How to Kill Moss on Driveways


Moss on your driveway is not just an aesthetic issue but can also lead to a slippery surface, making it a safety hazard. Understanding what causes moss to grow in this particular area is crucial for effectively addressing the problem. It thrives in damp, shaded conditions where there is little to no traffic to disturb its growth. By identifying the reasons behind the moss problem on your driveway, you can take the appropriate actions to not only remove the existing growth but also prevent its return.

Removing moss requires a careful approach to preserve the underlying surface of your driveway. Choices range from mechanical removal techniques to chemical treatments, with natural alternatives also available for those seeking eco-friendly options. Once the moss is removed, ongoing maintenance and preventative measures will be necessary to ensure the moss does not grow back. Regular observation helps to catch any new growth early, making it easier to manage over time.

Things to consider:

  • Successfully managing a moss problem involves both removal and preventive strategies.
  • A variety of methods exist for removing moss, from mechanical to chemical and natural techniques.
  • Regular maintenance and observation are key to prevent future moss growth on your driveway.

Identifying Moss on Your Driveway

Identifying the right type of growth on your driveway is crucial before you begin any moss removal process. Your aim is to differentiate moss from algae, as both can create slippery and unsightly nuisances on hard surfaces such as concrete, tarmac, and bricks.

Types of Moss and Algae

  • Moss: Mosses are small, green, non-vascular plants that typically form dense green clumps or mats. They reproduce via spores and thrive in damp conditions, often found in shaded areas.
    • Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus (Square Goose Neck Moss)
    • Bryum capillare (Common Tufted Moss)
  • Algae: A simple, non-flowering, and typically aquatic plant. Algae lack true stems, roots, leaves, and vascular tissue. On driveways, it can create a green or black film.
    • Green Algae: Often looks like a thin paint-like layer
    • Black Algae: Can appear as black streaks or patches

Signs of Moss Infestation

Visual Cues: Look for green, fuzzy patches on the surface. Moss doesn’t just grow on bricks and natural stone; you may also find it on paving, paths, and patios.

Texture: Moss is soft and can be squishy underfoot. It absorbs moisture, which can make your driveway or patio a slip hazard, especially when wet.

Spread: Moss attaches itself to moist surfaces and will spread rapidly without intervention, indicating a potential moisture management issue with your asphalt, concrete, or tarmac driveway.

Understanding the Causes of Moss

To effectively tackle moss on your driveway, it’s crucial to comprehend the environmental conditions that favour its growth, such as shade, moisture, and soil properties.

Impact of Shade and Sunlight

Areas of your driveway that are shaded, whether by trees or shrubs, create a space where sunlight is scarce. This lack of sunlight results in a cooler, damper surface ideal for moss to thrive. Conversely, areas receiving ample sunlight typically remain drier and less hospitable for moss growth.

Moisture and Water Retention

Moss requires constant moisture to grow. Driveways with water retention issues due to improper drainage, dips, or depressions can become breeding grounds for moss. Ensure water drains off efficiently to keep the moss at bay.

Soil Acidity and Surrounding Flora

The pH level of the surrounding soil can influence moss growth on your driveway. Moss prefers an acidic soil environment, which can be exacerbated by certain types of surrounding flora, like coniferous trees, that naturally acidify the soil. Regularly testing and, if necessary, adjusting the soil’s pH can be an effective moss deterrent.

Preparation for Moss Removal

Before beginning the moss removal process on your driveway, it’s important to equip yourself with the right tools and follow safety measures to ensure an effective and secure operation.

Safety Precautions

When handling any substance that could be harmful if in contact with your skin or eyes, it’s imperative you wear protective gloves. Additionally, if you’re using a pressure washer or chemical moss killers, eye protection is advised to guard against splashes. To prevent inhalation of any dispersed particles or chemical mists, consider wearing a face mask, especially in breezy conditions.

Gathering Necessary Equipment

To efficiently eliminate moss, you will need to collect the following equipment:

  • Stiff Broom or Deck Brush: For manual scraping of moss.
  • Pressure Washer: To blast away moss with water. If you’re hiring or buying, select one with adjustable pressure settings.
  • Garden Sprayer or Spray Bottle: For application of homemade or commercial moss-killing solutions.
  • Protective Gloves: To safeguard your hands from harsh chemicals or rough materials.
  • Bucket: Ideal for mixing solutions or carrying tools.
  • Pressure Sprayer: Alternative to a garden sprayer, offering more control and often a higher volume, useful for larger areas.

Equip yourself with these tools to ensure your moss removal task is successful and safe.

Mechanical Moss Removal Techniques

To effectively remove moss from your driveway and prevent it from returning, it’s essential to address both the moss itself and its roots. Here are mechanical methods you can utilise to tackle moss on hard surfaces.

Brushing and Scrubbing

For decking and patios, begin with a stiff-bristled brush to remove the bulk of moss. Vigorous brushing helps disrupt moss growth and loosens the roots, making it easier to dispose of. Ensure you reach into the crevices where moss spores may lurk, as neglecting these spots could lead to a quick resurgence.

Pressure Washing Hard Surfaces

Pressure washing is especially useful for hard surfaces like block paving and concrete paths. Hold the pressure washer at an appropriate distance to avoid damaging the surface. This method removes moss, roots, and accumulated grime in one go, and it’s especially effective when you tackle the crevices and gaps between blocks.

Manual Removal of Moss and Roots

For complete removal, sometimes you may have to manually remove moss and roots. This is a more meticulous process but essential for areas where moss is stubborn or thick. Use a hand tool like a scraper or a weed removal tool to get into the small spaces and pull out the moss from its roots to discourage immediate regrowth.

Chemical Treatments for Moss

When addressing moss problems on your driveway, the careful selection and application of chemical treatments can be highly effective. These chemicals disrupt the growth of moss and facilitate its removal.

Choosing the Right Moss Killer

To eradicate moss, discerning the appropriate chemical is pivotal. Sodium percarbonate stands as an efficacious choice, especially on tarmac and concrete surfaces. This compound, composing of hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate, is commercially available as granules which, upon contact with water, releases oxygen and targets the moss structure.

Alternatively, for a ready-to-use option, products like Jarder Spray & Leave 4 x 5 litre concentrate offer a simple application process. Be mindful that using iron-based products can stain driveways and paving with rust-like marks, so use these with caution. If opting for bleach, it’s recommended to dilute it properly to prevent discolouration of your driveway.

Preparing Chemical Solutions

When preparing a bleach solution, you should typically dilute it at a ratio of 600ml of liquid bleach to 23L of water. If using sodium percarbonate, you’ll require approximately 40 grams per square metre. Always wear protective gloves and eyewear during the preparation to prevent any chemical burns or irritation.

Application of Moss Killers

Once your solution is ready, apply it to the mossy area ensuring thorough coverage. For granular forms like sodium percarbonate, spread evenly and then wet the area to activate the chemical reaction. In case of concentrated liquids, use a garden sprayer for application, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Be cautious to only target mossy areas to avoid harming nearby plants. It is advisable to apply these treatments on a dry day with no rain forecasted to allow the chemicals adequate time to act.

Natural and Eco-Friendly Alternatives

When tackling moss on your driveway, several convenient, natural alternatives pose no harm to the environment. These methods are safe and leverage common household items.

Using Vinegar or Baking Soda

Vinegar Solution:
Mix 4 parts water with 1 part white vinegar to create a natural moss-killing solution. Apply this mixture to the moss-covered areas on your driveway and allow it to sit before rinsing away.

Baking Soda:
Sprinkle baking soda directly onto damp moss. The soda’s natural properties disrupt the moss’s pH balance, effectively eliminating it without damaging your driveway’s surface.

Boiling Water Method

Simply pour boiling water over the moss to scald and kill it instantly. This method is straightforward and does not introduce any chemicals or foreign substances into your environment.

Agricultural Lime or Acid Adjusters

Adjusting pH:

  • Alkaline: Apply agricultural lime to increase the pH and discourage moss growth.
  • Acidic: Utilise substances like iron sulphate to lower the pH where needed.

Both methods target the pH balance of your driveway environment, making it inhospitable for moss without residual damage.

Preventive Measures and Maintenance

To effectively combat moss on your driveway, preventive strategies and consistent upkeep are fundamental. Addressing the factors that favour moss growth will help you maintain a moss-free driveway over the long term.

Landscaping and Environmental Adjustments

Adjusting your landscaping can significantly reduce moss growth. Ensure that trees and shrubs are well-trimmed to maximise sunlight exposure on the driveway. Sunlight is a natural deterrent for moss, which prefers shade. Consider replacing dense flora with lower plants or ground covers that do not cast a large shadow over the driveway.

Regular Cleaning and Monitoring

Maintenance goes a long way in keeping moss at bay. Regularly sweeping and pressure washing your driveway prevents the accumulation of debris, such as leaves and twigs, which can retain moisture and foster the growth of moss and weeds. Inspect your driveway frequently for early signs of moss, especially in shaded areas, and remove any small patches promptly before they spread.

Improving Drainage and Reducing Moisture

Proper drainage is critical in preventing moss since it thrives in damp conditions. Evaluate your driveway’s inclination and make sure it allows water to flow off easily. If necessary, install additional drainage solutions, such as drains or a sloped angle, to prevent water from pooling. Limiting water exposure from sprinkler systems can also help keep the driveway’s surface dry, making it less hospitable for moss and its rhizoids to establish.

Post-Removal Care and Observation

After successfully removing moss from your driveway, the remaining task is to ensure it doesn’t return. This involves vigilant monitoring and creating an environment that discourages moss growth.

Monitoring for Moss Regrowth

Regularly inspect your driveway for early signs of moss or algae. Moss spores can easily remain after cleaning, potentially leading to a recurrence. Look out for green patches that indicate new growth, especially in areas that don’t get much sunlight or have persistent moisture. If you detect these signs, quick action with a recommended moss killer is essential.

  • Weekly Checks: Schedule a routine observation of your driveway, focussing on shaded and moist spots.
  • Signs of Moss: Check for green tinges or fuzzy textures between pavers or cracks.

Maintaining a Healthy Driveway Environment

Creating an environment that is unfavourable for moss includes ensuring adequate drainage and sunlight exposure. Keep the driveway as dry as possible to prevent moss and algae from thriving.

  • Sunlight: Trim overhead foliage to increase sunlight, reducing the chance of moss establishment.
  • Moisture Control: Fix any drainage issues that may contribute to standing water on your driveway.
  • Cleaning Regimen: Regularly sweep or hose down your driveway to keep spores from settling and to discourage a moss problem from reoccurring.

Your diligence in these after-care steps not only helps in preventing moss but also sustains the curb appeal and value of your property.

Selecting Moss Removal Products

When deciding on the best moss removal product for your driveway, consider whether you prefer a ready-to-use option for convenience or a concentrate for a more economical and customisable approach.

Ready-to-Use versus Concentrated Solutions


  • Convenience: Ready-to-use moss killers come pre-mixed, saving you time and hassle.
  • Application: Products like Jarder Spray & Leave 4 x 5 litre are typically applied directly from the container using a garden sprayer or a pressure sprayer.

Concentrated Solutions:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Concentrates, though requiring initial mixing, offer more bang for your buck, as you can tailor the strength to your needs.
  • Mixing: To prepare a spray solution, you might mix water with a product like Sodium Percarbonate at a ratio specific to the product’s instructions.

Coverage and Application Tips

Calculating Coverage:

  • Determine the area of your driveway in square metres to estimate the required amount of product.
  • For Sodium Percarbonate, you typically need 40 grams per square metre.

Application Tips:

  • Dry Surface: It’s best to apply moss killer on a dry day to a dry surface to ensure the product adheres well and is more effective.
  • Spray Solution: Using either a garden sprayer or a pressure sprayer ensures even coverage and penetration, crucial for the product’s effectiveness.
  • Alkaline: Some moss killers have an alkaline nature, which can affect surrounding plant life; take precautions to protect desirable plants.

Health and Environmental Considerations

When addressing moss on your driveway, it’s paramount to consider the health and environmental impact of the methods and chemicals you choose. Eco-friendly and biodegradable options are available, and proper handling can contribute to the safety of your local environment.

Assessing Product Safety and Eco-Friendliness

To ensure the health of both your family and the environment, you must select moss-killing products with care. Here are key factors to look for:

  • Biodegradability: Products should break down naturally in the environment without causing harm.
  • Non-toxicity: Choose chemicals that are non-toxic to pets, plants, and wildlife.
  • Environmental Impact: Prefer eco-friendly options that don’t contribute to pollution.

Proper Disposal of Chemicals

The disposal of moss-killing chemicals demands attention to prevent environmental contamination. Follow these instructions:

  • Read Labels: Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for disposal, clearly stated on the product label.
  • Avoid Drains: Never dispose of chemicals down household drains, as they may lead to water pollution.
  • Local Regulations: Adhere to your local waste disposal regulations for hazardous chemicals to ensure safety.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

In tackling the moss problem on your driveway, you might encounter challenges such as persistent moss or potential damage to the driveway surface. To effectively deal with these issues, specific approaches and careful measures are needed depending on the material of your driveway, whether it’s tarmac, concrete, brick, or natural stone.

Dealing with Persistent Moss

If you find that moss continues to regrow despite initial removal, reconsider your strategy:

  • Improve Drainage: Ensure water doesn’t pool on the surface by improving your driveway’s drainage.
  • Regular Maintenance: Sweep and wash your driveway regularly to prevent moss spores from settling.
  • Targeted Treatments: Reapply moss killers more frequently to affected areas.

Here’s a quick reference to help you select the right treatment:

Driveway Material Recommended Moss Killer Frequency
Tarmac Sodium percarbonate solution Every 3-4 months
Concrete Antibacterial detergent mix Biannually
Brick Diluted vinegar As needed
Natural Stone Specialist stone cleaner According to label

Addressing Damage to Driveway Surfaces

When removing moss, be vigilant to avoid damage to your driveway:

  • Tarmac: Use gentle, non-abrasive methods as harsh chemicals can cause tarmac to deteriorate.
  • Concrete: Patch up small cracks after moss removal to prevent water ingress and further damage.
  • Brick: Apply a sealant post-cleaning to protect the porous surface from moss and water damage.
  • Natural Stone: Opt for pH-neutral cleaners to maintain integrity without discolouring the stone.

For each material, it is vital to test your chosen method on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t cause damage.

Seasonal Moss Management

Effective moss management on your driveway involves timely interventions before winter and during spring. The aim is to target moss’s growth cycle, applying preventive measures and employing correct treatment strategies.

Pre-Winter Preparations for Moss Control

As winter approaches, ensuring your driveway is inhospitable to moss is paramount. You’ll need to address conditions that favour moss and algae growth – mainly moisture and lack of sunlight.

  • Reduce Moisture: Ensure proper drainage to prevent water accumulation. Check for and repair any leaks or issues with downspouts that may increase moisture on the driveway.
  • Maximise Sunlight: Trim overhanging branches to increase sunlight, deterring moss and algae from taking hold.

These steps prepare your driveway for the damp conditions often prevalent during winter, which can encourage moss to thrive.

Spring Cleaning to Prevent Moss Growth

With the arrival of early spring, it’s crucial to tackle any moss that has appeared and to hinder new growth.

  1. Inspect and Act:
    • Start with a thorough inspection of the driveway for signs of moss.
    • If moss is present, apply a remedy such as a diluted bleach solution (600ml of liquid bleach to 23L of water) or a commercial moss killer. These solutions should be applied in dry, overcast conditions to prevent quick evaporation and give the treatment time to penetrate the moss.
  2. Physical Removal:
    • For dead moss, use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub the driveway.
    • Ensure the removal of debris that moss can grow on, such as leaves and twigs.

By adopting these seasonal management tips, you can maintain a moss-free driveway throughout the year. Remember, consistency is key to preventing moss from returning.

Frequently Asked Questions

When dealing with moss on driveways, the right approach can make a significant difference. Below are some specific questions and answers to guide you through various methods and products effective for moss removal.

What are the most effective moss removal products for driveways?

For chemical treatments, sodium percarbonate is highly recommended. It requires 40 grams per square metre. Commercial moss killers available on the market are also effective, such as SmartSeal Moss Remover.

Can I utilise baking soda to eradicate moss from my driveway?

Yes, baking soda can be applied to mossy areas. Sprinkle it onto the moss, moisten with water, and leave for a day before sweeping away the dead moss.

Which homemade moss killer solutions are suitable for tarmac surfaces?

Diluted bleach solutions are suitable for tarmac surfaces. Mixing water and bleach and applying it with a spray bottle can prevent discolouration and effectively kill moss.

How does one remove moss from a driveway using washing powder?

Washing powder can be used as a moss killer when sprinkled on the affected areas and brushed in with some water. After leaving it to act for a few hours, rinse away the mixture with water.

Is vinegar an efficient solution for killing moss on tarmac or asphalt?

Yes, vinegar is an effective moss killer. Apply vinegar directly to the moss, let it sit for a few moments, and then scrub or rinse away.

Does bleach serve as a quick and permanent solution for moss infestation on driveways?

Bleach can be a quick solution to kill moss, but it may not prevent regrowth permanently. Diluted bleach has to be applied carefully as it can cause discolouration to the driveway surface.

About the author 


Hey there, I am founder and editor in chief here at Good Grow. I guess I've always known I was going to be a gardener. I'm on a mission to share my UK based weed control & lawn care tips with you all. If you have any queries please post in the comments below.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Related Posts

How to Clean and Remove Moss on Decking
Why Should I Remove Moss From a Roof & How?
How to Kill Moss and Algae on Fencing
Cleaning & Prevention of Moss on Flat Roofs
How to Clean and Kill Moss from Artificial Grass
How Does Moss Spread and Reproduce