Moss is one of the most resilient and adaptable plants. It can survive a range of harsh environments, including hard surfaces.
So don’t be surprised when moss takes over your driveway. All they need is a little moisture to thrive and spread. Thankfully, there are several ways to get rid of moss from a driveway.
Chemicals like iron sulfate can kill moss. But if you prefer a cheaper or eco-friendlier way of killing moss, here are some natural solutions.
What You'll Learn Today
- Why Does Moss Grow On The Driveway?
- 6 Ways To Get Rid Of Moss On Driveway Naturally
- Does Salt Kill Moss?
- How To Prevent Moss From Growing on Driveway?
Why Does Moss Grow On The Driveway?
Moss is one of the oldest plants on earth, and one of the most resilient. Moss don’t have roots, so they are able to cling onto any surface using hairlike structures called rhizoids.
Unlike plants like weeds or grass that need to dig into the soil to get water, moss do just fine with surface water.
So any prolonged dampness on your driveway creates the perfect conditions for moss. It thrives especially well in shaded areas such as the section of the driveway next to a wall or under a tree.
Cracks and potholes can also encourage moss to grow since they trap water. If you have poor drainage on your driveway, resulting in standing pools of water, that can also bring about a moss infestation.
6 Ways To Get Rid Of Moss On Driveway Naturally
1. Scrub The Moss Off the Driveway
If you have a small driveway or you only have small patches of moss on the driveway, you can remove it manually using a stiff or wire brush. Brush the moss into piles then take it away from the driveway.
Use a smaller handheld brush to get moss that has grown in cracks, along the edges of the driveway and between pavers.
For moss that has spread over a large area, a power brush or scrubber is a better and faster tool for the job.
These brushes are typically used by pros, so they can be pricey. Check whether you can rent one from a local equipment rental.
Here’s a video of a power brush in action removing weeds and moss from a driveway.
Note that brushing or scrubbing moss only works on hard driveways like concrete, paver, and asphalt. You cannot brush moss off a gravel driveway.
Something else to keep in mind is that brushing the moss away is not a permanent solution. If you do not address the underlying causes bringing moss to the driveway, it’ll grow again.
To the other gazillion things you can use vinegar for around the home, add killing moss. The acetic acid in vinegar attacks the moss, killing it off in a few days.
Because vinegar can also kill your lawn and other plants, apply it carefully on just the moss. The easiest way to do this is by mixing equal parts white vinegar and water in a sprayer (for large driveways) or spray bottle (for smaller patches).
Then wait for the moss to yellow and die. After it completely dries, you can brush or wash it off the driveway.
If after a few hours the moss still looks green, apply undiluted vinegar. If that still doesn’t work or the moss keeps coming back, use gardening vinegar.
Gardening vinegar is stronger than regular vinegar. It has a 20% concentration of acetic acid compared to 5-8% concentration in regular vinegar. It’ll kill aggressive moss infestations faster and keep it from reappearing for longer.
3. Boiling Water
If you want a completely chemical-free way to get rid of moss, use very hot water. It works great on all kinds of driveways, including gravel.
Boiling water will instantly kill moss. Just make sure it is as hot as possible. Let it come to a boil then carry it carefully to the driveway.
Pour the piping hot water on the moss patches. This will kill the moss and also soften it up. You can then scrub it off the driveway with a stiff brush.
Because the hot water kills the moss spores, the moss will not reappear for some time.
Boiling water is also great for killing weeds and grass that’s growing between pavers or on the gravel driveway.
Add about 20 ounces of household bleach to five gallons of water. Then spray it on your driveway. Because bleach will kill other plants, be careful not to spray beyond the driveway.
After 15 minutes, rinse away the bleach using a garden hose. Don’t leave the bleach longer than this to avoid staining or damaging the driveway especially if it is sealed or painted.
After a few hours, the moss will turn yellow and you can easily scrape or brush it off the driveway.
If the moss doesn’t die or you have a particularly heavy moss infestation, try using 10-20% sodium hypochlorite. This is stronger than regular household bleach, so make sure you handle it carefully.
5. Baking Soda
Baking soda kills moss by raising the pH to the point that moss cannot survive. But this is a slow method that takes days to kill the moss.
I recommend it only for small patches of moss. You can mix the baking soda in water (1-8 tablespoons in a quart of water depending on how strong you want the solution to be) and then spray it on the moss.
You can also sprinkle the baking soda directly onto the moss. Wait a few days for the moss to start dying, then scrub or brush it off the driveway.
Note: Over time, moss can adapt to alkaline soils, so baking soda is usually only a temporary solution.
6. Power/Pressure Washing
High pressure water is one of the fastest and most effective ways to get rid of moss from pavers, concrete and asphalt.
You have two options. You can use a pressure washer to blast away at the moss. A power washer is even better since it uses pressurized steam to attack the moss.
Regularly cleaning the driveway with a power or pressure washer will keep the moss at bay.
Does Salt Kill Moss?
You may have heard that you can use salt to get rid of moss on a driveway.
However, the regular table salt in your kitchen will not kill moss. What you need is potassium salt. You can find it at a local gardening center, usually in liquid form.
Potassium salt works by drawing moisture out of the moss, which dries it out and kills it. In moderate amounts, potassium salt is eco-friendly and will not harm other plants in your yard.
How To Prevent Moss From Growing on Driveway?
Most of the above solutions will only remove moss temporarily from the driveway. After some time, it will reappear and you have to remove it again.
To permanently get rid of moss from the driveway, address the root causes.
Dampness and moisture are the main reasons moss grows on the driveway. Focus on keeping the driveway dry to permanently stop moss from growing and spreading on it.
There are several ways to do this.
Improve Driveway Drainage
If you have standing pools of water on your driveway, there’s a problem with drainage. All that moisture provides the perfect conditions for moss to thrive. It also reduces the lifespan of your driveway.
Usually, the issue is the gradient or profile of the driveway. Maybe it doesn’t slope in a way that allows water to drain away from the driveway or it doesn’t have the recommended crown design that pushes water to the sides and away from the driveway.
You can improve the gradient of a driveway by resurfacing it with a top layer of concrete or asphalt. If you have a paver or gravel driveway, your only option is to remove the pavers or gravel and properly grade the base layer.
Too much runoff flowing over the driveway can also keep it damp, attracting moss. See where the water is coming from and divert it so that it avoids the driveway.
You can use drainage channels, a swale, or a french drain to trap or divert stormwater.
You may have noticed that there’s more moss on the parts of the driveway with shade. That’s because these sections don’t get much sunshine, so they stay damp for longer.
See if there is a way you can get rid of the shade. Cutting bushes or trimming branches along the driveway can help.
If there is no way to get rid of the shade, get ready to deal with the moss regularly.
Watch Your Sprinkler
If water from your sprinkler reaches the driveway, that could lead to the dampness that moss needs to grow.
Adjust the sprinkler to make sure it only waters the lawn.
Repair Cracks On The Driveway
Moss often grows inside cracks on the driveway. That’s because these cracks are usually damp either from rainwater or groundwater.
As soon as you see cracks or potholes on the driveway, fix them. This will not only prevent moss from growing, it also extends the life of the driveway. Cracks can quickly widen and lengthen if you don’t patch them immediately.
Apply Sealer To The Driveway
Applying a waterproof sealer on the driveway can greatly reduce the occurrence of moss. Water is less likely to settle on the driveway, which helps keep it dry and moss-free.
Resin is one of the best waterproof sealers for the driveway. It also prevents stains and keeps the pavers or concrete from fading.