Over the last 15 years or so, with the increasing variety of paving options available, U.K. homeowners will not settle for standard block paving or concrete flags. Demand for decorative paving that offers uniqueness is much more sought after. With the advent of new hard landscaping products such as Pattern Imprinted Concrete, Tegula Block and the introduction of imported Indian stone for use on patios, the importance of a distinctive appearance for our homes is at a higher demand than ever before.

Whether your paving has been laid for years or you have just spent thousands on your project to enhance your home, it can be extremely disheartening to see your newly installed paving discolour with a greenish growth. Many contractors are less than forthcoming with information on what it is, why it is happening and how to solve the problem.

The problem is algae. Algae are common place on most driveways and patios throughout the country. It happens so often that to see a driveway without this problem can be quite refreshing.

The basics of the pest (for want of a better word), is that it's a growth that floats around within the environment as spores looking for a dampish and permaeable surface where it can develop and thrive. Once it has nestled into your driveway or patio, you can observe as they absorb the basic minerals from your paving to help promote their growth. If left to colonise, algae can establish rapidly and affect your driveway within a matter of weeks.

Many homeowners are unaware how to tackle algae. Whatever method they use it often seems to come back with vengeance. You can buy an off the shelf, economy "patio cleaner" from DIY stores and garden centres. However, we do advise our customers be wary of the products you choose to ensure the correct solution is applied. Some of these products if used on the wrong type of paving can lead to irreversible damage; the chemicals within can react with the colour tone of the paved area.

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