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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Moss Removal

Moss Removal
Removing moss can be a challenging task, if you don't know how to do it right. The following article will enlighten you on the various methods to remove moss from concrete, roofs, and lawns.
Girija Shinde
Last Updated: Mar 1, 2018
Garden work tools
Did You Know?
Moss tends to start growing from the top of the slots between the shingles on your roof. Be careful while brushing it off, as the cement granules between the shingles may break and weaken your roof.
Moss is commonly witnessed on roofs; however, it can be found on other surfaces, like concrete and lawns as well. Moss infestation occurs in shaded areas, where the ground is damp due to lack of sunlight and is a common sight during the rainy season. Besides the aesthetic disharmony it creates, one needs to get rid of it, as it can damage roof shingles and make walkways and driveways very slippery. The removal methods may vary for different types of surfaces.
Removing Moss from Concrete Surfaces
  • Boiling water: It is the easiest way to get rid of moss, especially if it grows near other plants. All you have to do is pour boiling water over the moss -- preferably mixed with vinegar -- and scrub off with a stiff brush.
  • Ammonium sulfate: If hot water does not work, try ammonium sulfate. Wear protective gear, like goggles and gloves, add 3 ounces of ammonium sulfate to 5 gallons of water, load it in a garden spray, and apply the mixture on the affected area. Take time out, and scrub the area with a hard brush. However, ammonium sulfate can stain concrete surfaces, like sidewalks or driveways and must be used only where aesthetic appeal is not a concern.
  • Sodium pentachlorophenate: One part of sodium pentachlorophenate mixed with three parts of water is an excellent solution for moss removal. Spray the mix on the affected area and leave it for a day. The moss will begin falling off and can be scrubbed clean with a brush. However, you must be careful while using sodium pentachlorophenate, as it is a proven carcinogen and should be used only when you're wearing protective gear on the face and hands.
  • Bleach: You can also use bleach for the same purpose by spraying a 50% solution of water and bleach on the moss-covered concrete area. Bleach is an effective moss-removal agent and can prevent regrowth of moss for over a year, unless you are located in a region where the rains come regularly. However, it is not wise to use chlorine bleach on roofs, which have shingles, as bleach tends to damage the color of the roof tiles and may also kill healthy plants on the ground, if it runs off the roof. It's better to go for an oxygen bleach solution, such as Stain Solver -- a brand of bleach that is non-toxic and organic.
  • Baking soda: Last but not the least, baking soda is also very useful and the least messy of all options. Simply sprinkle baking soda on the affected areas, leave it for 24 hours, and brush off the moss with a hard brush.
Eliminating Moss from Lawns
  • For doing away with moss from lawns, you can buy commercial moss killers, such as Safer Brand Moss and Algae Killer. You can also go in for a brand that contains ammonium sulfate.
  • Spray the moss killer on the yard with the help of a chemical sprayer used for landscaping.
  • After a few hours or a day, you will see the moss turn black in color. When it does, brush it off with an iron rake.
  • Do not forget to cover the bare spots with soil. If they are left open to elements, like rain, wind, etc., it will help the moss grow back.
Getting Rid of Moss from Roofs
  • To start off, brush the roof from the top with the help of a stiff-bristled broom. This will get rid of debris and some clumps of individual moss or mildew.
  • Avoid starting from the bottom of the roof, as it can damage the seal between the shingles. Instead, start from the topmost shingle.
  • Brush the entire roof this way, and add 12 ounces of oxygen bleach to 2 gallons of water. After the bleach dissolves completely, pour the solution in a two-gallon pump sprayer.
  • Spray this solution over the roof; this time, too, starting from the top. Spray until all the shingles are thoroughly covered. Admire your handiwork for about 40 minutes, and scrub off the moss and solution with a stiff-bristled broom.
  • Wash off the remaining moss with a water hose.
  • After the roof has dried, check to see for moss stains. If there are still some remaining, you can repeat the procedure for better results.
As you must have observed, getting rid of moss is not all that difficult, nor will it consume loads of time or money. So, don't panic, if you see those velvety-green patches on your roof or lawn; the solution is just a spray away!