How To Remove Moss From Paver Patios, Walkways or Driveways
If you have moss growing on your paving stone patios, driveway or walkway, it can be both visually unappealing and a slipping or tripping hazard. Unless you happen to be going for a rustic, old-world look, you most likely want to get rid of moss as soon as possible.
There are several ways to remove moss from pavers and other surfaces, including both natural and not-so-natural options. Here are eight moss removal tricks you can use to keep your paving stones looking beautiful. As an added bonus, these tips for getting rid of moss can also be used on rocks, concrete and bricks. Here are 8 tips on how to get rid of moss:
1. Use Sunlight
The easiest, least expensive and most natural moss removal method is to expose it to sunlight. Move cars and patio furniture, prune nearby trees and shrubs, and let the sunshine in to directly shine on the mold. Moss does not grow in sun-soaked, dry areas, so this may be the only solution you need.
2. Repair Leaks and Check Your Irrigation
If your moss is caused by a leaky faucet, broken pipe or errant sprinkler heads, make the necessary repairs and adjustments to stop the collection of moisture in the area. This will also put you back in line with San Diego’s and California’s mandatory restrictions for water use, which include immediately repairing leaks and avoiding runoff.
3. Try Boiling Water
Much like weeds growing in driveway cracks, the moss on your paving stone walkway or patio can be tamed by pouring boiling water over it. This is another natural option that will have little to no effect on desirable plants nearby. You will likely need to follow up the boiling water bath with a good scrub with a deck brush or a stiff broom.
4. Apply a Vinegar and Water Mixture
Vinegar is a popular choice for naturally getting rid of unwanted weeds and an also be used to kill moss. When using this natural option, you may find that you need to treat the area multiple times to achieve the desired result. You may also find that vinegar is just not strong enough to fix your moss issue, but it is a good option to try before moving to chemical-based solutions.
To treat your moss with vinegar, mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Saturate the area well, while being careful to not get the vinegar on the leaves of desirable plants near the treatment area. Allow the mixture to work into the paving stones and joints for at least 15 minutes, and then use a deck brush or stiff push broom to scrub the area. You can follow this with hosing the area down with water, if needed.
5. Pressure Wash The Area
Another natural option is to use a power washer to get rid of paving stone moss. This method may or not be effective in ridding you of your moss problem and uses a lot of water, so this should not be the first option you try. If you do opt for power washing, you may need to replace joint sand between your pavers if it is washed away in the process. Cleaning and sealing your pavers is a great way to remove moss and restore the original appearance of your paving stones.
6. Sprinkle Baking Soda
Baking soda is another natural option that is good to try before moving to chemical means, but may or may not be effective enough on its own. This partly depends on how serious your moss issue is at the time of treatment.
To use baking soda to remove the moss from your paving stone driveway, walkway or patio, sprinkle it generously over the moss. Leave it overnight, and then use a push broom or deck brush to first remove the baking soda, and then to scrub the area to remove the moss.
7. When In Doubt – Use Bleach
As we move away from natural options and into stronger solutions, bleach is one that you can try. If you choose to use bleach to remove moss, be sure to keep children and pets away from the treatment area during and immediately after you treat it. You will also want to be careful not to get bleach on desirable plants and to be very careful when rinsing the area to avoid bleach running off into other areas.
It is best to scrub the area with a deck brush or stiff broom before applying your bleach solution. You can then mix equal parts bleach and water in a spray bottle or larger sprayer and treat the area. Leave the bleach solution on the area for at least 15 minutes, and then scrub the area again and rinse with water. Whether you use the bleach from your laundry room or a moss-killing bleach you can buy at your local home improvement store or garden center, be sure to wear protective eyewear and gloves when working with bleach.
8. Commercial Moss Killers
When all else fails, it may be time to bring out the bigger guns, which, in this case, are commercial moss killers specifically designed to get rid of moss. There are many options available, including some that are known carcinogens and respiratory irritants. According to Best Moss Killer Reviews: Complete Buyer’s Guide published by Gardenbeast.com, here are a few of the least-toxic, commercial moss killers available:
- Safer Moss & Algae Killer and Surface Cleaner II
- Bayer Advanced 2-in-1 Moss & Algae Killer
- Worry-Free Moss & Algae Control
- St. Gabriel Laboratories Moss Killer
What Causes Moss?
Moss is caused by tiny spores that are carried by moving water or wind. If you spot moss in or around your natural grass or garden area, it’s a sign that your soil’s pH levels are off and your plants and grass aren’t getting the nutrients they need. Even more reason to keep moss from growing in and around your outdoor living spaces.
How To Prevent Moss From Growing Back
Be sure to keep your paver patio or walkway free from debris such as dirt, standing water or other materials. Additionally, aim to deep clean your pavers every few months with a hose and/or cleaning solution. While wet and humid climates are most susceptible to unwanted moss, moss can grow in arid places like Southern California too!
If you have questions or need additional tips for keeping your paving stones moss free, give us a call. You can also join our mailing list to receive landscaping ideas, yard care guides, outdoor entertaining tips and more. Our paver cleaning and sealing services are affordable and comprehensive. Schedule a service with us today!
This blog was originally published in April 2018 and refreshed in December 2021