How to Remove Moss from Brick or Concrete
My home has a lovely paved brick walkway leading to the front porch. The bricks are an interesting shape which form a distinctive pattern, and there is about a 1/4 inch of space between the pavers that is normally filled with ground limestone.
Over the years, however, the limestone has slowly washed away and moss has begun to take it's place and is now spreading to the tops of the bricks.
Additionally, the section that is closest to the porch doesn't get much sun, especially in the cooler months of the year, and has turned out to be the perfect growing area for the moss.
While I understand that many people like this look, and work hard at getting it, it can be dangerous.
Moss is extremely slippery when it gets wet, and for your safety, as well as for the safety of others, it should be removed.
There are a number of methods to get rid of it, from good old scrubbing to commercial moss removal systems. However, I have found that a method of bleach mixed with water, works the best for my situation.
Hopefully this method will work well for you too.
Can this method be used to remove moss from anywhere?
Can this method be used?
It depends on the material
No - It will kill the grass
No - It will stain the roof
No - It will hurt the tree
Yes - but make sure no plants are directly around it
No - It will damage the surface
- Have a towel to kneel or sit on so your pants don't get covered in green moss stains.
- Don't wear your shoes into the house, they may have bleach on the bottoms. Rinse them off just to be safe.
- Label your spray bottle so you don't use it at a later date with something that doesn't mix with the bleach.
Before you begin, there are a number of important precautions that should be taken.
- You will be using bleach. ALWAYS test out the solution on a small section of the area you will be cleaning to make sure it doesn't discolor.
- Wear old clothes that you don't mind getting dirty or stained. You will be spraying bleach and if there is a breeze, some of the solution could get on your clothes.
- Wear appropriate eyewear cover to protect your eyes from any bleach that might splash up.
- Wear gloves.
- Work in a well ventilated area.
- Keep children and pets away from the area until it has been thoroughly cleaned.
- Use care not to get the solution on nearby plants. It will burn, and may kill, them.
Supplies you'll needed
- Regular household bleach - I don't recommend using industrial strength, it's too strong for this project
- Spray bottle
- Scrub brush - you'll want one with fairly firm bristles
- Garden hose
Step 1 - Prepare the solution
Mix equal parts of water and bleach in a spray bottle. The exact amount will vary depending on the size of the spray bottle.
Step 2 - Loosen and remove moss
Using a scrub brush, remove as much of the moss as you can and loosen up the rest. This is easier in between the pavers. Brush any loose bits away.
Step 3 - Spray the area thoroughly with the bleach solution
Hold the spray nozzle a few inches from the moss covered area and spray. I use the stream setting on the nozzle so I can get it directly on the area and not all around it.
Completely soak the moss.
Let the solution sit for a few hours or even overnight.
After an hour the moss begins to turn yellow
Step 4 - Scrub away the dead moss
How to remove the dead moss from the brick
After the solution has been applied, and has been soaking the area for about 6 to 7 hours, or overnight, it's time to remove the dead moss.
You can use a scrub brush for the tough areas, a pressure washer or garden hose, or a combination of tools. An old knife can also be useful in tight areas.
Video Note: In the video I did not put on gloves when I was removing the chunks of dead moss. Wear gloves or your nails will take a beating and will get very dirty.
Step 5 - Clean any remaining bleach solution from the area
Make sure to rinse and wash off all of the bleach solution that gets on the surface.
Bleach is extremely slick when it gets wet, even worse than the moss. When wet, it leaves an almost slimy coating.
Do not skip this step!
The cleaned up pavers
Admire the cleaned up area
Unless you are looking for that lovely old fashioned cottage garden look that includes lush, moss covered pathways that lead to secret gardens bursting with fragrant blooms, it really is a good idea to get rid of moss.
It is slippery and a hazard to you and your visitors. It is also unsightly if you aren't looking for that romantic garden look.
This process doesn't take much time, only some elbow grease and a few supplies you probably have on hand. The result is definitely worth the work.
The moss is gone!
© 2014 Glimmer Twin Fan