A Complete Guide On How To Clean Moss Off Concrete

If you live in a humid region or even if your neighbourhood’s covered with trees and natural shadow, you’ve certainly come across moss growth. Moss can give an old-fashioned vibe to your walkway and a close-to-nature feeling. It’s all fun and games until you slip at your doorstep on a Monday morning holding your hot cup of tea, spilling it over your perfectly ironed shirt and destroying your entire week along with your dignity. It happened to us twice, before addressing the problem. 

Old brick wall covered with moss

Fortunately for us, getting rid of moss from a concrete surface it’s an easy task, and only requires things you already have at your home. Keep up with this article and you’ll find out everything you need to know about moss, how to kill that nasty green enemy and some tips to prevent it from growing on your concrete patio

What is moss and where does it grow?

Moss is a small, non-vascular -that’s a scientific way of saying that they have no roots–  flowerless plant, and it uses tiny threads to anchor to the concrete and pavers around your home. It typically forms dense green clumps or mats, often in damp or shady locations. To prevent itself from drying out, moss requires a moist and sheltered environment.

How to clean moss off concrete step-by-step

Here are 6 useful methods to get rid of moss once and for all. 

Method 1: Boiling Water 

This method is the most environmentally friendly way to remove moss from concrete or any other surface for that matter, without using any additional chemicals. Simply:

  1. boil the water using your kettle
  2. pour onto the moss 
  3. use a scrub brush or a stiff broom to scrub away what’s left.

     Pro tip: Warm water can also be effective, but preferably boil it! 

Man wire brushing garden patio concrete slabs to remove moss

Method 2: Household Bleach

With this method, we recommend putting on a pair of rubber gloves and worn-out clothes since the use of chemicals like bleach can be harmful to your skin and your fabrics. So use bleach with caution! Making the bleach solution is easy. Simply mix 1 part bleach and 1 part water in a spray bottle and treat the area. Be careful not to sprinkle bleach in nearby plants since it can kill them as well. 

You should leave the bleach solution in the treatment area for 20 minutes before rinsing it off with water. 

Method 3: Baking Soda or Agricultural Lime 

It is common knowledge that baking soda does miracles when it comes to cleaning your house. In our subject, baking soda is one of the easiest and cheapest solutions for cleaning moss off concrete naturally. 

The powder increases the pH of the affected areas making it impossible for moss to grow. In the same manner, works the agricultural lime. 

Pour them onto the concrete and leave them for 24 hours. Then simply sweep the moss away. 

Before going out to buy some baking soda, check the back of your kitchen cupboard! 

Method 4: Vinegar

If the baking soda didn’t give a satisfactory result, you should consider using vinegar which will kill moss permanently. Bear in mind that you might have to apply vinegar a couple of times for the best possible results. 

Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle or a watering can, shake the bottle well and then saturate the area. Allow it to do its magic for 15 minutes and finally scrub away the dead moss with a stiff brush

a bottle of white vinegar

Method 5: Ammonium Sulfamate 

Ammonium sulfamate, just like household bleach, is a hazardous chemical, so you have to take some safety precautions. Wear protective gloves and cover your eyes. Also, it’s wise to not let your pets or your kids play in the area after applying the chemical. 

You can purchase it from your local garden centre. Before using it, it is recommended to read the instructions that come with the product.

Ammonium sulfamate is usually applied using a garden sprayer. Apply it in the moss-covered concrete areas of your home, and after the treatment use a garden hose or a power sprayer to wash off the dead moss.

It is an excellent moss killer but you have to take all the aforementioned safety measures

Method 6: Power Sprayer 

The power washer is one of the most effective ways to clean any concrete floor and works great as a moss removal. It is also ideal for all those who don’t like using chemicals and they’re a bit lazy creating homemade solutions from scratch. 

As the name suggests power or pressure washer uses large amounts of water and sprays it all over the affected area. It’s a great moss removal since it’ll wipe out every last bit of it from your concrete floor. 

The drawback is that moss will probably grow back again when the conditions are ideal. So it is a temporary solution unless you enjoy pressure washing as it can be very satisfying from time to time! 

Washing the house stair steps with pressure power washer

Can you remove it from paving stones?

Of course, you can! You can use all the methods and tips listed above to get rid of moss from your paving stones. 

Additionally, you should consider using a garden knife, since otherwise, it’s hard to reach the surfaces between the stones. Other than that, all the DIY herbicides listed above like vinegar, baking soda and bleach, can be used in the paving stones as well.

Tips for preventing moss growing on your concrete surfaces

If the moss problem is not yet visible to you, it doesn’t mean that it won’t come up at a certain point in the future. So you need to be prepared! Here are some tips to prevent moss from growing on your concrete surfaces or your paving stones.

Moss control spray. Paving stones with ingrown moss. 

1. Fix the broken or rotten pipes and adjust irrigation

As we said earlier, moss likes humidity and water environments in order to grow and expand. If you notice any leaky faucet or a broken pipe you should repair it immediately since this is what moss wants and patiently waits for! 

2. Sunlight

The easiest, cheapest and most natural way to get rid of moss, is exposure to the sunlight. Remove any patio furniture, move your cars, trim nearby trees and shrubs, and let the sunshine do its magic. Moss doesn’t like dry places so if the sun hits directly the concrete surfaces of your home, moss won’t show up ever again!

3. Copper Sulfate

Old wooden ships used to cover their hulls with copper in order to prevent moss from growing underneath, below the waterline. You can mimic this tactic to your concrete floor and prevent moss from taking over. 

Mix 340 grams of copper sulfate with 4 litres of water and spray the copper solution into the concrete. Have in mind that the surface must be dry to the bone before applying it. Don’t be afraid of damaging your plants and trees! Copper is an excellent natural biocide. It is harmless to wildlife. 

4. Commercial herbicide

If you’re not satisfied with any of the methods and tips that we gave you, you should consider buying a herbicide from your local garden supply store. Herbicides are an effective cleaning solution for killing moss, and also they prevent moss from growing or even appearing.

a walkway concrete floor tiles with moss

Moss can be really stubborn since it keeps growing constantly and can cause a few issues to you and your home. From not being an aesthetically pleasing site to being a slippery hazard for you and your kids. But if you follow our advice, our simple DIY methods and tips on how to clean moss off the concrete, you can rest assured that it will no longer be a problem! Looking for your next project? Learn how to get rid of moss in the lawn in simple steps here!

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