Ignoring This Patio Problem Could Knock Off 20% Of Your Home's Value

Winter often brings snowstorms, dreary fog, and relentless moisture that can impact your home as well as your mood. Going days on end without catching sight of the sun isn't only tough on your mental health — it can also take a toll on the safety and cleanliness of the average home. In particular, when mold, moss, and algae are allowed to encroach on a property's porch and outdoor areas, the value of the home can take a devastating hit. While this may be most likely to happen during winter, mold growth can occur during any time of the year, so it's important to be vigilant. This is because ignoring the growth of mold on your patio can result in a steep home value reduction. 

According to Coldwell Banker real estate broker Gunner Davis (per Gardeningetc), "On average, a moldy patio can decrease a home's resale value by 20% or more." This makes the task of dealing with mold especially urgent for homeowners hoping to sell in the coming months. Even those who aren't planning to sell can also preserve the health of their family and the value of their space by preventing and mitigating any mold on their patio, as these spores are not only dangerous to people but also to outdoor surfaces. Mold can cause corrosion and staining that may be irreversible, so removing it as soon as possible is extremely important. 

Why keeping mold off your patio is crucial for your home's value

Especially in moist environments or on patios that don't get much sunlight and thus hold onto water from snow or rain for a long time, mold and other types of growth are unfortunately common. Mold can grow anywhere with moisture and a food source, which can be as simple and harmless as a bit of dust. While patios are usually a positive indicator of home value, the desirability of this feature is quickly undercut if it becomes a breeding ground for mold

Since mold travels easily through air particles and on shoes, it can quickly spread indoors and cause health risks if left unchecked in your outdoor living spaces. Therefore, even when it's found outside on a patio, it requires a fast response to ensure it doesn't end up inside your home. For those planning to list their house for sale soon, the strong negative connotations, the unsightly appearance, and the risk of spread that comes with the presence of mold can knock home value down substantially. Many buyers exercise an abundance of caution when facing a potential mold problem. Before you take listing photos or begin showing your home to potential buyers, thoroughly clean your patio to rid it of mold completely and take caution to prevent its growth in the future.

How to prevent mold growth on your patio

There are ways to prevent the growth of mold on your patio that don't require a huge investment of time or money. The best way to stop mold from developing on a patio is to keep the area as clean and dry as possible. Homeowners can do this by adding ventilation or outdoor dehumidifiers. They can also decrease the amount of shade in the space by collapsing umbrellas or awnings between uses. If you notice any standing water, look into the grading and implement better drainage systems as needed. Especially in the winter when storms and dreary days can cause a buildup of moisture, clearing snow as soon as possible and promoting a dry space is crucial. 

Homeowners can also regularly scrub the patio using a mold-prevention product or chemical cleaner to safely tackle stubborn mold. If you already see mold beginning to grow, consider using a mixture that includes bleach, a chemical detergent, or a specific mold prevention product. These mixtures can help kill mold spores and prevent future growth instead of simply moving them around, as pressure washing generally does. Also ensure that you wear a mask, gloves, and goggles when cleaning to protect yourself from sickness. Finally, if these methods don't work and the mold continues to grow back or if you want to ensure the spores are gone, you can get the help of a professional mold removal company.