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If you like the old-fashioned Victorian aesthetic, then moss between the pavers can add some character to your walkway. However, moss can grow UNCONTROLLABLY and will reach a point where you can’t even walk on the paver! Yes, it can get unsafe!
No fear, though, because I have some surefire ways to get rid of moss on the paver, using vinegar, boiling water, and other things you probably have at home.
I’ve also listed the removal tools you may need to get those ready before tackling the moss.
How Did Moss Get in My Paver?
Let’s get into some science of moss and why it ended up in your paver.
Moss does not have any roots, but they have these tiny threads called rhizoids that hook them to the pavers and concrete around your house. These threads pack a mighty punch as it attaches the moss to the paver and allows it to absorb water, which makes them grow.
Moss needs a super moist and sheltered environment to thrive. So, if you live in warmer regions, you may be dealing with moss more than you’d like to admit.
Moss loves our pavers because it’s made of porous materials that allow their tiny threads to attach in between them. Apart from this, certain ingredients in the pavers, like the type of paver sand, make the surface more acidic, which is another reason why moss grows in these areas.
They may look pretty and mysterious, but you have to remove the moss if it gets uncontrollable. You can also toss moss in the compost. After cleaning your pavers, there are ways to prevent moss, algae, and weed growth.
Arm Yourself! The Tools You Need to Combat the Moss
Cleaning moss is serious business, and you’re going to want to make sure you get the moss right off. You might not use all the tools, as it depends on your chosen method.
You are going to need:
- Rubber gloves (a must-have!)- Any chemical mixtures we make can be dangerous, plus touching moss with your bare hands is eeky! So, safety first.
- A spray bottle- Some methods will require you to dissolve different household items and even chemicals. You can use it to spray the moss easily without having one area too saturated.
- Shovel- You’re going to need this to pick moss up after it’s loosened. The moisture in moss can make it quite hefty. Instead of going on the floor, you can easily pick it up with a shovel.
- Wire brush (another must-have!)- Since the tiny threads are strong in hanging on your pavers, you need a strong brush to take them off. Wire brushes can also get in between your pavers too. A putty or garden knife is also handy.
Make sure to keep a broom close by to sweep up the remaining bits of moss and debris.
Different Methods to Kill Moss Once and for All
Removing moss from your pavers will take a bit of patience, so try various methods if you find one doesn’t work. Don’t give up!
Moss thrives in a moist environment. If you can, you should let the sunlight in on the pavers as much as possible. Remove any furniture and trim trees or hedges where possible. This isn’t a definite solution, however, it’ll help you remove the moss faster. It can also reduce moss growth in the future.
#2- Baking Soda
Baking soda is a mild solution to moss, and you may have to combine it with another method, depending on the status of the moss.
Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the moss and leave it for a whole day. Use your brush or push broom to remove the baking soda, then scrub the paver to remove the moss.
#3- Boiling Water
Really hot water can soften up the moss, making it easier to remove. Carefully pour the boiling water on the moss without splashing any on yourself. Also, be careful when transporting the boiling water from inside to outside.
This is a good one to use with baking soda! And it’s non-toxic, so a plus.
Start scrubbing with the wire brush until you see all the moss is gone. Use the broom or a hose to wash away all the pieces of moss.
Now, this is a very harsh approach, however, it’s sure to work for bad cases of moss.
Don’t forget your gloves and wear old clothes.
Mix 1 part water and 1 part bleach in the spray bottle. Give it a little shake before spraying the moss. Let it soak into the moss for about a minute. Then use your brush to scrub it off. Spray or sweep away the moss and pick it up.
When spraying the bleach solution, be careful not to spray your plants or shrubs. This is one of the chemical methods and should be used with caution. I read that pool chlorine also works for moss.
If you don’t like the idea of bleach, you can use mild dishwashing liquid mixed with water.
#5- Vinegar Solution
You can spray white, distilled vinegar on the moss. If you think the smell is bad, then the moss finds it ten times worse! Let it soak in for a while, then use the wire brush to scrape it away. If necessary, repeat the process.
#6- Ammonium Sulfamate
This is for more advanced plant users.
Ammonium sulfamate is used to control weed problems in the garden. It’s commonly used among gardeners as fertilizer as well. This is an effective solution, but it’s not easily found in many stores. So, you should only use this if you have it on hand.
This chemical is dangerous, so you have to wear your gloves and full-coverage clothing. Don’t let it touch your skin!
You can apply ammonium sulfamate using a sprayer or watering can. Put it directly on the moss. Avoid getting it on the other plants as it may kill them. Always follow the directions on the product when using this chemical.
I advise you to hose your paver afterward to wash out the chemical so it doesn’t get on the other plants. Gather up the clumps of moss and throw them away.
#7- Pressure Cleaner
Using a pressure cleaner with cold water can also solve your problem of moss. I suggest you combine this with one of the methods above for a double chance at success! It can also make your pavers look bright and new.
However, you should use the pressure cleaner if you’re sure that no extra water can remain there, which will cause moss again.
Always wear goggles when using these machines.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if I leave moss to grow?
If you leave moss to grow uncontrollably, it can pose a safety hazard by making the pavers super slippery. This is because the moss will retain any moisture it gets. Moss can also leave an unsightly mark, which can be permanent. So, get the moss once it starts!