Removing moss effectively
For patios, driveways and stone walls alike, moss growth can be a frustrating reality. Once lichen or algae have had a chance to spread to the grout, removing them can be a major challenge. We’ll show you how to use the right tools and a few practical tips to remove moss and patina effectively, so you can have all your grout and surfaces looking good as new.
If you would also like to learn how to clean and maintain a wooden deck, read this article for all the important tips.
Garden knowledge: Removing moss
It can be difficult to remove moss, algae or lichen from paving stones. By following our tips on removing moss, you’ll have all your stone surfaces and grout looking good as new.
Brush the grout
You need: stiff brush or grout brush
If there’s moss on your mind, that’s probably because you’ve discovered a patch of the stuff gleefully spreading over your stonework. But don’t fret: Moss may be somewhat unsightly, but it doesn’t pose a threat to your property. Mosses are plants that reproduce by wind-blown spores, which are quite happy to set up shop on many types of surfaces. These plants are true survivors, requiring just a bit of water to live. So if you fail to remove moss, lichen, and other plants on a regular basis, they will establish robust colonies and keep on spreading.
This green interloper is particularly fond of the gaps between patio stones or paving stones. To remove moss from these spaces, begin by using a stiff brush – or better yet, a grout brush. Use the brush – and a little bit of elbow grease – to scrub the gaps between the stones and remove the worst of the dirt or moss.
Vacuuming away the dirt
You need: UniversalGardenTidy
Before you begin the actual removal process, briefly remove the dirt you’ve brushed out of the gaps. We recommend using a garden vacuum to do so. This tool can simply vacuum away the dirt and collect it in the attached bag, shredded into tiny particles around 12 times smaller than the original material.
This way, you can simply spread thin layers of the moss onto your compost. Follow up by adding a layer of garden soil or other organic materials soon after to help speed up the composting process. You can learn how to compost and discover everything you need to know about the elixir of the gardening world here.
Remove any stubborn moss
You likely were not able to remove all of the stubborn moss from the gaps – and the surfaces in particular probably still need some work. You’ll probably have to bring in the heavy artillery to finish the job. A high-pressure washer is the best tool for effectively removing moss, lichen or algae. A brief word of caution: We do not recommend simply spraying the stones or gaps with a high-pressure hose, as this could cause microfractures in the stones that would provide the perfect home for the next generation of moss. On top of that, the high-pressure washer not only removes the moss, it also blasts the sand out from between the stones. This sand plays an important role in helping to control weeds in general.
That’s why we recommend using the patio cleaner attachment for the high-pressure cleaner (image 1). The round attachment glides over the stones, using multiple nozzles to ensure best results when cleaning your patio and other stone surfaces. Guide the patio cleaner over the entire area several times until the green coating has been removed from every surface. This cleaning method is also suitable for vertical surfaces such as stone walls (image 2).
Eliminating moss permanently
You need: Grünbelag-Entferner
If you still find green residues on or between the stones after you have used the high-pressure washer, you likely have an extreme case of patina, algae or moss on your hands. But even these stubborn residues can be removed.
The most effective method is to use a specialised moss remover. For example, you may choose to use a tested home remedy such as vinegar, washing soda or even cola. The problem: Any substance you choose contains some type of chemical. These chemicals may be effective against moss, but they will likely affect other nearby plants as well if they spill over into neighbouring areas during the cleaning process. If you choose to use these products anyway, make sure to dilute them in water and wear protective clothing.
The most sustainable and environmentally friendly method is to use brushes and pure water as described above. Even using hot or boiling water can sometimes make a difference as the high temperature causes the proteins contained in the plant cells to coagulate.
When cleaning paving stones, there are a few important tips to consider based on the paving material and the location. We have prepared a list of the most important tips for you here.
Rinsing with water
After any kind of moss removal – and particularly if you’ve used chemical substances – you should make sure to give your surfaces a final rinse with clear, clean water. The multi surface cleaner for the high-pressure washer is the perfect tool for the job.
After it’s dry, your patio should finally be moss-free. But how can you avoid having to repeat this cleaning process on a regular basis, or even several times a year? Moss spreads so easily that there is only one option: You’ll have to close the gaps between the stones using a specialised grout and seal the surfaces of the stones. This can be a challenging process and is best left to a trained professional.