Have you started spotting moss, algae, fungus, and mold growing in your backyard? Unsurprisingly, mold thrives in areas with excessive amounts of moisture.
Excessive mulch, thatch, and buried material like roots or wood, or any other decomposing organic matter will encourage its growth.
Therefore, it goes without saying that getting rid of these organic fungi is crucial for a safe and attractive landscape. Left unattended, your outdoor area may be left discolored, unsightly, and unsafe to walk on.
If you’ve noticed mold and mildew growing in your yard, Markham Services, a Central Florida mold inspection company, advises it is paramount that you act promptly and effectively and destroy it. Keep reading, we’ll tell you how.
But first things first…
What exactly is mold?
Mold is a fungus that grows in the form of multicellular filaments called hyphae. No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to more than 100,000.
Mold can be found indoors and outdoors. Indoor mold is a health hazard. It can cause a myriad of health problems, especially for those suffering from asthma. Indoor mold is, in fact, perceived by many to be a growing problem in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
Outdoor mold is most common from July through the fall. It is a common, natural part of the environment, and it assists in several environmental factors within the environment. For example, it helps break down and feed on decaying, dead organic matter.
That said, outdoor mold can be a huge problem for households and can usually lead to mold coming indoors and causing serious damage.
The most common household molds tend to be black, fuzzy, gray, pink, white, and blue-green. The following are the most common mold types.
- Stachybotrys: This is a saprophytic mold. It’s a type of mold that has jumped into the public consciousness during the past few years. It can be found worldwide, in both indoor and outdoor settings. It’s one of the most infamous toxic molds because it can grow in houses and is extremely dangerous to humans.
It is sometimes called toxic black mold because it produces mycotoxins that can cause severe health problems to those who’ve been exposed to it.
- Penicillium: Penicillium is a group (Genus) of molds found everywhere worldwide, but it is more common in cooler climates. It can grow at grain moisture contents of 16% and 17%. Penicillium causes food spoilage, colonizes leather objects, and is an indicator organism for dampness outdoors.
It can also trigger allergic reactions in individuals who are sensitive to mold.
- Cladosporium: Cladosporium is a common mold that can affect the inside or outside of a person’s home. When inhaled, the spores can affect your health. In some people, it can even cause allergies and asthma.
- Aspergillus: Aspergillus is a filamentous, cosmopolitan, and ubiquitous fungus found in nature. It’s one of the well-documented molds known to cause health problems. It can be found in soil, decomposing plant matter, household dust, building materials, food, and water.
Tips to Remove and Prevent Mold in Your Landscaping
Mold thrives in areas with high moisture content. So, to fully get rid of mold, addressing these high-moisture content areas should be your first priority. Common causes of moisture pooling include improper slope and ill-maintained drains and gutters.
So, if you’ve got these issues, fix them immediately. Re-grade your yard, fix drains, and clean out gutters, if necessary. You also want to fix any leaky roof or drain and check for water stains on all exterior surfaces.
Next, identify and address any areas with a high amount of moisture content. The following are some of these areas.
Always keep your grass short. This will help expose as much of its growth to the sun as possible. You also want to water it in the morning. This will ensure that any excess water is evaporated before the day ends.
Outdoor Cushions and Pillows
You want to wipe the surfaces of these fabrics clean. Use ¾ cup of bleach to one gallon of water. Alternatively, throw them in with some laundry detergent if your cushions or pillows are washing-machine-friendly.
Before cleaning your furniture and especially when handling chemicals, make sure you have your mask and gloves. Use half a cup of vinegar with only one cup of bleach. You can also add one gallon of water and ¼ cup of baking soda to the mixture as well.
Scrub moldy areas with a stiff brush and rinse with water. You can also spray on oxygen bleach and let it soak in without drying.
How to Prevent Mold from Growing in Outdoor Spaces
There are things you can do to help banish mold from your landscape. Some of those things include:
- Clear leaves and debris from drainage areas around your home and yard
- Promptly repair and seal leaky pipes and roofs
- Keep shingles and flashing maintained
- Keep siding and windows caulked to prevent moisture from finding its way in
- Keep gutters clear to drain away from the house
- Mow and rake your lawn regularly
Have you recently spotted fungus, mold, algae, or moss growing in your outdoor living space? If so, these tips should help you deal with the problem once and for all.