How to Kill Moss on a Patio 


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Some people think that moss is a harmless and even beautiful plant that can be considered something of a fashion accessory for yards and homes. However, that couldn't be further from the proof. Not only can moss be a complete hazard to your health, it can also cause physical damage if kept unchecked.

Moss survives and thrives in moist, shady areas and does best in humid areas across the world. Once it takes hold, it grows quickly and doesn't let up. It is not uncommon to see moss take over an entire back or front yard. And getting rid of it seems nearly impossible sometimes. In fact, some people don't even attempt to get rid of moss because they think that it just isn't possible. They think that moss will always remain no matter how they approach its extermination.

The truth is that you can get rid of moss. The truth is also that you should get rid of it, especially if it has found its way onto your patio. Why should you get rid of moss? More importantly, how do you get rid of moss on a patio? The answers may be more straightforward and simple than you imagined.

What Is Moss?

Moss is a rootless plant that develops and grows in a mat of thin, fine threads. This strong and resilient plant has the ability to grow in areas of your yard that other plants cannot live in. 

That is why some people consider moss to be a virus of a plant, something that will infect an entire yard in no time at all. Many look at moss as a problem to be immediately addressed because it is typically a sign of underlying problems in the soil that are likely weakening the other plants you are growing. Moss will then continue to grow and push these other plants out if you do not exterminate it quickly. Simply put, moss makes it hard for other plants to survive. 

One of the reasons why moss is so prevalent and hard to eliminate is because of how it is spread. Unlike many plants, moss is spread from pores that are carried by the wind and float in water. This allows it to pop up all over your yard, or neighborhood, as if someone is intentionally planting it.  

When you decide to remove the moss in your yard, it is very important that you continue to work on your yard and improve the quality of the soil and change the growing conditions of the area. Otherwise, moss will pop back up and continue to thrive. Moss is a recurring problem that often repeats again and again and again.

How Does Moss Grow?

Many people don't even know how moss grows and where it comes from. Why is it so prevalent and seemingly impossible to get rid of? 

Firstly, moss needs certain soil conditions for it to grow well. A fertile environment for moss is one that has high concentrations of clay or soil compaction. Many features that make plant growth hard are ideal for moss. Low nutrient levels are something that doesn't stop moss, as it does other plants. 

Moisture is another feature that is needed for moss to arrive and thrive in your yard. Moss can grow on most surfaces as long as their moisture. Moss needs moisture to live. That is why you often find moss on walkways and building sides that are watered and wet. Runoff from rain and irrigation help cultivate moss growth. Areas that are constantly wet are a welcome invitation for moss. If an area is often moist and also heavily shaded, there is a strong chance that moss will begin to grow there. 

As you can see, moss can grow in some of the most commonly used areas of your yard and home. Walkways, gardens, building walls and especially patios are often victim to moss. When moss takes hold of any of those areas, exterminating it seems nearly impossible - but always vital.

Why Should You Get Rid of Moss?

Moss may look pretty and might seem completely harmless but there are multiple reasons why you should try to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Despite its looks and seemingly harmless nature, moss can become something downright dangerous in no time at all.

  • Moss is bad for your yard: Moss is a sign that something is wrong with both your garden and your soil. As noted, moss can only grow in areas of your yard that have issues. Bad soil, clay growth, and lacking nutrients are needed for moss to spring up. If you see moss growing in your yard, it means that there are areas there that other plants cannot survive in. So moss is a sign of something serious going on below the surface. If there is moss growing, there are other problems present. So it should be seen as a warning sign and an indication that other plants may be in danger too.

  • Moss can cause accidents: This is a major issue that many people need to remember about moss. Moss is soft, dangerously soft. The plant can cause people to lose their grip when walking. When it is wet, moss is also incredibly slick. That makes it even more dangerous. Moss is also often in heavily shaded areas of the yard or walkway so it is sometimes very hard to spot. That means you could walk over a patch of moss without knowing and then slip and fall. Moss is very soft and very slick when wet. Both of those features lead to it being slick and incredibly dangerous. That is just another reason why it should be eliminated as soon as possible. 

Those are the two major reasons why moss should be taken out as soon as possible. The longer it remains, the more problems it can cause. Not only can moss hurt your yard and prevent healthy plant growth, it can hurt you too. The last thing you want is to hurt your body because moss takes it hold on your walkway or patio.

How to Kill Moss on a Patio

Moss can be killed in a variety of ways depending on your specific circumstances. Tactics like using hot water, baking soda, pressure washing, bleach, and herbicides are all popular methods of killing moss.

When you find moss on your patio, you need to create a plan to take it out as soon as you can. As mentioned, moss is a sign of issues in your garden and also poses a risk to your own physical health as well. 

One of the major problem areas for moss is the patio. That is true for multiple reasons. Firstly, your patio can be slick as it is, even without moss. Some patios are the most common culprit for at-home injuries. How many times have you nearly slipped on your back patio and barely avoided injury? Moss on top of the already-slick surface of a patio can spell certain damage to your body. 

The patio is the part of your back or front yard that gets a lot of use, people are walking on it all the time. You need to take care of any moss growing on it because it could lead to injury for you or a family member or friend.

How is that done? How do you get rid of moss that is growing on your patio? Thankfully there are a few options and none of them are that complicated, expensive, or hard to come by. You can start to handle your moss problem this afternoon if you need to.

1. Hot Water

Here is a tool that you can get right this very minute. No installation, no purchase, no confusing instructions necessary. All you need to do is run your faucet and heat up some water. 

As some people know, boiling hot water can kill weeds growing in driveway cracks. How does it work? Quite simply, in fact. All you need to do is fire up the water, set it to boil and then carefully pour it on the troublesome plant. The same is true for moss on your walkway or patio. Pour that steaming hot water on the moss and it will prevent it from more growth. The hot water kills the cells inside moss and can stop it in its tracks. 

You need to be careful if you take this route though. Why? Because it usually grows closely to other plants in the yard and if you get the hot water on those plants, it will kill them as well. You need to make sure your aim is strong when you are pouring hot water on your moss problem or else you could do great damage to other, welcome plants. 

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda - is there anything it can't do? It seems that baking soda is one of the most common at-home remedies for a variety of issues. That includes getting rid of weeds as well. People have long used baking soda as a weed killer and you can also use it as a moss killer too. Common baking soda has always been a great herbicide and that remains true to this day. 

When you use baking soda to rid your patio of moss, all you need to do is sprinkle a hefty, generous amount of it on the problem areas with moss. Let the baking soda sit overnight and then use a push broom the next day to scrape and scrub and remove the moss. After you have used the broom, water the area down to get rid of any extra debris and clean up the mess you have left behind. An intense scrubbing of the area is important because it can help prevent any future or recurring growth of moss.

3. Pressure Washing

Pressure washing is a cure for many backyard and patio issues. People swear by power washing to keep their homes looking bright, new and incredibly clean. But did you know that pressure washing can also get rid of moss on your patio too? It's true, pressure washing can get rid of moss...and just about anything else that you don't want growing on your patio.

As you know, pressure washing can be a complicated process so this may not be the first option you go with when you are attempting to rid your home and patio of moss. Pressure washing also isn't the easiest thing to master, there is a steep learning curve with it. That means that you need to be prepared to hang on for dear life if you are using a pressure washer for the first time.

Pressure washers also use a lot of water and can create an awfully big mess so do not employ this option if you are afraid of getting wet. You also need to keep in mind that pressure washing your patio will eliminate the moss but it could also damage the joint sand between pavers. Pressure washers do just that - they wash away anything they touch. Moss will be taken out but so will other things that you possibly didn't want to lose. So be very careful and very accurate when you use a pressure washer to kill moss. 

4. Bleach

Bleach is a heavy duty cleaning agent that can kill and remove many pests that bother your backyard. It can also get rid of moss too. As with all things related to bleach, you need to be really careful when you are using it. Bleach needs to be far, far away from children and pets and you need to use it sparingly. You also need to do your best to avoid other plants when you are pouring the bleach. One drop of it can cause irreparable damage. 

Create a mix that is equal parts bleach and water and pour it into a spray bottle. Before you apply it to the problem areas with moss, scrub it down with a deck brush or stiff broom. Then you spray the area with the bleach and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. After that time has expired, scrub the area again and rinse it with water. The bleach should do the trick quickly and the moss will soon be gone and hopefully will not appear again. 

5. Herbicides

Of course herbicides are a great option when you are attempting to get rid of moss in your backyard and patio. This stuff works like it was created to kill pests - because it was. Commercial herbicides and moss killers are the big guns in the garden game, they are more expensive than the other options listed but they are expertly designed to get the job done. You should be able to find a product that will kill moss easily. 

The downside to using herbicides is that they can be pricey and there are many options for you to choose from, it can be hard to find the one you want. Some are also many toxic herbicides, so like bleach, you need to be incredibly careful around your children and animals when using commercial moss killers. 

Like bleach and hot water, most herbicides require an easy process of pouring it onto the moss and then letting it sit. Many ask you to scrub after or reapply the solution. Whatever the steps are, they should be easy to follow and will hopefully lead to immediate results.

Whatever your choice of moss-killer, don't get so overtaken by the pleasant and calming look that moss can give. It's still a significant pest of a plant. Employing some of these methods of killing moss, you can start to regain your yard back!

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