Garden Advice

How to Remove Moss from Concrete – 6 Solutions and Tips

So, your concrete is covered in a green and scummy layer of moss. Or maybe your driveway is glowing with a fuzzy green covering all over it? We bet the first thing that comes into your mind is to scrape it all the way, so none of it will ever reappear. And it’s totally understandable. After all, it doesn’t only make your property look untidy, it also creates slippery conditions, posing a danger to you and people around you.

Worry not, we know several tips on how to remove moss from any concrete surface like exterior walls, driveways, and pathways, and will be more than happy to share them with you!

So, if you:

  • Have a thick layer of moss that reappears several times a year;
  • Wish to give a clean appearance to your area;
  • Are struggling with moss removal,

Then this post is right for you. Keep reading to find out more on how to remove moss from concrete. 

How to get rid of moss from concrete

Even though moss is often used for design purposes, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should leave it as a designer solution in your outdoor space. We have gathered six different moss cleaning methods that will help you remove the unwanted greenery off your concrete surfaces.

These tips are applicable only to concrete surfaces, as they might be harsh on wood or lawn. If you wish to know how to get rid of green algae on wood or remove moss from your lawn, we suggest checking our dedicated posts. 

#1. Chemical solutions

Let us start with the most effective, and yet not very natural way of moss removal – chemical solutions. They can be purchased in any hardware store and come in different forms and application methods. 

The benefit of these moss killers is that you can find a solution for almost any type of surface. Ready-to-use formulas make the application process easier. Some moss killers even have formulas that create protective layers on surfaces to prevent future outbreaks. However, some cleaners, especially iron sulfate ones, can leave spots on your concrete. When choosing one, you need to make sure that your preferred solution is stain-free.

#2. Pressure washer

Pressure washing is a very powerful method that will help you to get rid of moss. However, it requires equipment and certain skills. Depending on the surface, you might need to use different settings. With that in mind:

  1. Check the instructions for your pressure washer to choose the optimal setting. Most likely, you will need to have a low-pressure nozzle, like a 40 or 25-degree one;
  2. Cover the area that you don’t want to get wet or damaged with a protective plastic covering;
  3. Don’t aim directly at the affected area. The distance between the nozzle and the area shouldn’t be less than 50 cm. If it doesn’t remove the moss as effectively as you want, start moving the nozzle closer to the surface, but not closer than 15 cm;
  4. Work your way up. Holding the wand with both hands, work over the moss in a sweeping motion to fully remove it.

We highly recommend working in protective equipment, such as goggles, boots, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants! This way you will be protected from flying dirt and debris.

Also, never aim the nozzle at people. Jet washers are created with an intent to clean concrete surfaces, therefore, you can easily cause physical damage to a person.

#3. Washing powder 

Just like washing powder cuts through the grease and dirt in your clothes, it can eliminate moss on driveways or stone pavers. Believe it or not, powdered laundry detergent can be quite effective with killing moss on your driveway. All you need to do is:

  1. Sprinkle the washing powder all over the affected area. Be generous with it, try not to leave any empty spots. It’s important to use a powdered version of the detergent, as the liquid ones will not give you the desired effect. Also, to avoid poisoning the environment, use a powder with the label “Bio” on it;
  2. Wait until it rains. This is the tricky part of this method, because you need to choose a specific day when you know that it’s going to rain and spread the solution right before it does. However, with the UK’s temperamental weather it shouldn’t be a problem, right?
  3. Scrape off the dead moss. Once the detergent works its magic, instead of a green layer you should see a brownish mat of dead moss. Use a hard brush to remove it;
  4. Wash the area nicely. Make sure that it dries well, as excess moisture will provoke the moss to grow back.

If you don’t have time to waste on calculating the right day and hour, then simply mix ½ cup of washing powder in a bucket of water and apply it to the affected area. Allow the solution to work for several hours, and scrape it off, as we explained in Step 3. 

#4. Soda Crystals 

For this method, you will need to purchase a bag of Soda Crystals (also known as “washing soda”), if you don’t already have one at home. We are all used to removing stains or softening water with it, but this versatile cleaning powder can be quite effective for moss removal, too. One thing that we absolutely love about this product is that it is fully biodegradable, meaning that it will not harm the environment in any way.

To remove moss with Soda Crystals, you should:

  1. Cover the entire area with the washing soda. Don’t confuse this powder with baking soda. Washing soda and baking soda are different chemically, therefore, they will not give you the same effects;
  2. Dampen the area with water. To do that, you can use a watering pot, as it will not wash the soda off like a hose would. If you don’t have a watering pot, then you can use a soft bristle brush. Just dip the bristles in water, and with a swishing motion spread the water on the soda;
  3. Leave it to work for 2-3 days. Be patient, soda needs time to fight the moss. After one day, you can see how the moss begins to lose grounds in your driveway and surrender;
  4. Brush the yard with a stiff brush. The battle is over, the moss is gone, however the battleground needs cleaning. So, take a stiff brush and remove the brown layer. In the areas where the moss is denser, you can use a shovel to lift it all up;
  5. Wash the area nicely with water. The final touch, and you have a clean driveway!

#5. Boiling water

We think that this method doesn’t need a long explanation, as it speaks for itself. Simply boil some water in a large pot, and once it’s ready, pour it over the moss-affected area. However, this method might be a bit time consuming if the moss has spread a long way through the yard. You might need to make a couple rounds of boiling and pouring. 

To save yourself some time, boil the water in several pots and ask your friends and family members to help you out. After giving the moss a hot shower, brush it off with a stiff brush.

You need to be extremely careful with boiling water, as there is a chance of getting your skin scalded! Use oven mittens to hold the pot. Also, don’t carry more water than you can lift to avoid accidents!

#6. Vinegar mixture

Vinegar is certainly one of the most available household alternatives to commercial cleaners. It’s cleaning properties are also quite effective for moss removal. 

  1. Prepare a vinegar mixture. Combine water and vinegar in a 1:1 ratio and pour it into a spray bottle; 
  2. Spray the moss with the solution. Generously spread the vinegar mixture all over the affected area, without leaving any spots;
  3. Let the vinegar sit for 2 days. Once the time has passed, check if the moss has become brown and dry. If you can still see some greenery, spray it one more time and leave until the moss is fully faded;
  4. Scrape the dry moss. Use a stiff brush to clean off the moss layer and rinse it off the concrete. 

How to prevent moss from reappearing

It is not a secret that moss likes damp conditions. In fact, mosses entirely depend on moisture to reproduce. If during the reproduction period the spores land on a dry area, they simply won’t grow. 

So, the key to preventing moss from reappearing is reducing the moisture levels in the problematic areas. Moss cannot be fully treated, unless you eliminate the source of moisture. Here is what you need to do:

Improve the exposure of the area to sunlight

If moss had its own tier list, shady areas would have proudly taken their place in the S-tier. The availability of nutrients and lingering water allows the moss to grow happy and healthy. Which is exactly what we don’t want to happen in our garden. 

Check your yard for the following:

  • Heavy shade areas underneath hedges. Tall hedges can be a great solution for setting boundaries between you and your neighbours. However, if you let them grow tall, they can throw heavy shade on your garden and encourage moss growth. That is why it is important to prune your hedges regularly.
  • Large tree branches and shrubs that block a significant amount of sunlight. Trimming the shrubs and trees should open up the area, so more sunlight comes in. Maybe it is time to call your trusted arborist?
  • Patio furniture that creates heavy shade. If your furniture throws heavy shade, the water underneath it won’t evaporate, encouraging moss growth. So, if this is the case, you might want to think of a better place for your furniture to compliment your garden.

Check for leaks 

Wet concrete surfaces, paved areas, or driveways that are constantly soaked by water are perfect spots for moss to form. To control moss in those areas, you need to check for the following:

  • Sprinkler setup locations. If the water is getting on the concrete and has no possibility to dry, then you can expect moss. Check the location and the settings of your sprinkles. Make sure, that you set it in such a way that the excess water doesn’t get onto the concrete;
  • Leaking faucets. If you have a faucet in your garden, you might want to check it for leaks. The run-off from the faucet can keep the area constantly wet and help the spores to spread. Fixing the faucet can resolve the problem;
  • Damaged roof drain. If you have a leaking roof drain, the water might get on the exterior walls. If the wall is located in a shady and cool area, in combination with leaks, this might create an ideal environment for moss. Inspect the roof drain for damages, loose or rusty screws, or cracks on the pipe, and fix them if needed. 

Get immediate results from professional cleaning 

Pressure washing is one of the fastest ways to clean the moss from concrete. No need to wait for days for a solution to work, simple access to water and a powerful jet washing machine can do the job. But what to do if you don’t have one? Worry not, Fantastic Services does!

Once you book the Pressure Washing service with us, the team of professionals we work with arrives at the spot fully equipped. Once everything is set and the access to water is provided, the service begins. Professional equipment allows the cleaners to thoroughly jet-wash the problematic areas of your outdoor space efficiently and effectively. Once the service is done, you can be sure that your concrete area will stay moss-free for a while. So, what are you waiting for? Book your Pressure Washer service online now!

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Takeaways

  • Moss is a shade and water-loving plant, which is why the best solution for moss removal is sunlight. Make sure that the problematic areas are exposed to the sun and don’t have any excess moisture coming from leaking faucets or excessive irrigation;
  • Once you have established moss beds in your outdoor concrete area, you can use a commercial solution which can be easily found in a hardware store, or one of the homemade solutions from this blog post;
  • Make sure to wear protective gear when working with chemicals to avoid any accidents.

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Did you find this information useful? Let us know in the comments section down below!

Image source: shutterstock / riopatuca

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