.
high pressure cleaner
In this sense, the high-pressure cleaner is not a home remedy, but many do-it-yourselfers and gardeners have one in the garage or garden shed. Water works effectively against the lichen once enough pressure behind it is what makes the pressure washer very effective. Like the wire brush, the device should only be used when there is a braid rough Surfaces are applied, so it is well suited for paving stones. Another advantage is the possibility of using the high-pressure cleaner in bad weather, since no liquids are used. Proceed with the application as follows:
- look at the area to be treated
- in many cases you not only have to water the lichen, but also the stones around it
- thereby you prevent a possible colonization of spores that have settled there
- switch on the pressure washer
- for cobblestones feel free to use a high level if your device allows it
- however, for loose sand joints, use a low level or slurry in new sand afterwards
- now slowly drive the high-pressure cleaner over the surface to be treated
- this should visibly change the color of the cobblestones as the lichen is being removed
- continue doing this until all the braids are removed
- then rinse them off with the garden hose
Pressure washers are best for large-scale infestations. For small areas, other measures are more effective and use less water.
tip: You must be prepared for the fact that paving stones need to be cleaned of lichen more often than other floors. The reason for this is the rough surface, which permanently promotes the settlement of the covering.
If the lichen is still quite new, boiling water is a good way to loosen the plaque. All you need is a kettle or saucepan and a soft-bristled brush. Boil the water and then pour it over the lichen. Now take the brush and scrub the floor. You don't need a lot of force to do this, as the hot water will loosen the connection between the lichen and the floor, making scrubbing easier. Then rinse away the lichen. However, this method is only temporary, because the lichens can settle again within a short time.
Baking soda is one of the most important home remedies of all and can even be used effectively for lichen. It should only at dry weather be used because rain can easily wash away the powder. In addition, the following day should also be rain-free. You need:
- 20g of baking soda per 10L of water
- wire brush or broom
The larger the area, the more baking soda you need to make. Therefore, mix them on site and have more packets of the powder ready to be on the safe side.
1. First clean the paving stones thoroughly with a broom. This will remove dust and dirt that could reduce the effectiveness of the baking soda solution.
2. Take a large bucket and fill it with water. Now add baking soda and stir thoroughly with a stick. Make sure no lumps form.
3. Spread the solution generously over the affected areas. Each individual stone must be covered with the baking soda solution, and it is often necessary to treat adjacent areas as well, as spores may be present on them as well.
4. Leave the solution on overnight to permanently remove the lichen from the pavers. An exposure time of 24 hours is recommended to remove even stubborn plaque.
5. After the exposure time, brush the entire surface. Depending on the severity of the infestation, it is also worth using wire brushes or brooms.
6. Finally, the paving stones are rinsed off. After treatment with baking soda, the floor is protected from spores for a longer period of time. However, this depends on the weather, because the wetter it is, the higher the probability of a new eruption. Keep pavers as dry as possible to prevent settling.
tip: Avoid using vinegar or citric acid. While these home remedies are extremely effective at controlling the build-up of fungi, bacteria and algae, they can permanently damage pavers, cause stains and stress your garden, causing dying plants, especially lawns.
burn off lichen
Fire is one of the most effective remedies against lichen. Not only are these completely removed, but the floor is also cleaned of other spores that would promote the formation of fresh coating. In contrast to the high-pressure cleaner and the use of boiling water, this variant has a long-term effect that you do not have to use as often. Best of all: many gardeners already own a weed burner or you can get them for prices of 20 to 40 euros. When applying, proceed as follows:
- connect the weed burner to the gas bottle
- turn it on
- now guide it carefully over the braids so that they start to burn
- keep doing this until all the lichen is burned off
- then clean the stones with a broom
tip: As an alternative to the weed burner, only use a Bunsen or gas burner if you are comfortable with those. The risk of burning yourself is higher with these devices and they don't work quite as effectively.