Best remedies to remove slippery moss from decking and paving

Gardening tips: How to remove moss on drives and patios

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Over time, airborne particles such as dust and dirt combine with sand joints, creating the perfect environment for moss to grow. Cracks in patio slabs, brick walls, and the grooves of wooden decking are particularly prone to harbouring this unique plant, which can quickly cover entire surfaces. According to experts at Moss Out! Structural moss and algae can turn surfaces into “slick hazards” in the garden and should be removed from decking and paved areas.

While it is a nuisance for gardeners, moss is not considered a weed and can help absorb harmful toxins from wet areas.

An expert at decks.com said: “The main catalyst of moss and algae growth is the accumulation of leaves and debris on your deck, which will build up and retain moisture, especially after storms and inclement weather.

“This trapped moisture begins to spawn mould, mildew, moss, and algae – and the damper and darker the environment – for example, if your deck has natural shade or cover from trees – the more fertile the breeding ground.”

Fortunately, its non-weed status makes moss easy to get rid of without using harsh chemicals which could harm nearby plants.

How to get rid of moss

Moss growing on paving stones, rocks, concrete and bricks can all be treated in the same way, though wooden decking requires a more particular treatment.

To treat concrete surfaces, vinegar or baking soda will work well.

Vinegar and water

This gentle solution is best for small clusters of moss rather than a large surface problem. To make the solution, mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle.

Shake well and saturate the area with the spray before leaving it to sit for 15 minutes. Take care to avoid spritzing nearby plants.

Use a deck brush or stiff garden broom to scrub the area clean and finish by hosing off the green residue.

An expert at Install It Direct said: “When using this natural option, you may find that you need to treat the area multiple times to achieve the desired result.”

To clear those hard-to-reach areas, use a sharp-pointed trowel to scrape away the excess growth.

Baking soda

Install It Direct warned that the effectiveness of this remedy partly depends on how serious your moss issue is at the time of treatment.

For the best results, scrape away as much visible moss as possible from paving joints to treat a “clean slate”.

An expert at Install It Direct said: “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.”

Dish soap

Green algae and moss are hard to prevent on damp, wooden decking, but all it takes is a soap-water wash to remove them.

Start by brushing off any loose moss from the surface and use a blunt knife to lift growth from the crevices.

To make the cleaning solution, pour four litres of warm water into a bucket and stir in 250ml of laundry detergent followed by a few pumps of dish soap.

Apply liberally to the area and work into the surface with a clean broom.

Leave the solution to sit for 15 minutes before rinsing with a garden hose or pressure washer.

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